Harvest and Heart Change in Zimbabwe
Chillies as red as an African sun dot the fields. Bins of maize rise above the huts. People laugh, their bellies full. Children race each other, smiling through the thick dust. Unlike recent years, subsistence farmers are harvesting crops, cutting the ties of dependency and poverty in Zimbabwe while also painting a picture for the rest of Africa.
Many of these farmers have received instruction on how to farm their land properly, a breakthrough in the miseducation of farming in Zimbabwe and Africa for decades. "Africa has the potential to feed the planet, yet we've become a continent of beggars" says Craig Deall from Foundations for Farming, an initiative "aimed at bringing transformation to individuals, communities and nations through faithful and productive use of the land."1
TWR-Zimbabwe and Foundations for Farming are partnering together to make disciples of all men. Their tools: the Bible and African soil. Education on agriculture can be an 'entry point for rebuilding any nation' and an evangelical tool to change the hearts of man. "Until you have a heart change, you cannot get it," said Deall, a retrenched farmer of Zimbabwe. “When you are broken, God can use you. He cannot use you when you are proud, arrogant, and self-sufficient."
"I had a farm in Africa, now Africa is my farm," says Deall.
However, the stumbling block for farming in Africa is not the land, but rather how the land is used. "Africa has 30% of the world's natural resources and some of the best climate, rainfall and soils in the world. Yet, 35% of the population is chronically undernourished and the whole continent of Africa only contributes 1.3% to the world's produce." 2 According to Foundations for Farming, European farming methods do not yield profitable crops in African climates. "We've got to return to creation to see how things grow. All the answers for us are in the Bible- it's like an agricultural handbook," says Deall. "Anything we do outside of that is us thinking we're too clever."
Passing this message on to people so it resonates in their hearts is the ultimate goal. "Most rural folk in Zimbabwe have got a radio and they're hungry for this kind of knowledge," says Deall. One TWR-Zimbabwe radio drama programme, A Season in the Life of Two Farmers, focuses on the stories of two farming families. One family follows the principles of Foundations for Farming and produces a great harvest; the other family does not and sees little results. "When we teach, we see the harvest out of it," says Otilia Nyabuta, an actress in the drama. "We are hearing many testimonies of people giving their lives to Christ and acknowledging that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life."
What God desires for Africa surpasses all human understanding. There is much hope, purpose and change in store for every African person and nation. "You see, we serve an awesome God who sees the problem, who has a solution, and teaches us how to implement it," says Deall. "Now we've got to teach Africa how to implement that."
If you would like to help further this message in any way, please visit the Projects section of this web site.
Published: 27 August 2010
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