A Big Step Forward

Hello and God’s Blessings to you all from me (Mindi), John, and the whole TTTF family!  Again, I cannot believe the time has gone by so quickly and we are already in the middle of September before getting another blog post out to you! Suffice it to say, we have been BUSY, but busy in wonderful ways!

A quick update on each of our core microindustries

Roatan Glass Art continues to make their final strides toward self-sufficiency, despite low season persisting longer than expected. The ladies of RGA have now become almost totally independent in their inventory-ordering process. They also created an official “logo” to use on their website and creations. They are becoming more creative and efficient with their work, and they continue to excel at learning English. This has helped them tremendously with their sales in the store at Macaw Market, and they are getting more comfortable each week communicating in English and telling the stories of the various micros represented in our store.  We are so proud of them!

Cositas Preciosas (Precious Little Things) is growing and diversifying! Stephanie has begun making beautiful picture frames with sand and seashells, and has been using a lot more sea glass in her creations, which have become increasingly popular. We had a client in the store last week who came in specifically looking for her wind chimes because she couldn’t find anything similar on the island! Way to go, Stephanie!

Billie’s Gift microindustry was finally able to make its debut in the Microindustry Missions Market store this month and we couldn’t be happier! Dayana and Mindi have been working to make “Naked Sandals” (anklets that attach around the ankle and extend to the second toe, to be worn barefooted at the beach or pool). Having finally sorted through all the amazing things donated by Billie Davison, we are still in awe of the generosity (and organizational skills!) with which we have been gifted.  Both an anklet and a naked sandal were sold the first day they arrived in the store.  We are so excited to have Dayana as our newest TTTF family member, and she is going to fit in beautifully!

Tropical Wood Works has had a banner month this month after only a single facebook advertisement. Rolando is doing a fantastic job teaching David and Christian the trade of outdoor furniture making, and their creations are becoming more complicated and more elegant with every new job! TWW was recently awarded a contract with a new small hotel on the island, and this project will keep them occupied through much of October! John is continuing to write a software package to help track quotes, orders, invoices, payments, and production schedule for TWW with hopes to then expand the software to use with all our micros. We are so thankful for his many years of experience and expertise in the computer programming world!

Speaking of programming, we are also so grateful to report that TTTF was gifted 2 refurbished and updated laptop computers AND a refurbished desktop computer. (I am pretty sure these “refurbished” versions are nicer than any I have bought new before!) These generous donations from Sid and Barbara Sytsma in Hattiesburg, MS have made our work in each of the microindustries faster, more efficient, and much more secure than previously.  We hope to use one of the laptops in the store for point-of-sale and inventory tracking soon!  Thank you so much,  Sid and Barb! If anyone else has an old laptop or tablet they would like to donate, we can definitely find a student or someone in one of our microindustries who would be more than grateful to use it!

Our most exciting update

This exciting new development will affect both our Roatan Glass Art AND Roatan Glass Recycling microindustries. Thanks to a cooperative (and very sweaty) effort from John and several of our most ardent supporters in the states (here’s looking at you Ken Jordan, J Michael Bennett, John Marsh, Anthony Jordan, and Joe Molnar), we were able to make an incredibly secure plywood crate to ship a LARGE GLASS KILN to the island! The crate with the kiln and various glass supplies was trucked to Miami, and is now on a container ship making its way to Roatan! Up until now, Roatan Glass Art has been making all their beautiful creations in a tiny counter-top kiln (about the size of a small toaster oven) that holds only 4-5 small pieces at a time. The new kiln is about the size of a dorm refrigerator and is able to accommodate several shelves, increasing the space at least 20 fold compared with the current kiln. This is going to open the possibilities for creating larger pieces such as decorative plates/platters and other larger fused and slumped glass art. Roatan Glass Recycling will also use the kiln to work with the myriad of recycled glass bottles we have collected. One of the first endeavors will be to make glow-in-the-dark paving stones from recycled glass. We truly think this is going to be a game-changer for both these microindustries, and we are so thankful to all who helped make this seemingly insurmountable feat possible!

And finally…

John and I will be making our way to the mainland next week to attend the annual conference for the Honduran Fellowship of Missionaries and Ministries (HFMM). This is an important time to network with other missionaries in Honduras, to get any of our logistical/legal questions about the mission answered, and to worship and pray with and for the others with the same heart for Honduras that we have. We would covet your prayers for safety, productivity, and spiritual renewal while we are there.

We are praying for you, and we appreciate your love, prayers, and support more than you can imagine!

God’s Blessing to you all!

John, Mindi, and your TTTF family

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