Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Planting Hope in Bolivia

Reynaldo believes a divine appointment many years ago is the reason he’s a part of our hydroponic agriculture projects in Bolivia today.

One day, Reynaldo met with Pastor Cleto, our “green” pastor from Hosanna Church, who said to him, “I want you to start doing this hydroponic work in this tent,” Reynaldo recalled. He had no job, so he said yes.

But not long afterwards, he got another job offer from a large company. That night, however, he had a dream he believes to be from the Lord. In it he was clearly directed to not abandon the hydroponics project, an agricultural technology that allows produce to be grown without soil. The next day the other company called saying they couldn’t hire him after all.

“That moment I realized it was God, that He’s the One who wants me here,” Reynaldo said. “He wants me to teach. He wants me to help.”

Reynaldo began working with the hydroponics project in Oruro, a city with a dry and cold climate, where the land produces little. Vegetation is sparse, and fruits and vegetables eaten by the community are brought in from other places.

But the role turned out to be much more to Reynaldo than just a job—it has brought him closer to God. As the plants were cultivated, so was his heart. And today, his faith is strong.

“Before I start working here my faith was little, very little,” he said. “I didn’t know much about God, but as I start working here with Pastor Cleto, day by day, he started feeding me with the Word, and my faith increased.”

Though there is much dirt and dust in Oruro, things are different in Hosanna Church, where the agriculture project is located. Now you will find roses, daisies and herbs growing in the land… and two hydroponics greenhouses.

One greenhouse is producing 140 heads of lettuce every two weeks. The lettuce is bagged and sent to five supermarkets and restaurants—which are increasingly demanding more lettuce and asking for other vegetables!

The second hydroponics greenhouse started producing peppers in November, and broccoli production is being added this month. The proceeds from the produce sales are used to help the church cover some costs for caring for 60 children living in poverty.

Reynaldo, who has a degree in agriculture and plans to start his master’s in water and environment, is passionate about research and innovation. “During the time I am spending here, I realized that God lives here,” he said. “I know that there’s a lot of science behind my work, but without God this work won’t be fulfilled or finished.”

Currently the project engineer, Reynaldo believes God wants him to teach other people and churches what they are doing. “I know I am an instrument in the hand of God.”