From: Michael Medley []
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 7:22 PM
Subject: Plant Today Update: Guatemala & the Riding Program

To Our Plant Today Partners –

Exciting things have been happening, and more are about to happen, so here is a brief report to bring you up to date.

A new trip is in being planned for Guatemala, this time working in both San Pedro Las Huertas and San Jose la Arada.  The dates are March 17th to March 23rd.

The first picture is of the home of Doris, a 19 year old Guatemalan with cerebral palsy who lives in the San Jose la Arada area.  We met Doris during our last trip to that area, when her mother brought her to our outreach in a manual wheelchair – powered by sheer human strength.  Can you imagine getting a wheelchair up and down this very narrow and bumpy dirt path?

The path is only about two feet wide and about 30 feet from the “main road.”  Doris’s mother asked one of the Plant Today team members if it would be possible to get a walker for Doris to get around better in the house.  Inside, the house is three small rooms with a dirt floor and no room for a wheelchair (and yes, those sticks woven together with sheets of plastic behind actually form the walls!).  Through one of our special friends – the Szukas, who donate walkers and wheelchairs to those in need – we were able to send Doris a walker.

As you can see from this second photo, Doris was overwhelmed when the walker arrived! 

Now we would like to build Doris and her family a house with real walls and a wheelchair ramp extending to the main road.  Our goal in the next year is to build 12 houses at a cost of about $800 each, with Doris’s being one of the first.  This amount will build a basic three-room house, each room being 8’ x 10’, with wood walls, a metal roof, and a real door instead of a curtain. 

The cost of the homes is for material only, as all of the labor will be donated by the local people.  If God is leading you to be part of this effort to provide homes for the underserved, please let us know so we can give you further information.  Thank you for praying about and responding to this need!

Many of you have requested information about our next team trip to Guatemala, which will take place March 17th to 23rd.  We will be working in two locations – conducting eyeglass clinics, giving haircuts, providing clothing and seeds for vegetable gardens, building a house, and holding sports camps and children’s outreaches.  You are not too late to join in this tremendous experience of serving, but the time is short so please let us know if you desire more information.  If you cannot go, maybe you can fund one of the projects or assist someone who would like to go but is short of support.
As to the riding program, we had a great get-together on January 11, with more than 80 partners dropping by for lunch.  This session we have more riders than ever and continue to have a waiting list due to lack of space, so we are in the process of adding horse #8 to the herd.
Last week two generous donors made it possible for new lights to be purchased and installed at the barn – a great blessing during these short winter days in South Florida!

Many of you have asked how we are funded, knowing that we do not charge families for the special needs riding (though horses eat a lot) and that we are expanding with more outreaches in Guatemala.  Some have assumed we do the work through grants or church support.  Actually, we have never received any grants because we do not qualify; very few grant-givers will support faith-based ministries, particularly where Jesus Christ is the focus of what we do.  Virtually all of our funding is through you – individual partners who believe in what we are doing and respond with open hearts.  And thank you so much for responding!  This ministry would not exist without your financial support, along with your prayers and your physical labor. 

As Matthew 25: 40 says:  “The King (God) will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”  [NIV]

We hope you enjoyed this update.  Thank you for joining us as we continue to grow!

In Him,

Mike & Diane
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