Providing For the Helpless

When living in a collapsed economy, we are faced with a new challenge every day.  We met a pastor and his wife who have taken charge of feeding 125 children in a devastated neighborhood not far from the camp.  They have no water at all and transport water in containers for drinking, cooking and other needs.  The pastor heard that we deal with water wells and purifying water, so he asked us to come help.  They have tried to dig a well with shovels but failed.  The ground is too hard.

Our team is helping them to dig a new well, using a technique learned in Paint Rock, Texas.  The water is 35-50 feet down and they managed 10 feet the first day in 5 hours.  Our plan is to work with them to complete the well.  Now we are wondering how we can help them feed the children.  This same situation can be found almost anywhere we go.  It is an overwhelming task, but our God is able.  

Looking for the right spot to drill for water
Setting up the drilling equipment
Drilling for water
The driller
The horsepower
Cleaning out the well
The helpers
The children watching
The pastor in charge of the children using water filter from the Texas Baptist Men
Children amazed at clean water
Some have never seen clean water
Preparing food for the children
House in the background made from light fixtures and tin
They would like to build a church on this property

This experience is leading us to think about feeding children. More on this in a future blog.

Volunteer Missionaries

It is true that there is a lot of trouble in Venezuela, but there seems to be similar problems around the world.  We are living in dangerous, but exciting times.  Our Lord could return any moment.  We must be ready.

These are the faces of young people in Venezuela, who have chosen to “take up their cross and follow Jesus”.  They are missionaries without funding and without support.  They have no guarantee of food, clean water or a decent place to live.  They are sent to remote and primitive places to share the Gospel, disciple the saved, start cell groups, plant churches and do their best to improve people’s lives.  They come from every state in Venezuela.  Among them are Warao, Wayuu and Jibi Indians from the jungles of Venezuela.  They have all been thru the 90-day training at the Genesis Project school. 

Fulfilling the Great Commission
Preparing to carry the Gospel to Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia
Pray for these student missionaries and our staff
Warao Indians from the jungles of the Delta Amacuro becoming missionaries
We need to expand. The demand is great. Help us share this mission with others who might help.

We ask you to remember these young people when you pray.  They are asked to do things that most of us could not do. 

The Great Commission: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”  Matthew 28:19-20 NIV 

Urgency: “Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”  Revelation 22:12 NIV

Growing Food God’s Way

After 4 years working with churches in evangelism in 13 different states, the Lord began to give us a different vision.  He showed us clearly that while many were converted in remote parts of the country, they were often then abandoned with no discipleship or follow-up.  The new vision was to train teams of young missionaries to support themselves and establish permanent Christian communities in areas with few Christian churches and lacking Bible principles and doctrine, establish cell groups and plant new churches. 

This led us to where we are now.  The Genesis Project is a training center located within the Baptist Camp near Valencia.  The Venezuelan Baptist have given us a 30-year lease for approximately 50 acres of land.  For the last 3 years we have been working to develop a modern training facility that focuses on sustainable food production and spiritual development.  We have processed about 150 young missionaries thru our 90-day course since May, 2016. 

The blue area represents the Genesis Project and the training center

We are developing a farm, much like our grandparents used to operate, but with some new technology.  We have goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, cows, ducks and sometimes pigs.  These are for food production.  We grow tomatoes, squash, beans, corn, several varieties of bell peppers, okra, cilantro, parsley, oregano, green onions, and other types of vegetables and fruit. 

Organic gardening to produce food
Simple gardening techniques are taught to the students
Eggplant
Beets: Many of the students have never seen varieties of vegetables.
Carrots grown naturally
Huge cucumbers grown with our composted soil
Auyama, a type of large squash
We have started growing our own coffee: It is excellent
Chickens for eggs and meat
Fresh eggs
Natural eggs
Beekeeping to produce honey
Harvesting honey
Extracting honey from the comb

During their 90-days with us, the students live with us on a working farm learning how to take care of animals, plant and harvest thru organic gardening and the production of honey thru beekeeping.  They learn how to produce natural cheese, butter and yogurt, how to make coconut oil and how to use the fruits and vegetables in the kitchen.  We also teach them to drill water wells and purify water.  In a country with severe food shortages and contaminated water, this is a tool that allows them to survive and help others. 

