Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
“He put another parable before them, saying, For the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man 
took an...
This is an overview of Tierra de Gracia Lutheran Farm. Like the mustard seed, it grew from the smallest of beginnings 
int...
When work on the project began in 2002, the farm looked like this. It had been abandoned 
for a number of years.
Much of Venezuela receives 60 inches of rain annually, but most of it from late May to mid 
December.
Untended fields soon look like this..
On the other hand, there are six months of little or no rain. By the end of the dry season, 
water levels in streams are l...
During the dry season, crops wither while insects feed on the leaves.
Then there is the risk of wildfire.
At first the workers hand only crude hand tools to clear and cultivate the land.
Thanks to donations from the United States, mechanical implements became available.
More donations made possible the purchase of a tractor. It was immediately put to work 
clearing and cultivating land.
Today the farm is a beautiful place.
Many types of fruit trees and other crops flourish..
Cattle and other livestock graze.
The farm's tranquil environment showcases God's creation and hints at what the Garden of 
Eden must have been like.
But the most wonderful aspect of the farm's development has been the spiritual harvest..
Let's back up. We, Dale and Sandra Saville, were sent as agricultural missionaries to the 
Venezuelan state of Monagas in ...
Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod missionaries planted the Word of God in the hearts of 
people Monagas 50 years ago. The f...
But since then these rural churches have experienced many hardships.
In these rural districts today, unemployment runs as high as 80 percent of the population 
and typical family income is le...
In this impoverished environment, many infirmities result from malnutrition and 
contaminated water.
At one time Sunday attendance in the rural churches of Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca, 
the two communities hardest hit by...
However, former members moved out of the area, seeking better jobs in the cities.
By the late 1990s, typical Sunday attendance had dropped to less than 20 – when there 
were Sunday services..
But when members of the rural churches moved to town they formed the core groups of 
some of the largest Lutheran congrega...
In cooperation with Pastor Adrian Ventura and other members of Cristo Rey, Dale 
developed a business plan for a working f...
One objective was to train rural residents in better methods of agricultural production and 
marketing to help them improv...
There is the potential for agricultural improvement throughout Venezuela, but expecially in 
the state of Monagas.
The soil in Monagas is among the most fertile in the country with the capacity to produce a 
remarkable variety of crops.
Dale Saville and the Cristo Rey farm committee spent a long time looking for the best land.
They found 140 hectares of good land, about an hour's drive from Maturin, but only a half-hour 
to 45 minutes from Quebrad...
Fences and a paved road divided the property into two parts.
A river formed the eastern and southern boundaries with enough water to irrigate 67 
hectares. Irrigation is critical for ...
The farm's soil was ideal for irrigation, an alluvial mix of clay, loam and sand.
The farm comittee acquired title to the land in February 2004 with the help of a loan from 
supporters in the United State...
In March 2004, the farm was able to buy a 75-horsepower tractor with contributions from 
churches in North Dakota and Mont...
Two tillage implements were included as part of the purchase.
The churches that raised money for the tractor and implements were rural churches small 
by North American standards.
Yet these same rural churche in 2005 provided funds to build a lagoon to catch and hold 
rainwater for irrigation.
The lagoon has the capacity to hold 1.5 million liters of water...
Also in 2005 the farm initiated livestock production with four bred cows. All soon calved 
and one gave birth to twins.
Cows of a native Venezuelan breed were artificially inseminated with Tarentaise semen 
donated by a breeder in North Dakot...
Fences, corrals and livestock pens were built.
This includes many kilometers of electric fence.
Teams of volunteers from the United States helped build fence as well as with other 
construction projects in the last fou...
Wranglers now can herd the cattle on horseback..
They also have the help of a stock dog.,
In 2006, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, St. Louis, Missouri, along with Lutheran 
World Relief, has supplied the fun...
The farm now has,more than 20 hectares of pasture which, enough to maintain 70 cows, 
