Diamonds in the Rough – October 2019

Updates from Fondo Negro

There were a lot of really great things this summer; from camp, to new stoves to English classes this summer was a big one for the Joshua 1:Nine community. We are excited to share some updates we haven’t shared yet.

Originally, the team’s food was cooked over fires. It makes for really tasty food but it takes a long time, is difficult and sometimes impossible when there isn’t enough firewood around. In discussing pressure points with the staff, this kept coming up as a big one. So, Coach Chico, who is also a master welder, was given the resources and built a stove for the team to use. Now food in the evenings is a possibility and meals are far more consistent on the weekends. This was a huge step in the program development and we are glad we were able to have a solution to the problem once we discovered it.

This also means an increasing grocery budget and we need your help! Will you consider walking along side the team as they grow? We need to fill those bellies!

Cooking lunch with fire
Lunch before the completion of the stove.

I would like to help support the physical growth of the Fondo Negro kids by being a Team Sponsor!

We also employed an English teacher for the boys and the coaches this summer. He met with two groups of kids (one older and one younger) twice a week for about 6 weeks. This was completely optional for everyone but the classes were well attended. Miguel, the teacher, is the father of one of our players and does a great job. We are excited to have him as a resource and know he will be part of our bigger picture going forward.

English class summer 2019
Miguel works with Francis on his introductions.

I would like to help employ the people of Fondo Negro like Miguel!

As pictures kept rolling in throughout the summer it became clear the field was looking dead. We discussed weather and the lack of rain but eventually it became clear this was not normal, even with a dry summer. We are still learning how everything functions and what resources are available in the community and through questions and conversation discovered one of the rare (but needed) resources typically available in Fondo Negro is a sprinkler system on the field!

When asked why they weren’t using it, we discovered it was because the pump had failed and there were some problems with a few of the pipes. Thanks to the generosity of our donors throughout the first six months of the year we had enough funds to purchase the pump and fix the system.

The grass is slowly growing back and the community is very thankful we have been able to help in this way. They take great pride in their field. It was actually built and paid for by the people of Fondo Negro a number of years ago. They came together and created a committee that worked together to organize the project and the entire community worked together to build the stadium and put in the field so people would have a place for recreation in town. It says a lot about why we like working in Fondo Negro.

What an exciting way to be able to pour into the community. The boys got to get a lesson on the mechanics of the system so we had a learning opportunity as well. That was a sneaky way to support learning and education!

The sprinklers work!
They work!

I want to see this all first hand! How do I get involved?

What an exciting summer! These seemingly little things are not so little when you consider the long term effect of feeding into the kids and the community. The kids are receiving additional nutritious meals, their brains are being challenged and expanded, their spirits were filled and fed at camp and daily at devotionals during practice and the entire community can see the support we provide by loving them and caring about what is important to them as well. God is good! What a summer!

Praises and Prayer Requests

1) We’ve shifted away from hurricane season and feel so thankful it was a very quiet one. This is a huge praise as concern increases every July when the danger from the weather becomes very real.
2) We are praising God for a large gift of a grant from Rotary International! The grant will be used to build/install a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system in Fondo Negro. This will provide clean water for the first time ever to the community. Our mission is to love all of the people of Fondo Negro, not just the baseball kids, and this falls into that mission. Stay tuned for updates.
3) November means Impact Trips! We have two groups heading down in November; one to work on expanding the American side of our baseball program and one to start the build for the water filtration system which will go in over the winter. Prayers for safe travels and good health would be much appreciated.