Squash from the garden
Part of the nursery
Fresh cheese
Varieties of beans
Carrots and radishes
Luis (in red) is our agricultural engineer. He is amazing.
We teach the students to make sauerkraut with the cabbage. Tremendous nutritional value.
Radishes grow from seed in just 21 days
The merey is a delicious and nutritious fruit, but the seed on the top produces a cashew nut
Drying cashew nuts
Corn for people and animals
Aji dulce is a small bell pepper
Natural food
Tomatoes
Papaya is nutritious, delicious and simple to grow
Okra grows well
We grow bananas of different types
Sweet potato
Preparing the land for planting. God provided the tractor thru people like you. Thank you.

The principle is found in Genesis 1:11 & 29: “Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’  And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good…Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.’”

Aselsi Bible Training

Delia & I met Mike & Terri McComb a few years back.  They invited us to Chichicastenango, Guatemala to visit the ASELSI Bible-training school they have run for over 20 years.  Through ASELSI, they offer various levels of spiritual education.  This teaching has spread all over Guatemala, into Mexico and other countries in Central and South America.  This has led to thousands of graduates able to share sound Bible doctrine and many thousands led to Christ. 

ASELSI founder John Harvey, along with Mike & Terri McComb in Chichicastenango, Guatemala
ASELSI holds a yearly conference at their headquarters in Guatemala
Some of the ASELSI leaders from different countries

Mike & Terri, along with founder John Harvey, invited us to take the ASELSI training system into Venezuela.  In March, 2017, we graduated our first class of 11 students at the Baptist Camp.  Mike brought 4 members of his team from Guatemala for that graduation.  Four of the graduates, Anthony Rojas and his wife Leida, and Francelis Lunar and his wife Delia, began an ASELSI course on the Island of Margarita.  In December, 2018, my wife Delia & I flew to Margarita to attend the graduation of 21 new students, all now certified to teach the course to others. 

Mike McComb and his team from Guatemala visit the Genesis Project at the Baptist Camp
ASELSI school director Eman Perez along with Mike Mccomb and other members of their team attend our first graduation ceremony at the Baptist Camp
The first graduating ASELSI class in Venezuela

Anthony & Leida left Venezuela with their kids in 2018, but Francelis & Delia have now started another basic class of students and many of the graduates from December have moved on to the next level of study with ASELSI.  God is forming new empowered disciples in Venezuela thru ASELSI.

Francelis and wife Delia teaching the ASELSI basic course on the Island of Margarita
Some of the ASELSI group on Margarita
First graduating class on Margarita

This week we started a new ASELSI basic group study at the Baptist Camp.  These students are from the States of Anzoategui and Monagas.  When they graduate, they will be certified to teach the ASELSI course to others.  ASELSI is Matthew 28:19-20 in action. 

New ASELSI students at the Baptist Camp

We are grateful to God for blessing us with this excellent material and for Mike & Terri and those who run the school in Chichicastenango.  We are also grateful to God for each of you who pray for us and support the work done here in Venezuela.

New Testaments for Soldiers

You have done a lot over the last 3 years to help us improve the situation here at the camp.  The International Mission Board and the Baptist Global Response have also made major contributions to the electric systems, the water system and the lighting.  People walk long distances to come get water from the camp.  At night we have lighting when the surrounding neighborhoods are without electricity.  This has created numerous opportunities for us to be able to meet people and share the Gospel. 

Because of these advantages, we have had approximately 200 soldiers staying here at the camp for the last 10 days.  They have been part of a training exercise with another battle group located nearby.  This morning before they left, we obtained permission from their leaders and with the help of the local Gideons, were able to hand out New Testaments to all the soldiers and their leaders.  We were also able to share a brief message based on John 14:1-6. 