100 goats and 100 sheep.
We are now up to 9 cows with 6 heifer calves which bring our “female” herd to 15. We have some 
nice looking bull calves t...
The livestock program also now includes sheep and goats. The sheep program is really 
great as the workers are the owners ...
The goats were purchased with money donated by St. Peter's Lutheran Church of 
Columbus, Indiana.
Our chicken program has started 500 chicks to provide fryers on a continuous basis.
We are also in the rabbit business. What a multiplication project. The workers had to 
really move to get cages ready for ...
There are more than 1,200 citrus trees in the farm's orchards...
There are 245 passion-fruit vines and 85 guava trees.
Other crops include corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and squash.
A small house serves as the farm's office and visitor's center..
A second house serves as a home and office for Pastor Armando Ramos..
Armando grew up in rural Venezuela himself although on the western edge of the country 
in the state of Barinas.
Pastor Armando was ordained August 1, 2004, at Cristo Rey Lutheran Church.
Since Pastor Armando's arrival in Monagas, the Tierra de Gracia evangelistic program has 
made tremendous strides. Roca de...
Bethel Lutheran Church in Rio Chiquito has increased Sunday attendance to 27 people New 
members continue to be baptized a...
Rundown facilities in Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca are being repaired. A new roof for 
Roca de Eternidad is nearly compl...
Evangelistic activities have included three vacation Bible schools and four prayer vigils at 
the rural churches as well a...
Amichel Ventura, a deacon at Cristo Rey in Maturin, assists Pastor Armando in caring for the 
rural churches.
Another member of the evangelistic team is Yumira Valderrey as Bible school teacher.
Eduardo Flores, a member of La Fortaleza Lutheran Church in Maracay, served as a vicar 
under the direction of Pastor Arma...
Tierra de Gracia also has provided opportunities for volunteers from the United States to 
help with revitalization of the...
People from various parts of the U.S. have been guests at the farm.
They have attended services at the rural churches and learned how Venezuelans worship..
Visitors have included formal representatives of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod World 
Missions, such as Dr. Jorge Groh an...
Other visitors have been North American youth sharing experiences with their counterparts 
in Venezuela.
The youth of the rural churches in Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca have become very 
active..
For the first time in many years, Bethel and Roca de Eternidad sent 12 to the Lutheran 
Church of Venezuela's annual youth...
The involvement of young people is one of the most exciting developments of Tierra de 
Gracia evangelistic program..
Their faces are the faces of the future.
So are the faces of the children at the vacation Bible schools that have been held at the 
farm.
At Tierra de Gracia itself, Pastor Armando leads about the workers in daily devotions. In 
addition, weekly adult Bible st...
On January 20, 2005, Pastor Armando performed the first baptism on the farm. in a special 
service with 75 people from Ban...
The child, José Enrique, was the son of one of the farm's workers.
On Sunday, June 12, 2005, Pastor Armando conducted the first formal worship service at 
Tierra de Gracia with 156 people i...
Americo Rengel, who is in charge of the cattle program, is another person whose life has 
been changed.
Americo has grown in responsibility as well as in his spiritual life. With confidence that we 
all have shown in Americo h...
Then there is Marelis Bolivar, a single mother of three, who is now in charge of the farm' s 
accounting..
In fact, there has been such a spiritual impact on the farm site itself that land has been set 
aside to build a church ne...
Actual construction of a new church at Tierra de Gracia Lutheran Farm began with a service 
near the farm office December ...
Those attending climbed the hill to where the new church will be built...
The service continued in the field across the road from the pastor's house.
The work continued later with the plotting of foundation posts.
The holes were dug.
Rebar was formed to create reinforced concrete.
The rebar was placed in the ground.
The cement was mixed...
...then poured.
Volunteers from Resurrection Lutheran Church in St. Louis came to the farm's aid once 
more.
They did a lot of work restoring the cattle barn.
A new floor was put in place.
The facility was completely roofed.
That is our progress to date. God's blessings from us at Tierra de Gracia to you and your 
families.
For more information, see the Tierra de Gracia Web site: 
finca.ilv-venezuela.net
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

