A Good Bad Year

Posted by Tom Scatliff, With 0 Comments, Category: Newsletters,

Dear friends, what a year it has been! Due to COVID-19, this past year has looked quite different for us, but there is so much to praise God for.

Over the past year, we have not been able to travel abroad to work hands-on with ministry partners, nor have we been able to visit family, supporters, churches, and friends in Canada. However, this has meant that we spent an unprecedented amount of time in Indiana at the mission and Tom has made significant headway on a number of projects. Although, admittedly, to me most of it looks like wires, circuits, and garbled computer code (resembling something a cat would type while walking across the keyboard a great number of times), Tom assures me that significant progress has been made on a number of fronts.

He rewrote the entire software for the SonSet® radios, which was not a small undertaking. This resulted in a more robust product which was capable of doing much more than ever before. I know, that’s a very simple summary, so for anyone wanting more details or a few more technical notes, ask Tom (scatliff.tom@gmail.com).

 

 

In May and June we were mandated to work from home… Oh the productivity you can get out of an engineer when he gets to lock himself in upstairs!

 

He’s also made significant progress on the new software platform for the satellite-based water monitors. We have a number of these units shipping to ministry partners this week and over the coming months so we are very grateful to have had the time for this progress and are seeing the tangible results. Praise God for this.  

I (Candice) continue working with my ministry colleagues in Congo on a nutrition program for malnourished community children. Malnutrition is especially detrimental during the first six years of life (the first near-year of that spent in the womb). If left unaddressed, malnutrition can lead to a lifetime of reduced mental and physical capacity – often perpetuating the cycle of poverty.  If we can intercede at a young age, nutritional status can be improved and the benefits are long-lasting. In Congo, we have a multifaceted approach trying to achieve just this – nourishing meals, education for families, employment opportunities (opportunities to earn money to cover school fees), health checkups, and a flourishing garden that provides produce for the feeding program and demonstrates how to cultivate and harvest nourishing vegetables. We provide seeds and tree cuttings to those in our program who are interested in building up food security for their household.  

To put faces to this project, below are photos of two infants who joined the program last week. They, along with their mothers, receive breastfeeding support, supplemental meals, nutrition education, and bible lessons each day. Both infants (and mothers!) are already benefiting. We currently have 13 children in the program and have graduated a few dozen over the past year. Praise God! To read more about this project, click here.

 

 

Two new infants to the feeding program. Our ministry partner in this, Mama Anne, is the lady in the middle (wearing the striped shirt).

 

Thanks to the shift in meeting styles and increased comfort level of online group meetings my colleagues in Congo and I were able to meet with the head agricultural consultant for Africa from ECHO International Farm (in Florida). ECHO is a ministry that excels at providing quality information on agriculture to those of us working in the developing world. They understand the many challenges we face — extreme heat, drought, heavy rains, pests the size of goats, limited supply chain, lack of resources, and the like — and provide quality researched-based solutions. Based on the conversations in that meeting we’ve been able to improve on a number of processes and approaches and have since brainstormed more clearly on how we can advance our project in the community. An exciting opportunity is to acquire a produce dryer from a local researcher who has completed his research in Congo and will be leaving the country in a few months. The opportunities for such a dryer are endless! For example, drying moringa leaves to make nutritional supplements, preserving fresh produce to be consumed during the dry season, increasing the shelf life of food items that can be taken to market, etc. If you see the potential here and are interested in helping us acquire the dryer, please let me know!

The past year has been challenging, but so much progress has been made. I’m blown away that the team at SonSet Solutions (where we serve in Indiana, on loan from MissionGO) assisted 180 ministries in 60 countries via equipment, service, consultation, and partnership development during the unprecedented year that 2020 was. Praise God for this. What a good bad year!

I can’t thank you enough for your support. Your sacrifices mean we are sustained in ministry and can be part of such projects. Thank you and may God bless you!


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