Sharing John 14:1-6 with the troops
Amazing how God works.
Only God can produce an audience like this
Soldiers receiving God’s Word
Sharing God’s Word at the camp
Planting new seed
There are no barriers for God
Praying for the soldiers before they depart
Soldiers with their new Gideon New Testaments

Please know that your prayers and support are making a difference in the lives of many.  God has control over all that happens here in Venezuela.  He just asks all of us to take a chance and do what we can. He does the rest. 

Water Purification

Under the current situation here in Venezuela, potable water is scarce and many people, especially children and the elderly, suffer greatly from the effects of drinking contaminated water.  Part of our training at the Genesis Project is to teach the volunteer missionaries about contaminated water and how to purify water. 

One of the courses involves building BioSand filters.  These filters remove impurities that make people sick.  After the course, these filters are donated to schools, hospitals and churches.  We try to find areas where there are concentrations of children, the sick and the elderly.  Every time we donate a filter, we are given the opportunity to share the Gospel. 

Building BioSand filters with our students
The finished product
Delivering a BioSand filter to a school
Sharing clean water ideas and Christ with students.
Teaching clean water ideas to students
The children looking at their new filter.
Teaching the use of the new BioSand filter to the children and staff
Some of our volunteers and students

We have also been blessed by the Texas Baptist Men with various types of portable water filters.  We give these to people in disadvantage areas where they often have no water service in their homes and are forced to obtain water for their daily needs from questionable sources.  These opportunities also give us an opening to speak to people about Jesus. 

Preparing to demonstrate a bag filter system to purify water

Explaining water purification to neighbors at a church.
Preparing to hand out bag water filters
Teaching clean water ideas at a church
Teaching the use of bag water filters
Children and adults learning how to avoid contaminated water thru the use of bag filters
Handing out bag filters to the neighbors and congregation
Handing out water filters
Handing out water filters
Solutions for contaminated water

Over the last 3 years, God has given our instructors and students many opportunities to share Christ with hundreds of people in the States of Merida, Portuguesa and Carabobo.  There are now over 150 graduates from the Genesis Project sharing physical and spiritual solutions in remote places around Venezuela and the borders of Colombia and Brazil.   Your prayers and donations have made this possible.  Thank you. 

Venezuela Update 4.26.19

Dear Friends:
Our ministry in Venezuela continues to adapt to the changing conditions here. The Lord has asked Delia & me to be involved in the development of a training center at the Baptist Camp near Valencia. He has blessed the work of our hands and the volunteers that work with us. Up to date over 150 students have gone thru our 90-day training program, with special emphasis on food and water production, water purification, beekeeping, hygiene/health and church planting.
May 27, 2019, we will have been at the camp for 3 years. Each year the Lord has used people like you to help us improve the facilities and purchase equipment we need to become more efficient. In a chaotic world, the Lord has given us a place of peace and allowed us to share Bible principles that offer spiritual and physical solutions to people in trouble.
Now we see an increase in demand for our services and a clear vison of what needs to be done next. Our goal for 2019 will be to build better facilities to house and feed our staff and students and visiting groups coming to render aide, evangelize and implement work projects to rescue the people of this nation. Attached are some architectural drawings.
We now have an updated and simplified website (www.sameboatministries.com) that allows for us to interact with you thru blogs, share pictures, videos and information and receive your support. Please check this out, as this site will be a vital link to you in the future. We also need your help to share with others interested in missions about what the Lord is doing in Venezuela.
There are two basic needs we are providing thru our Genesis Project:
1. We are fulfilling Matthew 28:19-20 by training disciples in spiritual matters
2. We are equipping these same disciples with practical solutions to the economic problems facing this nation. These include lack of food, clean water and basic medicines.
Thank you for your trust in God and in us, for your prayers and support. You are all co-partners in the work we do in Venezuela.
Paul & Delia

Plans for new building for students and staff
Ground Floor
Top Floor