Monday, October 10, 2016

Farming God's Way Outreach in Upper Xgulu

My friend Zeph (right) with our translator Yunga explaining how we can save water and soil through applying God's blanket (mulch) to the community in Upper Xgulu.
Grant, our lead trainer, explain field layout to our training delegates on Monday before community outreach.
Every year a team of Farming God's Way trainers, advocates and friends gets together for what we call In Field Mentoring. These people come from all over the world to hone their training skills through being mentored meanwhile ministering to a local African community. This was our second year in a row to work with Siyakholwa Development Foundation in  Keiskammahoek, a community in the homelands of the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. I was leading a ministry team of missionaries and nationals from all over the world; we had missionaries representing Namibia, D.R.Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, America as well as Xhosa and Zulu and South African locals. There were two other teams that were made up of the 55 delegates that came to In Field Mentoring.

The Upper Gxulu Ministry team that I helped lead with David Wotherspoon (crouching in front of me). We are looking down the valley towards Upper Xgulu with the beautiful Cata Dam behind us.

The week consisted of training of trainers in  the heart of Farming God's Way, practical skills and demonstrations on Monday. On Tuesday we broke up into three teams and went to three areas of the Keiskammahoek Valley. Our team went up to the Community of Upper Xgulu. We trained in a local community hall where the locals came to learn each day. The last day was in a community garden where we put everything we learned into practice with a Well Watered Garden (Isaiah 58)
Our mission is two-fold in In Field mentoring; we aim to train and mentor our trainers to become great facilitators of workshops as well as reach out to a local farming community with the gospel through teaching Farming God's way. This helps our training activities to be relevant and our trainers to learn how to work with poor agrarian communities in Africa. The week includes everything from crazy skits to technical experiments. Our goal is to convince and compel the community that adopting Farming God's Way practices will change their lives. We also emphasize that NO method of farming with change someone's life but only the power of God's Word through the work of the Holy Spirit can bring true transformation. We had eight people give their lives to Christ this year and many more challenged to leave traditional practices of witchcraft and ancestral worship. I believe we are on the forefront of the spiritual battle here in Africa because we directly confront the dependency, witchcraft and ancestral worship which are key areas that Satan is holding people captive in on this continent.
David training in the Well Watered Garden
After our three days of training we end with the climax; choosing a few willing and eager students to visit and help implement the principles and steps we have taught them on their own land. This year we helped two young men, Siya and Luvo as well as a woman called Kululwa. My half of the team helped Kululwa put permananet pegs in her garden and to plant a row of vetiver grass across her field for erosion control. We were also able to spend a little time with her family praying for them. Her sister needed prayer for an ovarian problem and her mother was in shock from the fire that had destroyed her business the day before.  Little did we know the day before when our team was up at the dam looking back at Upper Xgulu town, that the fire we saw was from Kululwa's home -- now we were able to pray for them and ask God to bless their home.
The fire coming from Kululwa's home in Upper Xgulu

God's providence is amazing! We refrained from giving any money (as we are trying so hard to fight the dependency syndrome) but prayed for her and her family -- we trust that God will bless the faithfulness of Kululwa. Please pray for her and her family to fully trust in God for provision meanwhile being faithful with the what the Lord has put in their hand!

The week was a great time of ministry which I was so glad to have Ezra along to witness and enjoy. Ezra was so thrilled to be joining Dad on his turn to attend In Field Mentoring. Ezra had a great time with his Belgian friends Fedor and Immer from Grahamstown and an older lady called "Lady" who loved and befriended him for the week. She gave him her army hat!

Thanks for your prayers during this week. We travelled well, had a great time of ministry and God kept our family safe back in Uganda.

Please keep praying for :
  • The farmers who heard the good news in Upper Xgulu
  • Pray for Kululwa's family to implement Farming God's Way whole-heartidly
  • please pray for Vumili, Pakama and Yunga who will do follow-up there in Upper Xgulu

1 comment:

April sister said...

Great write up Chris! Really well done and easy to understand what you guys do! Well done to all who were involved and I pray it will take hold in each life, family, garden and village where the teams have been!