Progress Updates

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Check this area regularly to keep track of progress being made and how God is working through this ministry.


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    Miracle of the Pouch

    A troubling incident recently occurred on Good Vision Farm, site of HarvestCall’s Haiti Dairy Program. At first it seemed really bad, but through prayer and God’s sovereign workings, it turned into testimony of God’s grace. The story follows.

    Major construction is underway as the dairy prepares for cows to arrive this fall and milking to begin around February. Many Haitian tradesmen and laborers are involved. There is a tremendous amount of local interest in this farm and the tight-knit community is excited about the progress.

    One afternoon, Bro. Les Kaeb, the missionary farm manager, went to pay some workers and discovered that his pouch (large wallet) was missing. It was soon determined it had been stolen by a visiting painter who had just left very abruptly. While the loss of money was disappointing, most disturbing was that the pouch contained Les’ passport – and the Kaeb family had plans to visit the US in just nine days….

    An unusual response

    Les made plans for the 5+ hour trip to Port au Prince to get an expedited passport. Meanwhile, the community was in turmoil, concerned that this theft would discourage the Kaebs and cause them to leave Hatii for good and abandon the dairy. A gazebo meeting was called. When the Kaebs arrived, they found the gazebo overflowing with Haitians all dressed up. Some had to stand outside and peek between those seated at the wall.

    In Les’ words, this is what he told them: “I started by expressing our appreciation of the way this community has rallied around us. I went on to say that just because of this, we were not going to be leaving. The Holy Spirt was certainly there and took over at this point. We talked about forgiveness towards this man. We made the comparison of the violation we all felt from this man stealing in this community to the false accusations and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Reminding all of us that if we want to be forgiven we have to forgive. I mentioned that he can take my passport and my money but he could never take the peace of God and the joy I feel because of Jesus Christ. I did not do all the talking, many of them shared and it was an amazing experience. We talked about giving it to God and allowing him to be the Judge. We need to recognize that Satan does not want us doing good for Jesus and we can expect him to attack us.”

    Many Haitians shared supporting thoughts. One man stepped forward and said he was not a Christian, but what he is witnessing has to be the power of God. The behavior Les was witnessing was remarkable. Culturally in Haiti, thieves are shown no mercy.

    "God is here!"

    Later that day, Les’ right-hand Haitian assistant Maxi came with a big grin on his face saying he had good news. He walked with Les along the canal and then a ways off the beaten path. There, up against an above ground tomb, under some weeds was Les’ pouch. The farmer who had found it kept grinning and saying over and over” God is here! God is here!” He had been drying rice on the top of his wife’s tomb, when a rain shower popped up. He went to pick up some that had dropped on the ground and discovered the pouch. (See photo of tomb above.)

    Les said, “I’m so thankful that God brought this farmer, his rice, and this shower of rain – even though we thought we have had enough rain ­– to expose where the pouch was stashed.” Inside was Les’ passport and important receipts. Only the cash was gone.

    After retrieving the pouch and walking back to the gazebo, the community had gathered and was praising God for His goodness. You could just see the joy on their faces. Maxi and Les shared with them Isaiah 40:31. Les said, "I have to believe that God did not want me to be without my passport. He also wanted us to give up something so that He could show the world that it is all His.”

    Word of this incident quickly spread throughout the region. An example of this occurred a few days later when Les was filling up his vehicle with gas. One of the security guards saw Les, and he said, “You’re the one who had your passport stolen, and God gave it back to you!” Praise God for finding such unique ways to glorify His name!

    “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

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    Sea container arrives with equipment

    It's like Christmas in June at Good Vision Farm, site of our Haiti Dairy Program! A container full of equipment was just unloaded. It included a John Deere 5075 tractor, planter, disc and corn sheller, plus irrigation equipment and much more. Praise God for His goodness, for this safe delivery, and for His clear direction in moving forward with developing this ministry.

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    Permit obtained! Now moving ahead rapidly

    After months of delays due to challenges in obtaining certificates and permits, the doors have opened to begin constructing the buildings necessary for beginning the physical operation of this program, which is to create a demonstration dairy farm and eventual dairy milking hub. The gospel will be shared and Christian principles exhibited as we work together with the Haitian community to improve dairy production.

    Les and Christine Kaeb, along with their daughter Lana, are currently in Haiti overseeing the development of this program.

    Obstacles Removed, Excitement Growing

    In early April, over 30 Haitian farmers, representing nearly 70 milking cows, gathered in the Good Vision Farm’s gazebo to hear updates about the progress of the program. HarvestCall committee members were present, witnessing first-hand the interest and questions coming directly from the people most closely affected by the program. The Haitian people first sang a verse of “How Great Thou Art” in Creole, the familiar melody wafting over the beautiful Torbeck plain. Then Les expressed what appreciation he felt as God led them safely from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew to the excitement of receiving the go-ahead to begin construction. Clearly, the program has shifted from a time of waiting and planning to a time of forging ahead. It was a surprise to learn that the farmers who intend to participate have significantly increased their interest in raising heifers. The Haitians seem especially interested in improving genetics and learning how to improve the way they feed cows. They are paying close attention to seeing just how effective brachiaria grass will be for dairy feed.

