“You’re such a chicken!” I find myself saying to the little chick, as she frantically clucks and waddles at full speed trying to catch up with the other chickens who have wondered down the drive. Sometimes, I can’t help but feel as if I am living in a Golden Book Story. Our chickens act exactly like the characters Henny Penny and Chicken Little, well they did that is, until we got the turkeys.
My family and I arrived back to Cozumel in September. We have been busy building a training center and farm for humanitarian aid workers on sustainable agriculture and aquaponics.
As part of the project, we have planted a variety of vegetables, flowers for the bees, and local fruit trees. We purchased 10 chickens, 50 tilapia – to use in the aquaponic tanks, and 5 queen bees. Recently, my husband came home with 3 baby turkeys, which changed the dynamics of the farm forever (or at least until Easter).
You ask, “What can three baby turkeys do to change the dynamic of the farm?” Well, let me enumeration the ways.
- The turkeys have taught the chickens bad behavior. The once scared chickens have found their bravado. They follow me, clipping at my heels and standing on my feet as I work in the garden. They even try to get inside the house, where our 150 pound mastiff patiently waits to eat them.
- Turkeys are crafty escape artists. We have built them a 12 x 12 foot yard, which they share with the chickens. The shade cloth roof has proved to be the wrong material to use. When the wind shifts or when it rains, the turkeys find the smallest flaw in the saturated fabric and climb onto the roost, plotting their escape. They jump onto the shade cloth, using it as a trampoline of sorts. Then, bouncing up and down, they get enough lift to gently sail to the ground. The chickens have followed their leaders.
- Turkeys are like locusts. The life of the turkey and the chicken is all about food. We feed them twice a day, plus give them scraps from the table. However, no matter how much you feed them, they always want more – thus their desire to escape into the garden. I’ve seen them as they walk by, they look at me and then nonchalantly snip off a leaf from my cucumber plant.
- Turkeys are insolent. They have no regard for the rules and are completely unabashed. I open my curtains in the morning, and at my sliding glass door, the turkeys and chickens whistle and sing when they see me.
- Turkeys have weaseled their way into the heart of my husband. Every morning my husband comes back from feeding the fowls with a big smile on his face and the same statement, “Those turkeys are so cute. I don’t know about eating them.”
Keeping this in mind, I left to Riviera Maya for a week. It rained the entire time. The turkeys and chickens escaped and proceeded to eat every plant right down to the stem.The garden was gone. The bees flew away, and 30 tilapia jumped right out of the tank and committed suicide. We had to start all over, almost from scratch.
The next Sunday I flipped open up my bible, and beaming off the page in pink highlighter, the words from John 4:35 stood out at me,
“Don’t you have a saying, “It’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” “Even now those who reap draw their wages, even now they harvest the crop for eternal life so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”
The Lord is good and He showed us to focus on the people. That is His ministry. Oh, the farm is still here…..11 chickens, 3 turkeys, 50 new fish and tons of beautiful plants, but our hearts are turned to serving the Lord’s people. The moment we stepped out in faith, He opened up the doors of church ministry again. Eric is now the executive pastor at the church we helped plant. He is teaching a men’s bible study and doing one-on-one discipleship programs. The Spanish Pastor’s wife and I are beginning a women’s bible study as well as a youth group program at the start of the new year. God has big plans for the people of this island.
In closing, I’d like to finish by telling you a little about how we celebrated Thanksgiving and how we are going to celebrate Christmas, as God has orchestrated so much.
Although Thanksgiving is distinctly an American and Canadian tradition, our friends in Mexico, both Americans and Mexicans, helped us to celebrate this year. We had over 50 people at our house, many of whom do not know the Lord, and who think Thanksgiving is merely a time to be thankful to one another. We were excited about the opportunity to share with them the true meaning of Thanksgiving ~
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Christmas Eve Blessing
Christmas in Cozumel is such a beautiful celebration. The children have concerts and dance recitals in the square,and the music from neighborhood parties can be heard into the wee hours of the night. However, when I think of the people in the squatter village of Las Fincas and what Christmas looks like for them, I pause. They are poor and their Christmas Eve meals will not even look close to the abundance we are used to in the U.S.
Here is where God shows up! Several weeks ago I was contacted by email from a woman in Arkansas. She wrote that she and her family will be vacationing in Cozumel over Christmas and would like to help us with our ministry. They are available to help on Christmas Eve. I tell her about the squatter’s village of Las Fincas and ask her if she would like to bring rotisserie chicken meals to bless the families there. I envision going door to door handing out the chicken meals. She loves the idea so much that she seeks others to donate towards the cause.
Last week, I received yet another email from another family who will be vacationing in Cozumel over Christmas, asking how they can help. God takes my plan of going door to door and creates something grand. With over $900.00 US to purchase about 150 rotisserie chicken meals, we have decided to have offer a Christmas blessing to the Las Fincas community. We will be setting up at the park, and inviting the families to hear the Good News of Jesus and the Christmas story. We will have games for the children and pass out the chicken meals to 150 families.
Here’s where you can help. If you would like to be a part of this ministry and mission, you can donate towards more family meals. The meals cost $6.50/family and 100% of your donation will go towards meals. Please click on the link below to donate via paypal, or email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. If you are on the island and would like to help in the Christmas blessing please contact us via email to find out all the details. May God bless you during this Christmas season and the coming New Year!