A Potentially Continent-Changing Discovery
David’s 1st Photo Blog from Malawi
If you ever travel in rural, sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll soon notice that every piece of land that isn’t vertical is being used for farming. 70% of Africans are farmers.
But African farms are not like those in the U.S. These are “smallholder farms,” ranging from 1/4 of an acre to just a few acres. Rural Africans aren’t growing food as a hobby or to supplement what they purchase at the local grocery store. They’re growing food to survive. If their crops fail, they have nothing to eat. And if their harvests are insufficient, they will run out of food before the next harvest, enduring what is called “the hunger season.” And that has been the story here in Malawi for as long as anyone can remember.
One of my traveling companions, Heaven’s Family staff member Dick Samuels, discovered the answer to Africa’s hunger problem a few years ago. It is an agricultural method called “Farming God’s Way” (FGW) that was originally pioneered by a Christian farmer in Zimbabwe. There are a number of components to the method, but the most significant one is the covering of one’s field with “God’s blanket,” that is, mulch that protects and nourishes the soil. Farmers often double their harvests the very first year, which means they have, for the first times in their lives, food to sell and share. And as their soil continues to improve year by year, harvests continue to improve. Some farmers who start with very poor soil multiply their harvests ten-fold. You can only imagine how their lives and their family’s lives change for the better.
Farming God’s Way, as the name implies, has the Lord at its core. FGW farmers begin by getting down on their knees on their land, repenting, and asking God to lift the curse and bless the work of their hands. Dick Samuels has refined Heaven’s Family’s adaption of FGW by requiring all our farmers to meet weekly in “God’s Love Groups” (GLGs) where farmers not only learn more advanced farming techniques, but study Scripture, pray, and care for and encourage one another. I’m going to have some great stories to tell you in my next blogs about lives that are being changed through FGW and GLGs!
Thanks for joining me on this trip. Below are a few photos of the beautiful children (Jesus’ people) of some of our FGW farmers whom I’ve met the past few days here in Malawi.