Praise God! The automatic milking barn at the Ranch is complete! This new, state of the art facility is a blessing to HOI and we hope it will be a blessing to the surrounding area. This would not have been possible without the leadership of HOI’s Director of Agriculture, Nelson Echeverria, and Dr. Dan Lohnes. Please read Dan’s words below, celebrating the completion of this project:
Please read Exodus chapter 3. This is the story of how God speaks to Moses in the form of a burning bush. As I read this chapter what strikes me is how much this takes Moses off guard. Moses is out tending his sheep. He is not looking for an encounter with God. After arguing with God a bit, Moses accepts the work God puts before him.
In 2014 I went to Honduras with the idea of spending a year or two there to help teach in their veterinary school in Catacamas. I thought that was what God was calling me to do. My wife had given her consent and we even talked about housing. So one morning Nelson and Jose drove me over to Catacamas to visit the school and meet with their leaders. It did not take me long when we got there to realize that this was not my calling. I can’t say that I heard God speak to me but I knew He was telling me that this was not my calling. I was very confused and upset.
While in Catacamas we were also scheduled to visit another facility that has a school and a large agricultural program. We toured their modern dairy and we watched them harvest sorghum for silage. This operation is much like the dairy operations here in the USA and is very impressive. Nelson and I stayed the night at that facility. I went to bed confused and troubled about what was I doing in Honduras and what did God want me to accomplish there. I prayed for direction, I prayed for God to send me my burning bush.
I awoke early the next morning to the very distinctive sound of a modern dairy operation, the pumps, and the pulsating noise of milking machines – a milking barn. Again, I cannot say I heard God speak, but I got this message as plain and clear as if He was speaking directly to me.
God’s message to me was that I would wake up to this sound of a modern dairy at the Rancho Paraiso and also that it was my job to see it through to completion. I was elated to have God speak to me and to have a mission that was within my area of knowledge and expertise. Plus, God was not asking me to move away from my family.
Well, that was 6 plus years ago. With a lot of help from many many people including my brother Rick Lohnes, mi Honduran hermano Nelson, my mentor Fred Ingle and after much convincing my other mentor Jerry Eickhoff, yesterday at the Rancho Paraiso, for the first time, you could hear the sound of a modern dairy operation – our milking barn. Please see attached video of the HOI Ag team receiving training on using the equipment. Praise God for this wonderful accomplishment by so many people.