Looks like we’ve been quite busy the past few weeks. Another month has flown by. Today our grandchildren are having their summer holidays in the Netherlands. In Suriname, after months of school lockdown (many have not had any online lessons), the children are finally allowed to go to school for another month. In Suriname holidays start mid-August. In Lawa the children have their holidays now since they visit the school on the French side of the river.
With the proceeds from the clothing sale, we were able to provide the church’s sound system with new tweeters and a bass speaker. One morning of tinkering yielded a number of well-functioning speakers.
In the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany they suffer some severe flooding, but also here. It continues to rain much more than usual. Many vegetable gardens have been flooded and they are still under water. The cassava is rotting in the ground. Normally, the new vegetable gardens are cut open in July so that new cassava sticks are planted in time. This year, meteorologists expect heavy showers here until mid-August. The new planting season will therefore be late. We notice that people are quite concerned about their food supply for next year. This year shortages are expected also.
In this context, we are grateful for the Foundations for Farming project! We see that some of the people who received online training last January are already putting their acquired knowledge into practice on a small scale. They are very enthusiastic about the result. Their plantings grow much better with the advice they have received. They like to share their knowledge with the people in the other villages. Over the past few weeks, we have set up a testing garden together ‘in the middle’ of the village so that everyone can see the result.
The fish farm pilot project in Lawa has now been completed. The results are impressive. The small fish that have been bred in the breeding ponds now weigh more than 1 kilo. We are so grateful for this result. This fish has grown up without the risk of mercury pollution. They also learned some important lessons. The breeding ponds will soon be covered with a layer of cement. The plastic sheets that were used perishes in the strong sunshine. The roof will also soon be made of a sturdy leaf roof. There are already other villages that have expressed an interest in the project. We are grateful to EO Metterdaad (Dutch Christian Broadcasting Company) in the Netherlands for their contribution to the costs.
The Covid situation in the country is still serious. We hear little about new infections in the villages, while all regulations are not taken into account at all. In the jungle town of Maripasoula, the leader of the Baptist congregation died in the hospital in Cayenne last week from Covid. We understand from Anneke Kempeneers that more church members have Covid, fortunately not so serious that they need to go to a hospital. We are seriously taking into account that one of the variants will soon be circulating among the Wayana. At the end of this month they want to dedicate a new church building upstream to the Lord and have a three-day conference that weekend. We know that the health workers and the Medical Mission are concerned about this, especially since many refuse vaccinations.