Friday, December 5, 2008
Yesterday I promised the story of a miracle. If you have not had the opportunity to look at my post from yesterday, the one in which I made this promise, I suggest you give it a quick read (by clicking here) before continuing.
Now on to the story.
In order to fully appreciate the events which I am about to recount, a little context is necessary. Although the country was once considered the bread basket of Southern Africa due to its abundant natural resources and ability to produce plentiful crops, Zimbabwe has since fallen into economic and agricultural despair. There are many reasons for this degradation encompassing a complex array of political, economic, and cultural influences which are far too vast to summarize in the space of this particular post. However, the result of this decline has been the starvation of millions in Zimbabwe who are unable to grow crops because they lack the physical resources or training to do so. Not long ago, a Forgotten Voices team visited three children named Magret, Concilia, and Sheldon who live alone in a rural area because both of their parents had passed away from AIDS virus. Their major daily meal consists of boiled weeds that they collect from around the tiny hut in which they live. This is their only source of sustenance because they are unable to grow fresh food in the garden that their mothers once tended. Boiled weeds. Living in the land of stocked refrigerators and plentiful pantries, my heart breaks at the thought of dinner time for these children.
Forgotten Voices is working to change this. We are working tirelessly to empower children like Magret, Concilia, and Sheldon to provide for themselves and others by giving them the gift of farming. Forgotten Voices is accomplishing this goal in a unique partnership with an organization called Farming God's Way. Farming God's Way is involved in training and equipping the rural poor of Africa to realize the God given potential of their land. It is the goal of Forgotten Voices and Farming God's Way to bring about a great harvest in righteousness and faithful stewardship by uniting the Word of God with agricultural training for vulnerable children and their families.
What is so special about this training? I am glad you asked. Farming God's Way employs technologies that conform to the way God maintains and sustains His natural order. By understanding how God interacts with His creation to promote plant growth, Farming God's Way has initiated simple farming techniques that are extremely appropriate for the 700 million poor farmers in Africa who cannot afford expensive machinery, fertilizers, and related supplies. There is a specific emphasis placed on training community leaders and vulnerable children to effectively utilize the wonderful treasures God has provided in their own backyards to increase agricultural yields without expensive imported inorganic fertilizers and harmful chemical compounds. The results are astounding. Adult and children farmers in Zimbabwe using this method have seen their crop yields of corn, beans, and other vegetables increase by over 300 percent! One such farm is depicted above.
With God bringing about such incredible increases in crop yields through Farming God's Way, we at Forgotten Voices knew that this training was desperately needed by children like Magret, Concilia, and Sheldon. We just couldn't wait to share this news with our friends in Zimbabwe! So we endevored - with the gracious support of our donors - to provide the seeds, materials, and training to start 1,000 farms in rural Zimbabwe. I'll admit, it was an extremely ambituous goal especially since corn seeds were non-existant due to famine and the country was locked in a record drought which had shriveled the crops of even the most skilled farmers. So what happened? Was the goal of 1,000 farms acheived? Well, that's the second party of this story. And I will be glad to tell it tomorrow.
At the risk of making this post any longer, I encourage you to check in tomorrow for the conclusion of the miracle. While you wait, this is a great time for you to consider giving someone a farm for Christmas. That's right. A small donation of $30 will provide the supplies, equipment, and training for a family in Zimbabwe to learn the amazing Farming God's Way principles so that they can begin to grow their own food. Imagine giving the gift of sustainable sustanence! What an incredible opportunity God has granted us to use a small portion of our financial resources to change the lives of our brothers and sisters. If you like food, I encourage you to click here and give the gift of farming to someone who desperately needs it.
By His provision and with blessings,
Written by Jesse at 12/05/2008 09:33:00 PM