2007 update on Tierra de Gracia agricultural mission

290 views

Published on

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

2007 update on Tierra de Gracia agricultural mission

  1. 1. “He put another parable before them, saying, For the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32.
  2. 2. This is an overview of Tierra de Gracia Lutheran Farm. Like the mustard seed, it grew from the smallest of beginnings into the Lordñ s garden in Venezuela, providing a place of spiritual retreat and refreshment and revitalizing rural Lutheran churches in the surroundign area.
  3. 3. When work on the project began in 2002, the farm looked like this. It had been abandoned for a number of years.
  4. 4. Much of Venezuela receives 60 inches of rain annually, but most of it from late May to mid December.
  5. 5. Untended fields soon look like this..
  6. 6. On the other hand, there are six months of little or no rain. By the end of the dry season, water levels in streams are low.
  7. 7. During the dry season, crops wither while insects feed on the leaves.
  8. 8. Then there is the risk of wildfire.
  9. 9. At first the workers hand only crude hand tools to clear and cultivate the land.
  10. 10. Thanks to donations from the United States, mechanical implements became available.
  11. 11. More donations made possible the purchase of a tractor. It was immediately put to work clearing and cultivating land.
  12. 12. Today the farm is a beautiful place.
  13. 13. Many types of fruit trees and other crops flourish..
  14. 14. Cattle and other livestock graze.
  15. 15. The farm's tranquil environment showcases God's creation and hints at what the Garden of Eden must have been like.
  16. 16. But the most wonderful aspect of the farm's development has been the spiritual harvest..
  17. 17. Let's back up. We, Dale and Sandra Saville, were sent as agricultural missionaries to the Venezuelan state of Monagas in 2000, after years of work among the Navaho.
  18. 18. Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod missionaries planted the Word of God in the hearts of people Monagas 50 years ago. The formation of the Lutheran Church of Venezuela began here in these rural parishes as well as Caracas.
  19. 19. But since then these rural churches have experienced many hardships.
  20. 20. In these rural districts today, unemployment runs as high as 80 percent of the population and typical family income is less than 2,000 U.S. dollars annually.
  21. 21. In this impoverished environment, many infirmities result from malnutrition and contaminated water.
  22. 22. At one time Sunday attendance in the rural churches of Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca, the two communities hardest hit by economic problems, averaged 80 people per week.
  23. 23. However, former members moved out of the area, seeking better jobs in the cities.
  24. 24. By the late 1990s, typical Sunday attendance had dropped to less than 20 – when there were Sunday services..
  25. 25. But when members of the rural churches moved to town they formed the core groups of some of the largest Lutheran congregations in Venezuela, such as Cristo Rey Lutheran Church in Maturin, the capital of Monagas.
  26. 26. In cooperation with Pastor Adrian Ventura and other members of Cristo Rey, Dale developed a business plan for a working farm to accomplish two objectives.
  27. 27. One objective was to train rural residents in better methods of agricultural production and marketing to help them improve their incomes and standard of living.
  28. 28. There is the potential for agricultural improvement throughout Venezuela, but expecially in the state of Monagas.
  29. 29. The soil in Monagas is among the most fertile in the country with the capacity to produce a remarkable variety of crops.
  30. 30. Dale Saville and the Cristo Rey farm committee spent a long time looking for the best land.
  31. 31. They found 140 hectares of good land, about an hour's drive from Maturin, but only a half-hour to 45 minutes from Quebrada Seca and Rio Chiquito.
  32. 32. Fences and a paved road divided the property into two parts.
  33. 33. A river formed the eastern and southern boundaries with enough water to irrigate 67 hectares. Irrigation is critical for crop production during the dry season.
  34. 34. The farm's soil was ideal for irrigation, an alluvial mix of clay, loam and sand.
  35. 35. The farm comittee acquired title to the land in February 2004 with the help of a loan from supporters in the United States. The congregations of Maturin, Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca gathered for a celebration on the farm.
  36. 36. In March 2004, the farm was able to buy a 75-horsepower tractor with contributions from churches in North Dakota and Montana.
  37. 37. Two tillage implements were included as part of the purchase.
  38. 38. The churches that raised money for the tractor and implements were rural churches small by North American standards.
  39. 39. Yet these same rural churche in 2005 provided funds to build a lagoon to catch and hold rainwater for irrigation.
  40. 40. The lagoon has the capacity to hold 1.5 million liters of water...
  41. 41. Also in 2005 the farm initiated livestock production with four bred cows. All soon calved and one gave birth to twins.
  42. 42. Cows of a native Venezuelan breed were artificially inseminated with Tarentaise semen donated by a breeder in North Dakota. This is an example of the Tarentaise breed.
  43. 43. Fences, corrals and livestock pens were built.
  44. 44. This includes many kilometers of electric fence.
  45. 45. Teams of volunteers from the United States helped build fence as well as with other construction projects in the last four years..
  46. 46. Wranglers now can herd the cattle on horseback..
  47. 47. They also have the help of a stock dog.,
  48. 48. In 2006, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, St. Louis, Missouri, along with Lutheran World Relief, has supplied the funds to buy four more cows.
  49. 49. The farm now has,more than 20 hectares of pasture which, enough to maintain 70 cows, 100 goats and 100 sheep.
  50. 50. We are now up to 9 cows with 6 heifer calves which bring our “female” herd to 15. We have some nice looking bull calves that buyers have shown some interest in purchasing.
