Monday, May 23, 2016

Urban Horticulture Project - Super Cool!

Urban Horticulture Project
Caroline’s Promise – 2016

Many people in the Guatemalan communities where Caroline’s Promise partners are in desperate need of improved diets.  The primary staples of rice and corn tortillas provides more than enough
carbohydrates and when available beans provide some of the protein necessary. However the majority don't have enough fiber, vitamins, and other phytonutrients necessary to support growth, brain function, and disease resistance.  In developed countries health care recommendations typically encourage 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day but 
for many of our Guatemalan friends 0 to 2 servings per week is common

We have observed that lack of awareness and high cost relative to income are the primary drivers of inadequate diets in Guatemala.  One of the manifestations of poor diet is that children are less able to concentrate and remember what they are taught at school.  This undermines the educational opportunities that we are striving to provide them with.

How can we help?
A core value at Caroline’s Promise is that we partner with people in need rather than give things that temporarily satisfy the needs.  So we have initiated a pilot program to help our Guatemala friends grow some of their own vegetables along with providing basic diet and nutrition education.  In early May 2016, with the help of PhD Agronomist, Dan Kidder, we introduced a handmade version of the self-watering planter to four groups of interested people in Guatemala City.  
This system for growing plants has been around for many years but it has mainly been used by hobbyists in developed countries to make vegetable and ornamental plant growing easier and more productive. 

Self-watering planters can be used to grow almost any vegetable crop in areas where planting in the ground is not possible.  They are particularly well suited to urban areas on rooftops, balconies, and other secure spaces around the home.  It is an excellent system for those with little or no gardening experience because once planted all the grower needs to do is add a few cups of water to the reservoir every few days.  Nutrient and water concentrations in the plant root zone are automatically maintained at optimum levels.  Very little fertilizer and water are required in this system because there are no weeds, evaporation, or leaching to account for.

The Guatemalan adults and students who received the training in early May were extremely excited and enthusiastic but unfortunately, there were not enough planters available for everyone to take one home.  

Our vision is to help many more Guatemalans who are involved in Caroline’s Promise supported ministries to be able to tend and harvest at least 2 self-watering planters.  Two planters will typically supply this individual with 20 to 40 tomatoes and 10 to 20 bell peppers yearly.   And many other similarly producing vegetable choices are possible.

Will you partner with us? 
$25 will provide a 2 bucket system to one of our Guatemalan friends.  We are hoping to provide buckets to 50 people this summer.  To partner with us please donate here.   

And take a look at how the veggies that were planted in May are growing!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Child Sponsor Gifts/Letters Due June 1

Our teams are headed to Guatemala in June & July and we would love to take a letter or small gift to your child.  This will more than likely be the last time in 2016 that you can send a gift.  Please follow these instructions:
*  Gifts should be in a gallon sized zip lock bag that will close.  If your gift is larger we will not be able to take it.
*  Please include a letter and maybe a photo of your family.  Do not include cash or any information that would identify where you live.  We will translate the letter for you.
*  All gifts/letters should be delivered to our office not later than June 1.  You can deliver them and put in the gazebo at the end of the driveway or mail to Caroline's Promise 1950 Beeson Road, Kernersville, NC 27284.  Please put your name and the child's name on the outside of the bag.
Please know that your gifts and letters make a difference.  It is extremely hard to explain to a child why their sponsor did not write them.  If at all possible please take the time to at least write a letter.  
We are looking for sponsors so that our kids who are 10-13 can attend camp in July.  Please help us spread the word!  You can learn more and give here
Thanks so much for your support! 
It truly makes a difference.
Please reply to this email or contact Lisa at 336-669-7340 with questions.

For a list of suggestions for your letter and gift check out this blog post.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Best of the 80's

North Carolina.  July.  Sometime in the mid-1980’s.  Teenagers. So-so food.  Guest speakers.  Ceiling fans in the Tabernacle trying to make a dent in the heat and humidity.  Bunk beds in old dorm rooms.  The Snack Shack.  Seeing friends from across the state that you hadn’t seen since last July.  New boys – how could we not mention the boys?

These are my memories of youth camp in Colfax.  I literally lived one mile from my youth camp and just couldn’t bring myself to stay overnight at camp when I could sleep in my own bed with air conditioning.  But each morning I made my way to Shady Grove Camp and stayed until late at night.  My parents must have either believed in youth camp or wanted to get rid of me for a while.  Either way, they made sure I was there each summer.  I wonder now if they knew the impact it would have on my life?

Worship.  Bible study.  Testimonies.  Lives Changed.  Youth Camp was where I first felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Where I learned that God had a purpose for my life.  I still remember the first time I prayed over someone.  It was at that altar in that old tabernacle……at youth camp.

In the years that followed I travelled with a group from my college and spent an entire summer at youth camps throughout the southeast.  Every week it was a different camp.  Some were nicer than others but one thing remained the same – lives of kids were changed at youth camp.

Why am I thinking of camp?  Because 30 years later (wow I’m old!) I’m helping to plan a youth camp for 100 middle schoolers in Guatemala.  There will be similarities.  Bunk beds.  So-so food.  Fun activities.  But there will be differences too.  The music will be better.  Some of these kids have never slept in a bed.  Have never bathed in a real shower.  Most of them will be thrilled with the 3 meals they will get because well, let’s just say, they don’t eat 3 meals a day.

The one thing I’m counting on is that like my youth camp in the 80’s – Jesus will show up.  I’m believing that lives will be changed and kids will understand how much He loves them.  I’m claiming that many of them will begin to understand their purpose and walk in the gifts that are freely given through the Holy Spirit.  I have faith that they will hear Jesus well and get connected to a team of Guatemalans from our partner church that care about them and want to be a part of their lives. 

The plans are being made.  The leaders are in place.  The team is preparing.  

Now we just need the funds.  That’s where you come in.  If you ever went to camp – if God did something special for you – will you give to make it possible for a middle schooler in Guatemala?  I wish I remembered the names of all of the youth counselors and speakers that God used in my youth camp days.  I’d love to tell them how their investment changed my life.  You may not meet our kids in Guatemala this side of heaven, but you can trust that God will use your gift to change their lives.  You can give here.