March 9, 2014

In Jamaica
This week we headed to Yallahs to get the broiler chicks for 5 of the 8 projects.  We are doing the purchasing and the members will work out the delivery of the rest of the chicks. We did however deliver this first batch to congratulate the members of the beginning of their first batch of chickens. When we got to Yallahs we were delayed by a school Peace Parade. The marching band was first, followed by the cheerleaders and the rest of the student body from several schools.  They marched about a mile up and back so they passed us twice while we were at the feed store buying the chicks and some feed.
 The chicks have arrived!! The members were so excited to have this finally beginning. We have been working on this for a year. This branch decided to start with 50 chicks this week and in three weeks will get the next 50. The church provides a coop, 18 bags of feed along with the 100 total chicks. This should get them to their first kill and sell day.  After that the members will be responsible to see that they manage their money and birds all on their own.  They have a support group in their branch of all the people in the project and also the other members in the Spanish Town District who have had projects. They will help them answer any question they may have.  It is a great way to build relationships with other members. This Yallahs group has been a wonderful example of how things should go. We presented the program to the branch president, he proposed  it to his branch members and after they agreed we presented the whole program to them.  Then they got to work and developed a marketing plan for each project, decided how much money they needed to sell their chickens for to replace the needed monies to buy new chicks and feed until their next sell day. The rest of the money they can use to expand their business or pay bills or what ever. That is of course this is after they pay their tithes and offerings.
 Brother George Williams was the construction foreman. We have probably told you of him before.  He is a new member of about 7 months now and a real asset to the branch. He taught the rest how to build by showing them how the step should be completed and then let them complete it.  By the end this little group was having devotionals at the end of each construction day. They had all 16 coops (2 for each project) built in a month and everyone who had a project helped build all of them.  He took each chick out of the box and lovingly placed it in his coop.  He mixed some sugar water to help give them a sweet  start in their new home. He then mixed up some medicine and placed it in the water pan to keep them disease free and fresh feed in the feed pans.  He was just so happy!
 Some painted their coops with old motor oil to keep termites away and stop wood rot.  The used oil is free and they say it will do the job. The mechanics are happy to get rid of the old oil. Bro McGown was painting his coop when we arrive.  He is a quiet man with a big heart.