    On the animal side, two heifers were just purchased at a local Haitian market. Lana Kaeb has affectionately named them Ivory and Ebony, and they appear to be in excellent condition. Some heifers are also housed in Rittman, Ohio, and they will be bred in May. These are Gyr crossbred with Holstein. The Gyr breed has been identified as tolerating the Haitian climate better than some other dairy breeds. These animals will calve in early 2018, creating some expediency that we be ready.

    Currently, the shop/depot is nearing completion. Plans are to start more construction projects, including a missionary home and guest quarters, a feed center, simple animal handling structures, and finally a milking center. A sea container filled with farm equipment and seed will be loaded in late April for delivery in May. Forage is being grown; heifers are being raised. Construction will require work teams that are currently being planned, including electrical and plumbing.

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    "God is in the Gazebo"

    One of the first accomplishments of the Haiti Dairy Program (HDP), was building a gazebo and community well. This is a gathering place for meetings and for the community. After Hurricane Matthew, the foliage and trees were stripped away from the area, and nearly every tin roof. Amazingly, the gazebo was left relatively unscathed. The folks in the community like to say that “God is in the gazebo” and they especially enjoy the shade it provides when they are using the well. Praise God that our missionaries are all safe, no animals within the HDP perished, and major damage was spared at the farm and living area. Our great God also provided an opportunity to strengthen relationships with local farmers, as their crops were demolished. These farmers needed to replant but had no resources. Through HDP, black bean seed was provided to them.

    Bro. Les Kaeb, missionary for the program, has been diligent in working on the forage program and building relationships within the community as we waited for the required government approvals before initiating a dairy processing hub. Months of red tape ensued as the needed certificate was delayed or denied. Then, just before Thanksgiving, a miracle happened. Bro. Les had been working with a new Haitian accountant and he asked Les to stop by his office. When Les arrived, he was stunned to be handed the needed certificate! Praise be to God! We continue to trust in His timing.

    Now that this huge obstacle has been put aside, the decisions of finalizing equipment, cows, and building priorities are here, and there are many details to consider. 

    How you can help: 

    The program committee asks for prayers that the decisions made will glorify the Father, further the gospel, and fulfill the mission. Financial contributions to the HarvestCall Haiti Dairy Program are needed and appreciated.

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    Winter 2016 Update

    At HarvestCall’s Dairy Program Farm in the Torbeck plain of Haiti, it has become a common sight to see a gathering of local residents and farmers at the front of the property. A spot with lots of activity is the community well which our water aid team drilled on the site. Local residents often walk animals to get water at the farm water well, which has become an especially important asset to the area as the drought of 2015 brought severe water shortages. This well is accessible to more farmers in the area now that a bridge has been constructed over the irrigation canal.

    A gazebo is nearing completion on the premises. This gazebo will be important as a gathering place for instruction and communication for the program. The dairy program site has already become a popular gathering spot for the neighborhood as a result of the completed projects.

    The purpose of the Haiti Dairy Program is to promote Christ to Haitian farmers and improve their lives. The mission is to establish the heart of a viable Haitian dairy industry through farmers honoring God and working cooperatively. By working with Haitian dairy farmers, experimenting with more nutritious forages, introducing cows bred to produce milk while withstanding the hot climate, and teaching techniques to improve milk production, there is an opportunity to improve the economic conditions of the farmers and provide nutritious milk to many underfed children of Haiti. Moreover, the program is an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ and bring the gospel message of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus to all the farmers in the area.

    “--- desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1 Peter 2,3

    A few months ago, Bro. Les Kaeb and his wife, Sis. Christine, have relocated from Francesville, IN to Haiti to manage the activities of the Haiti Dairy Program. In addition to forage development, gazebo and bridge construction, and the community water well, plans are underway to construct a shop and storage depot on the farm, where building supplies, tools, planting and seeding equipment, and feed can be stored out of the elements. A small house for a Haitian manager is also in the works.

    Back in the states, calves have been born for importation to Haiti. These cows are a cross between Gyr, a warm climate breed, and Holstein, a high milk production breed. Also planned is a purchase of local cows to determine which animals will produce best on the forages developed.

    Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness 2 Corinthians 9:10

    How You Can Help with the Haiti Dairy Program

    Pray

    For Bro. Les and the dairy program committee as they work with the Haitian people to bring the gospel to them and improve their lives.

    Give

    If you are moved to help with financial support, contributions may be made to AC HarvestCall - Haiti Dairy Program.

    Volunteer

    Consider participating in an upcoming work team. Plans are in the works for one this Spring. Watch thewebsite and the Silver Lining.

    For additional information, contact Bro. Tom Neuenschwander at (260) 824-4773.

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    Starting a Herd

    Photo of cow at dairy farm.


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    Planting Forage

    Forage planting at farm.

     


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    Seedbed Prep

    Leveling the soil for seedbed preparation.


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    Clearing Land

    Clearing the land for development.


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    Water Well

    Dairy Farm Community Members join in a prayer of thanks after successfully drilling a new water well for the farm.


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