Fruit That Will Last
Jerry’s 2nd and final trip blog from Africa (Kenya)
Since we trained our partners in disciple multiplication tools at our team summit in Uganda in June, I have been excited to see how Griffin in Kenya has responded. Here is an excerpt from a report he sent me in September.
The Generals are doing well. They are growing each and every day in both their walk with Christ and their FGW practices. One of us confessed Jesus Christ last Sunday saying he was hiding in the name of salvation, yet he was not saved. He was even a youth leader in his church. He said that through our Bible study on Zume and the Generals meetings, he has learned a lot to help him make the right decision. We are baptizing him next week. There are tears in my eyes as I see all this happening. Glory to God!
Griffin has really put the tools he learned to good use, and we are just beginning to see the fruit.
DMM and Farming God’s Way go hand in hand. We haven’t seen multiplication of groups in DMM yet, but we are seeing generational growth in FGW. In 2 Timothy 2:2 (New Living Translation), Paul tells Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” This is what we see happening with FGW. Griffin is our “Paul,” Mathias our “Timothy,” Judith our “trustworthy person,” and Pauline is our “other.”
First, Mathias’s story truly is rags to riches. Griffin went in search of this man after hearing from the wife and kids he’d abandoned because of the pressure and his lack of ability to provide for them. Three of his children suffered from an eye disease that eventually causes blindness, one of them was already blind, they had no food, and Mathias barely made enough money on his bicycle to buy a drink.
Griffin found him in a bar and told him, “If you go back to your family, I’ll teach you Farming God’s Way.” Six years later, he has animals, a posho mill (a grain mill), a carpentry business, a happy wife, educated children, and a God’s Love Group with eleven members. His farm is now a model farm where people come and learn. Griffin said, “I am happy from the bottom of my heart for what the Lord has done in the life of Mathias’s family. He has gone from having nothing to a level where everyone in the neighborhood is testifying about the family. People have come to know that God lifts people up.”
Even though the whole community had heard about the transformation of Mathias and his family, Judith used to run from him. As he tried to get her to practice FGW, for two years she would promise to start, then avoid him as she continued farming the conventional way. Finally, thanks to his persistence, she followed through.
This was her first year with FGW. She went from harvesting two 90kg bags of shelled maize to eight 90kg bags. She used to plant 16kg of beans and harvest 16-18kg; this year she planted 16kg and harvested 125kg using FGW. She has a family of eight: her husband, herself, and six grandchildren. She said she is happy to have food at home and she will save a lot of money because she no longer needs to buy maize. Also, the harvest of beans helped her pay school fees for her grandchildren. Seeing this, she began recruiting her neighbors and Griffin and Mathias trained a number of people at her home this year.
One of the people Judith invited was a woman named Pauline. Pauline’s first planting came after the training and before the rainy season. She was so excited after seeing Judith’s production that she just wanted to get something in the ground, so she planted beans. Other farmers who planted conventionally had plants come up, but they died quickly. Because of her use of God’s blanket (mulch), her bean plants are still producing fruit.
The light is shining and disciples are multiplying in Kenya. From Griffin, to Mathias, to Judith, to Pauline, we see faithful people being entrusted with the message of Farming God’s Way, putting it into practice, and sharing it with others.
I think one of the most impactful thoughts that hit me on this trip was “What if Griffin didn’t go?” What if he had just kept the message of FGW to himself, content to profit from it but not share it with others? What if he hadn’t sought out Mathias in that bar? As I saw Mathias standing among his 11-member GLG, I was blown away thinking that all these people and their families had been impacted by one man’s decision to obey what God laid on his heart. Amazing, right?
Do you see the implication? As important as food and Farming God’s Way are, this is not the gospel. The Good News about Jesus has the power to change lives for all of eternity. So I would ask you this question, “What if we don’t go?” Will we be content to benefit from the good news, but unwilling to make ourselves uncomfortable and go out to share that good news with the lost? If we are willing to obey Jesus’ command to “Go and make disciples,” we will impact individuals, families, and communities for generations to come.
There is so much more to share, but I’ll save it for another time. Until then, let us obey what God has laid on our hearts to do, and see what lasting fruit He produces.
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry