Friday, June 24, 2011

Chickens and Rabbits

Two families we know had fallen on hard times.  Nice families with hard working fathers who want to provide for their wives and children but fell into situations that prevented them from doing that.  First is Francisco, he sells firewood for a living.  He takes his horse up to the mountain, chops wood and brings it down to sell - key word is horse.  He needs his horse to bring the wood down the mountain.  If you have ever been here you have seen people carry heavy loads of things on their heads and backs.  Women have babies strapped to their backs and carry 100lb logs on their heads!  It's a crazy sight to see.  A few weeks ago Francisco's horse accidently strangled itself and died.  Without a horse, he can't get nearly enough firewood on his back to bring down the mountain to sell and provide for his family. Upon hearing this we immediately want to do something to help this guy and his family.  Chris and I had kicked around the idea of buying a new horse but just hadn't done anything yet (a horse runs about $300 and since we are missionaries now, we are on a tight budget).  Our friend Joseph from the US was here so we took him around to visit some families and he felt the need to do something to help Francsico so he bought them 2 female rabbits to accompany their male rabbit in hopes of starting a little rabbit business to provide food for their family and sell for income (sorry but they eat rabbits here).  That is a big help but "nature" takes time so it won't be something that will immediately help their situation.  The story has a happy ending though.  A really cool youth group (CO2) from Lake City was here and God put it on their hearts to buy Francisco a horse!!  When it was delivered we were there to see the tears of joy and thankfulness.   He told us that earlier that day he decided that he really didn't feel like going up the mountain so he stayed home.  His wife wasn't too pleased and asked "How are we going to get food today?!?"  A little later, in walks a bunch of teenagers and a horse.  :)

Juan and his family (and Joseph)
Second is Juan.  They have been to our house a few times and are just a nice family.  They have never asked us for anything and when we ask if they need anything, they always say no.  (That's not the norm here - most people need something and the gringos are their ticket.)  We were talking one night about how we would like to find some land to grow vegetables and they offered for us to plant some things in their garden.  We made a date to go over and start seeds.  Joseph was here and went with us.  During our visit we learned that Juan doesn't have work right now and they have a nice spot of land to grow stuff but they haven't had the money this year for seeds so they don't have anything planted.  Again, the question comes up "What can we do to help?"  Seeds are easy because we literally had them in our hands.  Joseph wanted to do something so he and Chris decided it would be good to give them some chickens - to eat, sell and have eggs.  Off they went to get supplies for the coop.  Juan had that built in no time so a day later Joseph bought them baby chicks, grown chickens, and all the supplies needed for success.  They were very thankful to say the least.