January 2019 Update
The pool is open for business and being used by the evangelical community of Corumba and Ladario. It was a journey but Carl and Wanda finally saw the pool functioning before leaving the farm at the end of November. Our new caretaker, Divino, is taking good care of the pool. And we paid off the construction costs of the pool!! We look forward to the first use of the pool for baptisms. Local church often have to rent pools to do their baptisms. A few churches have baptistries but even they often prefer to make it a day of celebration for the whole church so they rent a place in the country to baptize and cookout and celebrate together.
Carnival (Mardi Gras) will find the Farm of Encouragement full of participants of a Carnival Retreat. They won't be celebrating Mardi Gras but they will be having fun and inviting visitors to get away from the very carnal environment in the city. So we pray that much spiritual growth will take place on the Farm as the churches carry out their ministries.
October 1 Update
Today the rock machine will make its last attempt to break the rock in the pool bed. Then, whatever depth the pool company can get will be done. We have learned that the majority of pools here stick up from the ground anywhere from 10 inches to two or three feet. Then dirt is pushed up against it and brick and concrete hold it into place and a stone wall is built around it. Some are very decorative. The pool man says we should put a simple bamboo fountain.....waterfall feature. Why???? to keep the water COOL. HAHAHA In the states we put heaters so we can heat the water to swim longer but here he said the problem is to keep the water cool enough to feel refreshing. Who would have thought. The only pool I usually have access to here is in a hotel and it is mostly in the shade so I never dreamed this would be a problem. But our pool will get sun most of the day, until late in the afternoon which should be just about perfect.
September 2018.....Here we are at the Farm of Encouragement. Wanda and I are spending about two months overseeing some exciting events. The biggest is the installation of a 10,000 gallon pool. This will make the Farm an attractive destination for the churches in and around Ladario and Corumba. With spring days of 99 degrees you can imagine how important a water feature is for a retreat center. We are putting in a fiberglass pool that will sit on a concrete base. The one small problem we have encountered, which is an expected event here in Corumba, is the rockbed that we have hit. We have tried pickaxes, jackhammers, torches, and fire and water. Slowly but surely progress is being made and partly due to one man who arrives early each morning and diligently work away at the three large humps of rock that are making life difficult for the pool company that is installing the pool.
Keep praying and keep giving. We can see the end in sight!!!!