We are serving the farmers of Uganda...
We work under Equip Canada, a registered Canadian charitable organisation that assists the local church in ministries to the poor. We work with rural farmers teaching them a life changing curriculum called Farming God's Way. Check out our links to our web page and to the various organizations we are associated with.
How are you, our people?” This is a question in Luganda – the main language here in Uganda. We hope you can answer “Tulibulungi” which means “We are fine”. Yes, we do hope you are fine and that the New Year has got off to a good start.
Since the New Year I have not really set any goals or aspirations. This is not because I lack motivation but because it seems that the New Year actually started with our return to Uganda in October. Since the end of October this has been a season of new things – a new school year for the boys, a new baby on the way, a new season of work here in Uganda. Although we have served in agriculture missions for some time, this is the first time we are exclusively training and teaching farmers full time. Previously we have worked alongside existing programs and organizations so it is very exciting to start off this new year with a fresh start into a new phase of serving in God’s Kingdom.
Farming God’s Way seminars
Farming God’s Way-(FGW) www.farming-gods-way.org has become our main source of material and inspiration for the work we are doing. I first attended a FGW seminar a year ago at New Hope Uganda where we used to live and serve. The FGW seminar addressed the many challenges I saw facing the Ugandan farmers – the solutions are both spiritual and technical (because the problems are both spiritual and physical). It was not difficult for us to adapt and start using the material for our work.
Since returning we have put on three two-day seminars and by the time this letter reaches you we will have started our village seminar series in the local Deliverance Churches (DC). Our very first seminar was done at our home church, DC Walukuba. Our pastor wanted me to teach the congregation and the leadership team so that when we took the seminars to the village our members would know and understand what is being taught. We now have a Well-Watered Garden (a FGW demonstration plot) at the church property that the congregation is very excited about. The next pair of seminars after this first one was meant to serve the local farmers, church leaders and NGO members interested in farming. These two seminars at the beginning of February were very successful with over 60 people attending and a total of over 30 NGO’s and churches being represented during the two seminars. Each class put in a Well Watered Garden which was the training ground for applying what they learned.
Farming God’s Way seminars
Over the next month we are heading to rural areas mostly within about 80km of Jinja. We will train church members from our Deliverance Church family. On March 17-19 we will be running a more extensive three day seminar in Mbarara in Western Uganda (about 400km from our home in Jinja). This will be exciting to see a new group of people embrace FGW in a region where we used to live (2003). These seminars are very revolutionary for farmers; we are taking the farmers on a journey from poor management skills to a very careful management system at the same time they are introduced to the idea of zero tillage and constant mulch cover which replace the traditional ideas of how farming should be done. They will very likely see more than a tenfold increase in crop yields if they uphold FGW principles.
Well Watered Gardens
A Well Watered Garden is a small demonstration plot where farmers learn about praying over the land and breaking curses over it, about carefully measuring the plant spacing, minimal/ zero tillage principles, the importance of maintaining God’s Blanket (mulching) and many other FGW principles. These gardens are a “light” in the community. They are well kept, well watered and are generally grown in the dry season so that local farmers can assess what FGW is all about before they give it a go in the next rainy season.
Life has not been without it’s struggles since coming back to Uganda. Although we are excited about our next baby, Jane has felt very sick with the regular “morning sickness” but has had additional troubles such as a severe sinus infection which she is just getting over now. The boys have all had malaria once and I have had trouble with my teeth – having a root canal done and crown to be put on soon. We have also had trouble with our house help as our girl Ruth who had learned very well how to keep our home left without notice a few weeks ago. Another girl who we had been helping out by letting her stay here has also recently left as we could not tolerate her lying and deceitfulness any longer. We have a new helper who is just learning the ropes which is a bit hard on Jane as she has little energy to train a new worker. We also had a visit from Cindy Benda who spent over a week in Jinja; Cindy will return within the year to join the Equip Team here. Cindy is a well-experienced Nurse who served in the US army and grew up in Congo so Africa is not new to her.
Please pray for us as we take FGW to the rural churches in our area.
Pray for safety in travel and security at our home
Pray for our health, especially Jane in her pregnancy
Pray for open hearts to God’s Word as we share our lives with people
Pray for a teacher for the boys (K, Grade 2)
Pray that we will always be ready to share the Hope that is within us
We continue to need more regular supporters. If you have committed to monthly or annual support please remember to renew your support as the new year has already began. January 2010 was our lowest level of support over the last 12 months. We also are continuing to raise money for a truck for our rural work with FGW. If you want to contribute to our general support please send your cheques with a separate note: “for Sperling Support”. For contributions to the seminars, the truck and the upcoming ministry trips please designate on a separate note: “for Sperling Work Fund”
Blessings and thanks to all of you for your love and care for us,