  51. 51. The livestock program also now includes sheep and goats. The sheep program is really great as the workers are the owners of the herd and are learning to build up a better future..
  52. 52. The goats were purchased with money donated by St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Columbus, Indiana.
  53. 53. Our chicken program has started 500 chicks to provide fryers on a continuous basis.
  54. 54. We are also in the rabbit business. What a multiplication project. The workers had to really move to get cages ready for the new babies. We have sold quite a few as pet and the oldest ones we raised are about ready to eat.
  55. 55. There are more than 1,200 citrus trees in the farm's orchards...
  56. 56. There are 245 passion-fruit vines and 85 guava trees.
  57. 57. Other crops include corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and squash.
  58. 58. A small house serves as the farm's office and visitor's center..
  59. 59. A second house serves as a home and office for Pastor Armando Ramos..
  60. 60. Armando grew up in rural Venezuela himself although on the western edge of the country in the state of Barinas.
  61. 61. Pastor Armando was ordained August 1, 2004, at Cristo Rey Lutheran Church.
  62. 62. Since Pastor Armando's arrival in Monagas, the Tierra de Gracia evangelistic program has made tremendous strides. Roca de Eternidad (Rock of Ages) Lutheran Church in Quebrada Seca now has weekly attendance of 20 people.
  63. 63. Bethel Lutheran Church in Rio Chiquito has increased Sunday attendance to 27 people New members continue to be baptized and confirmed at both locations..
  64. 64. Rundown facilities in Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca are being repaired. A new roof for Roca de Eternidad is nearly complete while new bathrooms are being built at Bethel.
  65. 65. Evangelistic activities have included three vacation Bible schools and four prayer vigils at the rural churches as well as door-to-door visits with approximately 1,800 people.
  66. 66. Amichel Ventura, a deacon at Cristo Rey in Maturin, assists Pastor Armando in caring for the rural churches.
  67. 67. Another member of the evangelistic team is Yumira Valderrey as Bible school teacher.
  68. 68. Eduardo Flores, a member of La Fortaleza Lutheran Church in Maracay, served as a vicar under the direction of Pastor Armando. He worked with the youth of the rural churches and provided musical accompaniment during worship. That's Eduardo with the guitar.
  69. 69. Tierra de Gracia also has provided opportunities for volunteers from the United States to help with revitalization of the rural churches as well.
  70. 70. People from various parts of the U.S. have been guests at the farm.
  71. 71. They have attended services at the rural churches and learned how Venezuelans worship..
  72. 72. Visitors have included formal representatives of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod World Missions, such as Dr. Jorge Groh and his wife, Olga., shown here with Pastor Armando.
  73. 73. Other visitors have been North American youth sharing experiences with their counterparts in Venezuela.
  74. 74. The youth of the rural churches in Rio Chiquito and Quebrada Seca have become very active..
  75. 75. For the first time in many years, Bethel and Roca de Eternidad sent 12 to the Lutheran Church of Venezuela's annual youth gathering in 2005.
  76. 76. The involvement of young people is one of the most exciting developments of Tierra de Gracia evangelistic program..
  77. 77. Their faces are the faces of the future.
  78. 78. So are the faces of the children at the vacation Bible schools that have been held at the farm.
  79. 79. At Tierra de Gracia itself, Pastor Armando leads about the workers in daily devotions. In addition, weekly adult Bible studies draw 35 to 40 people to farm from the nearby village of Banco de Acosta.
  80. 80. On January 20, 2005, Pastor Armando performed the first baptism on the farm. in a special service with 75 people from Banco de Acosta and Quebrada Seca in attendance,.
  81. 81. The child, José Enrique, was the son of one of the farm's workers.
  82. 82. On Sunday, June 12, 2005, Pastor Armando conducted the first formal worship service at Tierra de Gracia with 156 people in attendance. Four adults were confirmed: José Luís Rivas, Leobardo Gamboa, Marelis Bolivar and Javier Alcantera.
  83. 83. Americo Rengel, who is in charge of the cattle program, is another person whose life has been changed.
  84. 84. Americo has grown in responsibility as well as in his spiritual life. With confidence that we all have shown in Americo he has blossomed into a man that holds himself in high esteem and self-confidence.
  85. 85. Then there is Marelis Bolivar, a single mother of three, who is now in charge of the farm' s accounting..
  86. 86. In fact, there has been such a spiritual impact on the farm site itself that land has been set aside to build a church near Pastor Armando's house. According to Pastor Armando Ramos, there is the nucleus of a congregation with about 9 confirmed Lutherans in the rural community surrounding the farm.
  87. 87. Actual construction of a new church at Tierra de Gracia Lutheran Farm began with a service near the farm office December 16, 2006.
  88. 88. Those attending climbed the hill to where the new church will be built...
  89. 89. The service continued in the field across the road from the pastor's house.
  90. 90. The work continued later with the plotting of foundation posts.
  91. 91. The holes were dug.
  92. 92. Rebar was formed to create reinforced concrete.
  93. 93. The rebar was placed in the ground.
  94. 94. The cement was mixed...
  95. 95. ...then poured.
  96. 96. Volunteers from Resurrection Lutheran Church in St. Louis came to the farm's aid once more.
  97. 97. They did a lot of work restoring the cattle barn.
  98. 98. A new floor was put in place.
  99. 99. The facility was completely roofed.
  100. 100. That is our progress to date. God's blessings from us at Tierra de Gracia to you and your families.
  101. 101. For more information, see the Tierra de Gracia Web site: finca.ilv-venezuela.net

×