Friday, May 19, 2017

BEES ON A TRAIN...


  This year I have turned my research focus into how to grow my apiary (fancy name for a bee farm!).  I have spent the last two weeks chasing down swarms of bees (bees split their hive in the spring to make space in the hive) and also doing cutouts (when bees make hives in the living quarters of us humans).  

    Yesterday was an interesting day of bee catching.  I received a tip that there was a bee swarm on the brake of a train in Westlake, LA.  The train company wasnt able to disconnect the train car for fear of being stung by the bees.  I quickly loaded up the truck full of my bee equipment and drove there as fast as legally possible.  When I had arrived the train company had evacuated all their personnel for a quarter mile!  They were so worried.  I tried to explain to them about the importance of bees and that I would have them safely removed within a few hours.
   The bees were very calm and I vacuumed most of them up in my bee vacuum (that I made of course).  When I couldn't get to the rest of the bees at the top of the brake system gears, I decided to turn the brake gears gently to get the bees to move out.  And move out they did!  They swarmed out of the brake and thousands upon thousands of bees flew all over the surrounding cars!  I gently retreated back to my pickup for a few minutes while they calmed down.  Finally they began clustering on another car.

I quickly moved my equipment and began vacuuming again.  I quickly was able to suck the rest of the bees up and they were now safely in a sealed bee box in the back of my truck.  The train company man was quite thankful to say the least.
   Now came the difficult part.  I had to transfer the bees to their new home at my farm.  I tried to gently dump the bees in their new box.  Most of the bees went right in, but a few landed on the ground.  They refused to fly up to their new box.  I watched them like a helicopter parent the whole evening and they never went into their new home, now matter how much I tried to coax and convince them.  I finally gave up and moved a small topbar hive to the ground next to them to see if they would go into it.  To my delight they quickly covered the front of the hive and several went inside.  So, I made myself a deal.  I would let them "bee" for the night and check on them first thing in the morning.

I went out the next morning to find them exactly as I left them.  I decided something had to be done.  I had to get them to move into the "Happy Honey Hotel"!  After googling the signs and symptoms I came to the conclusion that the queen bee had yet to enter the hive.  I donned my bee suit once more and lit my smoker.  I was going to get them in the hive if it was the only thing I did today!
My plan was simple.  I was going to move the hive to the ground next to them and smoke them into the hive.  To put it simply, my plan worked.  They marched right into their new home!!!  After leaving them alone for about an hour I went out to check and see if they stayed.  Most of them had but several hundred were once again clustered up on the ground in front of the hive.  I am going to just let them "bee" for the next few days and see what happens. Check back in a few days to see the final outcome of my "Bees on a train"!
   

Thursday, December 29, 2016

FIRST FRUITS SUNDAY





Dear Friends and Brethren,
We need your help this year as we strive to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.  At the Manna Project, it is our mission to enable and equip Gospel Preachers, Preacher training schools, and orphanages around the world to be self-supporting.  This takes funding and we need your help financially to achieve our goals.  It is our goal to raise the majority of our operating funds for 2017 by the end of January 2017.  We believe doing this will allow us to spend more time in the field laboring and less time spent fundraising continually throughout the year.
We are asking that you consider supporting us with your giving on January 29, 2017.  This is a fifth Sunday and we are endeavoring to raise $3,000 from 100 congregations and individuals.  We have already had one congregation donate $5000 toward our goal. Will you consider partnering with us in this great work?  Let me give you five reasons why we believe you should:
1. We are faithful to God and His word.  We have been entrusted with God’s word and we take that trust seriously.  Our commission is to “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2).  James says it is the “engrafted word which is able to save our souls.” (James 1:21)  
2. We are faithful in spreading Gods word.  Jesus said to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)  Currently we are working in Uganda, Haiti, Nepal, DR Congo, Tanzania, Philippines, Cuba, Ghana, Cameroon, and Togo.  This year, in Uganda alone, we have had almost 200 conversions and planted over 10 congregations of the Lord’s Church.
3. We are faithful in training men to preach the Gospel.  This year began the first year of the Rwenzori School of Preaching in Kasese, Uganda.  This work is currently equipping 11 men to go into Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, and hopefully soon even the South Sudan.
4. We are faithful in our organization.  The Manna Project is overseen by a faithful eldership in Vidor, TX.  These men oversee all the funds and the work that goes forth from the Manna Project.
5. We are faithful to you.  We strive to provide current and honest reports of the work we do which you support (Acts 14:27).  This is done through several mediums such as paper newsletters, email, face to face reporting, blog site, and Facebook.  We love telling of the good work that God allows us to do together throughout the world.

