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Don't count your chickens....

October 11, 2013

Here are some excerpts from a letter Luke wrote to a missionary who visited us in March, and did a mini seminar on Entrepreneurship for the Bible School students.

Dear Mr. Tinney,

I am thankful the Lord directed you to come visit us. It was a very timely visit. Your sharing was very appropriate for our situation. We have tried several things over the last few years to produce an income for the work here, but nothing has been real successful. I am motivated to try again, and I believe the Lord will help us be successful this time.

The girls side of the orphanage have been learning about crocheting and making a lot of cool things and starting to sell some of them. The boys are learning pottery, and have started making things with clay. We have just found a Christian businessman who is willing to display the items that the children are making in art class at their local clothing store.

For the rest of us, there are two main things we are focusing on right now: pigs and chickens.

We have recently started a piggery. Right now we are still struggling to fund it, but by early next year Lord willing, it should be generating enough income to keep itself going and hopefully be a big blessing to monthly expenses. A pig gave birth last week. She had 13 piglets. We have 5 other pregnant sows which should  birth about 50 piglets before the end of the year. We have 15 other females that we are hoping will be pregnant by the end of the year.  If we have 20 sows by next year as planned, then we should have 360-400 piglets born next year. We can either sell them or raise them for a bigger profit if we have a large enough food supply. We could also expand by continuing to multiply the sows next year, but we'll take it one step at a time. If we sell them as piglets, it would bring in an income of around $18,000-20,000. This would average out to $1,500-$2,000.  I am always holding this before the Lord since I am very aware that we need His help in everything. Up until now, we have raised them only for our own consumption, but not as a business. There is an unlimited market for pigs at this point.

We are just getting into raising chickens to sell. Our first 200 will be ready in October. Depending on the success, we hope to raise them by the 1000's in the coming months. The ones we're raising are called 45 day chickens. They can reach 6 pounds in 45 days with expensive feeds. There is a pastor who recently bought 60 chickens, raised them for a month, and sold them for 40% profit. They reached 4.4 pounds in 30 days. Since then, I have made a big effort to come up with our own feed. We finally gathered the necessary ingredients (rice hull, corn and fish meal). We have our own rice mill and our own hammer mill for grinding corn. This week we will hopefully complete our feed project which will work for both pigs and chickens. The cost is at only one third of the cost of buying feed.  It might take a little longer than 6 weeks with our own organic feed. We should be able to reduce the cost of our feed considerably when we harvest the 6 acres of corn that we recently planted at the ranch. Our estimate is that we should be able to make 100% profit on what we invest because of the reduced cost of food. What I would like to do is start conservatively to make sure of its success before we go bigger. I have started with 200 chicks.  We'll raise them for 3-4 weeks, sell them and look at the profits. If it really works, then we will try 500. What this means is that we have the potential to double the money that is invested.

Thanks again for the motivation,

God bless, Luke

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