Farming with God is changing lives in Zambia
Karin Fendick | Zambia
Reaching out with God's truth and practical training
OMer Rick Fendick believes the root of all knowledge is between the covers of the Bible, and this is where he begins every Foundations for Farming training session. The vision of the ministry is:
“To bring transformation to individuals and communities through faithful and productive use of land, using a very simple conservation farming method with an implementation management teaching, which when followed helps people to apply the gospel to their lives.”
A village gathering
Farmers and gardeners gathered in Katuba village to hear Rick speak on how God has already provided all that they need to both farm and live successfully. They listened intently, nodding in agreement with God’s call for them to steward the resources He has given. They were eager to learn the four principles that undergird Foundations for Farming: “On time”, “At standard”, “Without waste” and “With joy.”
The participants all agreed that farming is a struggle, with little money for fertiliser, chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) and seeds. They were excited to learn how to conserve water by blanketing their fields; use ashes from their daily cooking instead of buying lime to neutralise the acidity in the soil; make thermal compost to replace expensive fertiliser and grow true breeding varieties of plants so they can harvest seeds for future years. Recipes were distributed for homemade pesticide sprays made from simple ingredients like dish soap, garlic, hot peppers and baking soda. One villager offered a prayer of gratitude to the Lord:
"Father in heaven, I thank You for these teachings. I thank You for sending us someone who can give us alternatives to the expensive things we don’t have money to buy. Thank You for showing us we can use what we have and still succeed. Continue to teach us how to farm for You, in the name of Jesus, Amen."
There were also times of practical, hands-on training. The villagers learned how to use their hoes as measuring devices to create straight plots; proper spacing for the planting holes and more. The team could see how much they had learned as they witnessed them helping, correcting and teaching each other their new skills.
It encouraged the team to know that by equipping them, they will be able to equip others, empowering them to effectively feed their families and also help those around them who are less fortunate. This is stewardship in action, the heart of Foundations for Farming.
A life transformed
God is also busy at the OM Zambia base in Kabwe. Moses Chongo is Rick’s assistant, running the model gardens. He shared how knowing Christ has impacted him:
“In my life it was hard to not do bad things. I was always with many girls, too many girls,” he remembered. “I didn’t want to go to church. I started thinking Jesus was really real in 2012, but life was still hard, I was drinking too much beer.”
When he began working with Foundations for Farming this year, he got serious about following Christ. He started attending church regularly, finding a place to serve. “Even my father stopped drinking and started going to church,” he shared. Not only is their method of farming changing, but the whole family is being transformed.
Moses is beginning Missions and Discipleship Training in January 2017 and wants to continue learning more about the things of God and His way of farming so that he can teach others in the future, taking the good news to places near and far. When asked about his dreams for farming Moses said “In Zambia farming is very, very important, and when I start teaching people, I can help. We will see more crops grow well and give glory to God.”
Please pray with us that this year's crops will flourish and more local farmers will be touched by what the Lord can do.
Published: Thursday, 06 April 2017
Credit: Karin Fendick