Dear family, friends, and supporters of the Chandler family,
Greetings from Santo Domingo! My name is Matthew Coffey, I am Jason’s colleague and EMI’s Communication Director and Editor. I am writing to you at the end of a project trip Jason led to the village of Guayabal in the hills of western Dominican Republic. As a member of Jason’s team, I would like to share something with you about this project.
As a long-time EMI staff member and former EMI India Director & project leader for 15 years, I know it is sometimes challenging for our project leaders to share about what they are doing in the field with EMI. There are so many critical details to look after and new problems to solve seem to arise with each step of progress. And when they reach home after the long days out of the country, their wives and children need everything they have left to give. So I am giving him a break from self-reporting to you for once.
I want you to know that Jason’s investment in the people of Guayabal, in person and remotely for the last two years, has yielded much fruit. Jason has walked out EMI’s vision of ‘people restored by God and the world restored through design’ in fantastic ways through this project. Jason’s efforts have helped restore an agricultural water system that was defunct for over a decade, thereby restoring 400 acres of farmland, which was dead, brown, and fruitless. We saw that well over half of that land is now green and bearing fruit, and Guayabal’s happy farmers are recovering more land as I write.
But I also witnessed the rapport Jason had with the community leaders and the consistent witness of his walk with Jesus to men who are ‘non-practicing Catholics’, lost in a culture of machismo and sexual promiscuity. As we worked with trainees from the community, we taught them the parable of the sower, moving deeper into Jesus’ words each morning. I want you to understand that, in this project, EMI’s teams have invested in this work not just with technical training and the restoration of farming produce and income, but in a spiritual ministry toward people. Jason has been central in that effort & witness and the results are precious.
Thank you for enabling Jason to pursue God’s call on his life as a Civil Engineer and be part of the ministry of EMI. I wrote this letter to help you share in the fruit of it. I leave you with a quote from one of the welding trainees, Nicolàs (pictured below), a 39-year-old who extended his interview to tell me this:
“I understood the story about the soil you told us this week. I am good soil and the seed will bear fruit – up to 90 times. I will share what I learned in welding, and the word of God will give fruit in my life.”
Amen, Jesus, make it so. Grace,
Matthew J. Coffey