Thursday, September 21, 2017

Quick update from Larson family

Prayer and Praise:
This past week has been an encouragement as we cross paths with other like-minded and motivated people.  We have met several who have a vision for meeting local needs in conjunction with the traditional missionaries’ translation, literacy and evangelical work. 

One person we met, I’ll call him Greg (because that’s his name), came to serve for a short time with another mission and decided to return to do research into Business As Mission and coffee roasting.  One of the projects on my back burner is to build a coffee huller so that local growers can add value to their crop and transport more value per load to the wholesale buyers.  This could overlap very well with the work Greg is researching.  Greg happened to cross paths (if you believe in coincidence), with the Papua New Guinean man with whom we started down this Business As Mission road.  He literally crossed paths with him in the road in front of his house.

In the same conversation I was invited to explore the micro-hydro project in a village where the locals are already working on other community development projects.  In that village specialization is developing on its own without outsiders saying, “You should be doing this…”  Local ownership is paramount for the sustainability of any project.  And specialization is a giant step in the process of developing a community.  For instance, one person mills timber but pays someone else to build his house.  Traditionally, everybody does everything and there is little or no expertise because there is no time for it.  The next day I was invited to another village to assess their site.

A couple of days ago we attended a talk given by a man, Bruce French, who started working in agriculture in PNG over fifty years ago.  His life’s work has been how to address nutritional issues with local plants rather than imports.  

Here is his website and database (which is truly astonishing):  Food plants international

In PNG the ground is so fertile you can poke a dry stick in the dirt and it will sprout leaves.  But malnutrition is still an issue due to imported trash food and lost knowledge of local nutritional plants. 

We seem to be on the crest of a wave of people from all over asking, “How do I live as a Christian in this world in a practical way?  What practical difference can I make and not just say ‘stay warm and well-fed?’  What knowledge or experience do I have that can be used as an expression of God’s love in this world?”

While working on these things I am still acting as Assistant Manager at the Auto Shop in Ukarumpa. 

Please pray for:
·         Appropriate goal setting; keep our goals in line with the Lord and not just follow an idea.
·         Wisdom when to strive forward on a plan and when to wait on the Lord’s direction.

·         Continued prayer for Liz’s energy and pain level.