Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stop 3 of 25: Planting seeds for success

Pierre, leader of FGW in southern Zimbabwe. Read Pierre's story here.
With Pierre (blue coat) and friends, checking out the deep green, tall maize/corn.
Matthew 9:37
"Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.'"

It's really a miracle to watch a small seed emerge into a corn stalk that can be eaten. Growing up as in suburban Boston, I remember being mesmerized when I'd visit dad's parents in rural Tennessee and playing in their 80 yard long/20 yard wide garden. My grandfather would bend down to the base of the corn stalk and explain to me how the little seed had grown and what was needed to make it grow: cover, water, light, and weeding. Back when I was a little kid, this hands on science lesson was merely a passing summer activity.

Little did I know that I would later spend a lot of time thinking about corn (or maize in Zimbabwe) and praying for tens of thousands of seeds you've helped grow around southern Africa. Forgotten Voices is proud to partner with an incredible ministry called Farming God's Way, which is also now known as Foundations for Farming. Seemingly every week, I'm telling more people to check out the ministry and learn how God is using a simple idea to transform a continent. Miracles are happening with FGW everyday!

Lots of people talk about volunteering their time, but the folks at FGW are literally equipping thousands of local farmers and demonstrating the love of Christ. The work they are doing requires more people like you to invest in Forgotten Voices so we can help them help even more!!! Will you join us in helping FGW reap an even greater harvest???

Farming God's Way is training local people in such an incredible way that I've witnessed personally on many occasions. Not only is FGW working to increase the yield of local, small farmers, but it is spreading the gospel and transforming seemingly hopeless situations into hopeful crops, hearts, and minds. FGW uses untraditional ways of covering crops with God's blanket (dry corn stalks, hay, leaves as mulch) and helps farmers learn to carefully measure the depth of holes, distance between holes, and which seedlings survive. This reduces clean up time and increases yield dramatically.

Imagine how this changes life for a kid. instead of weeding 6-8 hrs a day, the average FGW farm requires less than 30 min of weeding every day, while seeing 200-350% more yield than traditional farming. Children that had to stay home from school because there was too much work to do are now reconnecting with their studies and developing a greater sense of agency for themselves. This is particularly true for children orphaned by AIDS, who often don't have extra hands around the homestead to help them with their farming chores. FGW is dramatically changing the economic and spiritual futures of a new generation of leaders.

Every time someone receives training in FGW to improve their own crops, they have to go train others (typically 10 others) in their community so people rise out of poverty together. This helps more people benefit from our investment in FGW and strengthens the communal nature of Zimbabwean and Zambian culture.

Forgotten Voices is proud to support FGW, now for the 3rd year. October and November are planting months. By Forgotten Voices providing seed & farming supplies to FGW, with your support, we are helping equip local people and vulnerable children with the resources they need to meet their own physical & spiritual needs. We are equipping local church volunteers with training in FGW so they can share the miracles God is providing through FGW with those in their congregations and people across their communities.

This year, because of your support, an estimated 1,000 individuals will benefit from training, seeds, and support for the 100+ farms FGW is helping in southern Zimbabwe with our funding and a to be determined amount of farms in Zambia. An estimated 10,000 people will indirectly benefit because of the training that the 1,000 people you are enabling us to train because of FGW model of recipients training 10 of their neighbors.

PRAISE GOD! It's incredible how little seeds we help FGW buy and their volunteer network that is reaching so many will change the lives of people all over Zimbabwe and Zambia. How cool!!!! You give. We support. FGW equips. People eat. Kids live. AWESOME!

I don't look at corn the same way I did when I was a kid visiting Tennessee. Today, because of your investments and the good work of volunteers at FGW, everytime I see corn I see hope in the midst of hopeless situations. I see miracles from God.

To support this ministry, you can do the following:
1) Pray for the seeds that are being planted now.
2) Pray for rains to come.
3) Pray for financial support to come in so we can be prepared to buy seeds again in bulk incrementally over the next 6 months.
4) Give to ForgottenVoices.org to help us pay for the seed we've purchased, training travel costs, and farming training and planting materials needed.

What's Next?:
Join me tomorrow as I bring you through rough, dirt roads...up into the Matopos Mountains to Stop #4. We'll see the work of a rural school that is parntering with Forgotten Voices to care for 30 children. Buckle up though. The road out there is VERY bumpy, but the pictures and stories from our friends there inspire us daily. See you then!

-Ryan

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

God Bless you Ryan and all of the work you and Forgotten Voices does for God's children.