2016 has been a great success for the Manna Project even though we struggled throughout much of the year to have access to the funds needed to work effectively and efficiently.  We pray that we can be free from financial stresses in 2017 so that our work can continue to spread throughout the world.  Will you help us in this cause?  We pray that you will.  If so, please let us know by January 15th, 2017.  
I have attached images that you can use to inform the congregation of this needed work.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me at mannaprojectinfo@gmail.com.

In Christ,


Gage Coldwater





Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Update from Rwenzori School of Preaching

Here is an email I recently received from Mbusa Benard, Director of the Rwenzori School of Preaching.  I hope it encourages you as much as it does me!

Greetings to all sponsors of the RSOP in Uganda. Thank you for the Lord`s work and the pure gospel you are proclaiming in spearheading towards winning souls to the most High.
The school is doing well, however; some thieves attached our projects, taking some of our live stock, food and domestic utensils, some tight measures will be applied for good security.
The school is doing intensive evangelism around Kasese district and other areas of western Uganda; we plan to put up more congregations in every district; our students are now doing the work perfectly and are sent out preaching for the new congregations we open, we also work with other men who help us in evangelism from Isengera and Buhunga congregations and the school helps them with some money to do the work perfectly; they work with Jeremiah in moving to many places and the school pays for their journeys.
The school has started helping some new congregations in buying land and setting up shelters like Butohyo and Lyanda churches and we still have many requests seeking for help.
I have done connections with the preachers in Congo to work with church in Uganda and the School and will be invited to school for more discussion; we plan to start where we stopped from when some men evangelized Congo including myself; we planted two congregations i.e. Thako and Kithoma;the Lord willing; more work will be done there.
It has been a blessing to have a preaching school in western Uganda; which had remained behind in getting training centre; though western has more Churches than any other region.
We always mention you in prayers to keep the faith and continue supporting our work; may the Lord bless you abundantly.

Yours in Christ 
Mbusa Benard-Director RSOP
Here is a picture of a goat we purchased after one of ours at the school was stolen.
 This is a picture of some of the school workers laying a brick foundation to hold a water holding tank for the school.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August missions update


RWENZORI SCHOOL OF PREACHING - UGANDA
After two quarters have been completed at the school there are many milestones to be reported and much to look forward to.   The students regularly go on evangelistic campaigns which have resulted in the planting of 6 new congregations and over 150 baptisms.   They are truly putting their education into practice! 
Gregg Knight is planning on traveling to the school September 5-16 to work at the school and I look forward to hearing his report from his upcoming trip.  Gregg is a special individual.  He has sacrificed and worked diligently over the last few years.  Recently because of money constrictions at the Manna Project, he took on extra work by becoming the located evangelist in Denison, TX.  I appreciate his work and his love for God and his people.
I will be traveling nearly every week until January trying to raise funds for the Manna Project and also give reports to our current supporters.

One of our younger pigs in his own feed bowl!


The school farm continues to flourish as we strive to be a self-supporting school and teach the students to be self-supporting.   We have been rearing breeder pigs since February and our sows were bred last month and are looking forward to many piglets being born in late October. 








They also recently were able to harvest corn from the farm to feed the pigs and the students!

Corn harvested at the school used to feed both students and livestock!
We have also been able to harvest lots of tomatoes, okra, kale, and many other vegetables. These vegetables are going a long way towards helping our school become self-sufficient! Just look at the piles of tomatoes they are harvesting!

Raymond carrying tomatoes from the field!

Piles of tomatoes to be consumed at the school!

Our Guinea pigs continue to reproduce and our two goats recently turned into three!

Our two original goats on the left and our new kid on the right!

We are planning on soon building over 50 Kenyan topbar hives to produce honey to sell,eat, and pollinate our gardens.  We are confident that by December of 2017 this school will be self-supporting!


Maurice Gasper (our farm manager and teacher) working a top bar hive!

HAITI

I am planning to very soon take a trip to Haiti to resume our work there trying to encourage the church growth and self-supporting education of the local preachers.   I will be conducting two seminars there, one on the church leadership (elders) in which I will teach them about qualifications and responsibilities of elders and deacons.  We are also going to be teaching a seminar on top-bar beekeeping to the local preachers, members, and anyone else interested.  Please be praying for this work as we prepare for it.

MANNA PROJECT RESEARCH FARM

We continually are striving to grow in our knowledge to be able to train more preachers to be self-supporting through agriculture.  It is our objective to always (if possible) to practice what we preach at our research farm.  This year we have had several projects going that we believe are going to be very beneficial in helping preachers around the world become self-supporting.  

