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Melissa, CVT
"To the Ends of the Earth"

December 2018

Dear friends,

I can’t believe my third full year here is coming to an end. How much I have learned in these past three years—from a new language, new cultural customs, new animal diseases I had never seen before, to setting up a business, moving to a small village, and successfully training 80 local believers to be village animal health workers. All I can say is that it is only by God’s grace that I am able to live here and carry out the vision that he has given me. It has been hard watching more and more westerners leave this country because of visas and other reasons. There is always uncertainty every time I fly in and out and go through customs because you just never know when they will start questioning you and deny you entry. It has happened to some friends of mine with perfectly viable visas like myself.  Living with this kind of uncertainty has really made me lean on and trust God more instead of on myself. It has also helped me to really focus on trying to build a model that is sustainable so that when I do have to leave, the ministry will continue. This is something that a lot of western missionaries fail to do. Sustainability sounds great in theory, but in reality, it is really really hard to achieve! 
Our most recent group of trainees
As I enter 2019, I can’t help think that I am one year closer to 2022, the deadline stamped on my visa document. Of course, I would like to be here as long as I can, but whether my actual “deadline” here is 2022, next year, or in 20 years, it doesn’t really matter. I want to make the most of every single day I have here—leaning on God fully and being used by him to further His kingdom. As I enter into a new year I ask for you to partner with me in prayer about steps I can be taking towards the sustainability of my work and ministry:

1. I am wanting to take steps to grow my small team. For these last three years, it has just been me, Nalam, and his wife Premila doing everything together. I have poured into Nalam everything I know, and now I feel it is time for him to start training someone to work under him. Recently we found a young man named Aron who lives in our village that is in need of work and is very interested in what we are doing. He joined our team as an assistant in November and Nalam has taken him under his wing.  We have also recently hired a driver full time. And lastly, there is a couple from America that is in the process of applying to join my team long-term as well. Please pray for discernment as I slowly begin bringing in others to share in the ministry and vision. Pray for unity and good understanding as we work and minister together.
Our new assistant Aron
2. We are getting lots of requests for training these days by local churches, mission organizations, and NGOs. It has been exciting to see how God is opening up so many opportunities to use animal health as a way of sharing the Gospel and doing outreach in villages. The great thing is that our training model really has the potential to be sustainable since the organizations requesting the training are offering to pay all the expenses. The trainees buy the medicines and equipment from us and mark them up to make a profit themselves, so they are able to support themselves and ministry through the work. Please pray for us as we continue to fine tune our training program and continue to build deeper relationships with those we have already trained. Some have fallen through the cracks and stopped doing the animal health work because we haven’t properly followed up with them. The relational aspect of what we do here is so important! Our desire is not just to give people a week-long training and send them on their way, but to support them, disciple them and partner with them in their ministry. 

3. We have been praying about the future and sustainability of our small goat farm as well. Ideally, I would like to see the farm function as a true business as mission model. Which means it needs to be financially sustainable eventually. For this to happen, we ultimately will need to scale up our business, which may mean having to purchase land. This is something we are praying about and currently researching. I feel that the place we are at right now is exactly where God wants us to be, and I don’t envision moving anytime soon. However, we are limited by the size of the land and the non-permanent lease agreement, so it is always good to be thinking about the future, especially when it comes to business. Nalam has the vision to continue running the farm himself in conjunction with the animal health training. So we are praying about what steps need to be taken to pursue a sustainable business as mission model. It seems that running a successful business is quickly becoming the only way to live here as a foreigner legitimately. Will you join with me in praying about these things? And if any of you feel led to give financially to this vision, I have a Special Project account for my training farm set up here https://cvmusa.org/special-project/sps2119/.

I will be spending this Christmas in Nepal with some friends. It’s not the same as being home with family, but I am very much looking forward to having a little break from my busy life of traveling, training, and goat rearing. Unfortunately, goats don’t take breaks, so I am very fortunate to have two wonderful farm staff that will look after things while I am gone.

Thanks for partnering with me,

Melissa

Melissa 
melitty@gmail.com

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