“It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” - 2 Timothy 2:6
We have a saying around IDES that we cherish as the motto for our service within the focus area of Development and Sustainability.
"It is better to give a hand-UP than it is to give a hand-OUT."
Giving a "hand-out" is a short-term event that includes little more than providing a single object of assistance or relief during a community's time of need. Giving a "hand-up" is a long-term process that includes building relationships and strategically assisting communities in a way that promotes their ability to stand on their own feet. The difference in effectiveness between these two is tremendous, especially for provoking Gospel-sharing opportunities.
Whether developing programs in villages to assist families in participating in the local goods market, or providing access to a basic resource that can be sustained throughout time, all of IDES' Development and Sustainability projects revolve around this concept of giving a "hand-up."
Recently, IDES was blessed with the opportunity to aid two of our mission partners in Haiti and in Mexico in training and equipping their community members to establish farms, thanks to your faithfulness in supporting our work around the world. Farms are particularly productive in helping families to develop sustainable sources of both food and income.
Our partner in Haiti specializes in developing chicken farms as a part of their evangelistic outreach and church-planting efforts. For this project, we partnered together in order to provide 3 local pastors with new chicken coop shelters, supplies, and several dozen baby chicks. Living in a desperately poor country, these Haitian pastors receive "little to no financial support for their ministry."
Meet Pastor Daniel. According to our partner in Haiti, Daniel, "is affectionately called 'the First Servant'...he is the true leader of the group. He is humble and full of joy." During this project, Daniel was one of the first to receive the training and materials for a new chicken coop.
Thanks to your generosity and support, IDES was also recently blessed to be able to serve an impoverished farming community in Mexico. Our mission partner in the community makes it their goal to assist the members of their community with the ever-increasing costs of farming by providing more efficient equipment, higher quality seeds, and work opportunities.
Many of the farmers in the community plant corn and hay as their primary crops. IDES provided funding through our partner to purchase a new tractor, and to aid during the planting process. Through the grant, our partner was able to serve 40 different farmers, including Brother Sabino pictured at the top, in preparing and planting their land. While serving them, our partner also built relationships with each farmer in order to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"This is a super blessing, because we now have everything we need to fully use the tractor in all the needs of our ministry, and to be more efficient with lower expenses," our partner said. "This tractor and the equipment [will provide] long-term full time job for a Christian brother."
One such farmer is Brother Beto Martinez, who owned a piece of land, but did not have the money to pay for the equipment needed in order to prepare the field and plant corn. Our partner came alongside of him and showed him the love of Jesus by offering a hand-up.
"We now have hay to feed our cows, lambs, horses, and soon we will have corn to feed our chickens, too," the farmers in Mexico said.
Without you, our compassionate supporters, none of what IDES does would be possible. Together, we are invited by God to write these stories of help and hope with Him. Please continue to pray for these farmers in Mexico and Haiti as their crops grow and their chickens mature.