TOP-BAR BEE KEEPING
Bee keeping is a very profitable and useful trade to learn.  It is able to provide several income streams through the selling of honey, pollen, wax, and also through pollination.  There are many methods and types of beekeeping.  We have decided to do top-bar keeping because it is very economically feasible to peoples in developing countries.  The hives are simple and inexpensive to build from a wide number of products such as wood and even sunflower stalks.  The bees traditionally are more gentle in this style of hive and thus easier to work for the bee keeper.  At our research farm we currently have two langstroth hives that we started this year, one we purchased in the spring and the second hive we caught a swarm of bees!  We plan on building about 20 top-bar hives this fall and in the spring to fill them with bee packages!

Pure honey extracted from 3 frames of one hive.


Swarm of bees that landed on our old pop-up camper.

Swarm of bees caught and moved into a new Langstroth bee hive.

Natural comb formed from the lid after just a few days in the hive because I didn't have enough frames in the hive when they were caught.
Our first bee hive in our herb garden.


My little beekeeping helpers in their new bee suits!

 COTURNIX QUAIL RAISING
Raising Coturnix, also called Japanese quail, can be easy, with the proper knowledge. Their space requirements are very small, compared to other birds and poultry. These birds don’t eat a lot, convert feed into protein efficiently, and are much more friendly creatures than even the sociable chicken. The eggs are easily incubated and the incubation period is sixteen to eighteen days. The Coturnix Quail mature to butchering size in six weeks with a average weight of 5-6 oz. This quail will begin laying eggs at seven to eight weeks old and reach a slaughtered weight of 4-5 oz. We recently incubated some quail eggs and the quail that hatched have now reached seven weeks and laid their first egg yesterday. We currently have 9 females and 3 males in our breeding pens. We also have ten males in the feeder pen that we plan on butchering soon. We will be taking all the eggs from them and incubating them to try to build up our flock to around one hundred females that are laying.

Quail eggs hatching.
Baby quail that just hatched.

Baby quail in their brooder tub.


Breeder quail in top pen and feeder males in middle pen.

Feeder quail to be soon butchered.

Breeder quail with the first egg they laid.


Male Coturnix quail - notice the reddish/tan chest feathers.

Female quail - notice the speckled chest feathers.



















Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rwenzori School of Preaching Opens!!!

RWENZORI SCHOOL OF PREACHING - ALPHA CLASS 2016

Monday, January 18th, marked the opening day of classes for our "ALPHA" class of students at the Rwenzori School of Preaching in Kigoro, Uganda (Near Kasese).  So far we have a good number of students and they are eager to work and learn.  They will be at the school for two full years where they will learn the Bible, English, how to preach, evangelism, and how to be self-supporting through agriculture.  These students will be actively involved in evangelistic campaigns throughout southwestern Uganda on the weekend.  These men are required to be hard working and diligent in both their studies and also on the school farm as they endeavor to produce their own healthy food.  This opportunity allows them to learn how to farm multiple crops and raise many kinds of animals.
Maurice Gasper and Gregg Knight constructing the pig barn.
Pictured left is our farm manager and teacher, Maurice Gasper as the work to construct a pig barn.  I met Maurice several years ago in Tanzania when I was teaching an agricultural course at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching.  He quickly showed his desire for learning and willingness to lead and we began using him to teach courses all across Tanzania and Kenya.  He has agreed to come to the school for two years and teach and manage the school farm and also train another man to take his place.  Maurice is a genuinely gentle soul.  He is quiet and meek but his strength of character and integrity demands respect from all who meet and know him.  He arrived at the school this week ready to work and has already begun working with Gregg on several projects including tending the large gardens, harvesting the corn, building several barns (pig, chickens, and rabbits so far), and building a plant nursery.  I cant wait to see what the future holds for this part of the school.
I plan to fly to Uganda to assist these two brothers at the school.  Please keep us in your prayers as we work to spread the borders of the kingdom!

Small Rabbit Barn
Corn Harvested this week
Watering the garden
Okra

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Blankets and Mattresses for Dhading Besi

This week brother Pramod Dhakal plans on delivering blankets and mattresses to the struggling refugee camp at Dhading Besi Nepal.  This is the same camp we delivered 150 bags of rice to about a month ago.  If you would like to donate money to help pay for these items please go to our donate page and help us help them!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Construction update at the Rwenzori School of Preaching

Construction is going well.  The walls and trusses are up on the main building and the roof should go on this weekend.  We are also trying right now to purchase some additional acreage for the school so that we can produce much more food for our students and to make the school more self supporting.  Check out the pictures below of the progress being made.  Its hard to believe we started this whole project back in February buying the land, laying the foundations in May, and now getting close to finishing!

Trusses are up on the roof of the Auditorium!

New purchased Bibles to distribute.

The additional land we are hoping to purchase for the farm.

Putting the Trusses in place.