Debbie and Keith serve in Central Mexico. They partner with the Council of Rural Indigenous Evangelicals of Mexico, AR, (CICEM) to provide pastoral accompaniment to the indigenous churches. This consists of training pastors, church leaders, youth leaders and teachers for the children. Debbie and Keith serve in four states in Mexico and work with 34 churches within these states to empower the people. The individuals they serve speak Spanish and seven other languages.
They write – In Genesis 1:28, God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply…” God surely is multiplying the chicken project in Mexico among the CICEM churches. First, we want to thank all who have prayed and given money toward this project. When we were first developing it, we had no idea what God was going to do.
Let me refresh your memory about the purpose of the chicken project. Five families from each of the CICEM churches receive 24 laying chicks, 2 bags of feed, fencing and a coop to protect them. The church leaders decide who is in need of this project. They choose widows, single mothers or large families that need extra help with food. This project adds protein in their diet, which is much needed, and if they have any extra eggs, then they can trade them or sell them to get other food that they need. In turn, each recipient donates the equivalent of 1 kilo of eggs back to CICEM each month to be able to duplicate this program to others.
For any project you need a dreamer (Deb), a planner (Keith) and a lot of God. Many times, Keith has said to me, “Deb, God did not call me to Mexico to build chicken coops.” Then I would say, “If He didn’t want the project to succeed, then He wouldn’t have provided the resources.” Over the last couple of years when people walked into our garage in Puebla they would not see cars but different prototypes of chicken coops. We minister in 4 states in Mexico, so there are various types of climates. In turn, each region has a variation of the coop. CICEM has 37 churches so, how has Keith been able to build all of these coops? Remember, he is the planner. When I would have a woman’s workshop in a certain region, he would teach the men how to build a coop. Where Keith was building 1 or 2 a week, in one region, they built 35 in 3 weeks. This is not only a project for women but for the men as well.
Like any project, we have had some difficulties. We wanted to buy chickens a few months old instead of buying baby chicks but are unable. One problem is when you buy chicks, you are not sure whether they are female or male until they are older. A little tid bit…roosters don’t lay eggs! I know crazy, right. We spend time and resources raising roosters that aren’t going to really do us any good. Another problem we have encountered is that a plague will come through a community and kill all of the chickens. Then we have to start again. When Keith and I return to Mexico in June, we will start phase 2 which will be introducing large incubators into a few zones. This will allow them to give the chicks the proper vaccines and food. CICEM will give the women chickens that are older and have a better chance to survive.
The other day our colleague, Noé, sent us a message with pictures of the chickens in a small town in the northern mountains of Puebla called Pahuata. Our sisters in this church gave their first offering from their eggs to CICEM! This news blesses our hearts! Thank you again for your prayers and support of our ministry. Going forward, we would ask that you remember this ministry in your prayers.