Saturday, April 19, 2014


We just found out yesterday that an individual has given a very generous donation to our ministry! This will allow us to start construction on the boat we have been wanting to build and will probably cover most of the costs.
Dan checking out a local panga.
Several aspects of this donation illustrate the Lord's sovereignty and faithfulness:

For several months, I had been studying various designs, trying to discern which one would be the best. JUST LAST WEEK, I was able to meet again with the boss (Frank) of the largest boatyard in Bluefields. I began describing the idea I had of building two 30' fiberglas dugouts from their mould, then joining them together to build a catamaran. Frank said that he had a different idea that he wanted to show me. He went on to describe the process of cutting an existing Panga in half lengthwise, then building these two halves into the catamaran hulls and adding a cabin. This is an idea that I had toyed with some weeks earlier, but did not think it would be feasible. Frank believes that it IS feasible, and the cost would be much less because we would be building it out of an existing boat.

A Panga...

...And more Pangas.

So.......IF we had gotten the funds earlier, I might have started to build a different kind of boat which would probably have ended up costing more and taking longer to build.

Usually the rains do not start until June; this will give us several weeks of construction time to get the boat finished before summer!

This design and building process will allow us to build a boat that can be powered by sails AND/OR outboard motors, something I had hoped for all along. With gasoline costing around $6.00 USD per gallon, it would be good to have a way to conserve fuel.

Needless to say, we are VERY excited to see the Lord working in all these ways! Thanks to you all for your continued prayers and financial support.

May the Lord bless you all as we celebrate His resurrection and eternal victory on our behalf!!

Dan and Donna

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dan's Trip to Tasbapauni

This past week, I did some work in a smaller town (village) 60 miles up the coast from Bluefields. Tasbapauni is home to some very interesting people. They are a mixture of African descendants, Misquito indigenous people, Creole-speaking Caribbean people and the Spanish.

Typical transportation for people living up-river

There are no streets in Tasbapauni, only sidewalks, because there are no cars-- only bicycles, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, dogs, birds, the resident parrot, and lots of boats!

I went there with a friend from Cayman, Eddie, to help him with a project. A few months ago, he had the boat builders make him a 30' dugout canoe from a single large log. The landing place for his boat and the other boats in the village had become overgrown with weeds and filled in with what flows down from the village in the rainy season. It was the blackest, foulest mud you can imagine! The project was to dig out (by hand) this canal so that the boats could get to the landing.

The first day...sludge!

Pulling out all the water plants that have clogged the canal...

Each day after work, we would take a 200- yard walk from the lagoon side to the Caribbean side and plunge ourselves into the salty waves, cleansing ourselves of the black, sticky mud. By day three, we had successfully deepened and widened the canal all the way out to the lagoon.
After a hard day's work...
We stayed with a local pastor and his family. They graciously fed us and housed us for those three days. Our fare consisted mainly of turtle meat, rice, cassava, and beans. There were no fresh vegetables.

During this trip, the Lord reminded me of several things:

1.) It is not the PROJECT that is most important; it is developing relationships with the local folks during the PROCESS that is most important.

2.)  I need to walk in the Spirit every minute of every day, so that I can be more aware of what is happening around me in the lives of those we touch.

3.) All our resources, talents and experience need to be made available to the Lord and His Kingdom work. We need to "hold on loosely" to our possessions, money, and reputations.

4.) Often, the Lord puts us in a position of weakness and dependency that is humbling and challenging, but the lessons learned are worth it.

My hope and prayer is that I can apply these reminders to my life and my involvement in the communities in and around Bluefields.

I am planning another "exploratory" trip up-river for later this spring. The Turtoguero district (north and west of Tasbapauni)  has very little medical infrastructure, so I want to do a survey of several villages in that area and then we may be ready for our first medical team. If anyone is interested in going on this trip, please let me will probably be in the fall.

We want to thank you again for your support through prayer and financial giving. You are all such a blessing to us.

Prayer needs:
- The resources needed to make the exploratory trips...the logistics of open doors, transportation, translators, etc.
- Finances for the boat/boats we feel are needed for the ministry here.
- For Donna's English class...resources, creativity, and the relationships that she will make.