Jerry’s 1st trip blog from Zimbabwe
This was a short but incredible trip. This was my first time visiting Zimbabwe, but it gave me the opportunity to see the quality of ministry Joseph and Oni are doing there.
If you’re wondering what it’s like to go on a trip like this and haven’t followed my trip reports before—we typically run around like crazy visiting farmers at their homes. Our first day was no different. We visited the Dora district. I noticed many FGW fields as we got closer to the community. You typically see plowed soil and ridges as you drive past field after field, so planting stations in straight lines and diagonals stick out like a sore thumb. This tells me the farmers practicing FGW are sharing what they have learned with others.
Chuma, the general (direct leader under Joseph and Oni) in Dora, has 40 farmers working in 3 God’s Love Groups he oversees. I was especially impressed with one of these GLGs. Mr. Happymore, this year’s farmer of the year among our Zimbabwe GLGs, is an older man who was implementing FGW to very high standards. During the previous farming season, despite the dry spell, when conventional farmers harvested nothing, he harvested 12 bags (1,320 pounds). To really understand the difference, you have to look at the picture from earlier this year (above). This is mind-boggling! Now Mr. Happymore is bringing in youth to show them what he does on his farm.
The second man in that group was a dedicated Christ-follower and a good husband. His wife was sick and he was cooking for her. Thus far in my trips to Africa, I have seldom seen that kind of love and care from a husband to his wife. He knew the scriptures well, and I encouraged him to continue being a model of a godly man and good husband to his GLG and community. At every GLG meeting he said “Hey, let’s have a time of devotion” and intentionally had people take turns leading it to develop the group members.
One farmer gave a testimony of enormous yield improvement, from harvesting 2 bags (220 pounds) from his field using the conventional method to 12 bags (1,322 pounds) using FGW. Another farmer, Diana, testified she had gone from 3 bags (330 pounds) to 20 (2,205 pounds). In both of these examples they were farming the same field as previously. Many of the neighboring farmers saw the great results with FGW and became fully convinced.
Zimbabwe has experienced a drought since 2017. This lack of rain has only worsened an already bad situation. Yet even while their neighbors harvest nothing, the FGW farmers are still managing to get 3 to 10 110lb-bags, as displayed in Mr. Happymore’s field.
The soil there is like beach sand due to the overuse of the land and conventional farming methods. But in the FGW fields, the soil is getting clumpy and beginning to darken in color. All these farmers need is rain. Please join me in praying for rain in Zimbabwe.
These abundant harvests are the usual good stuff I get to report. But in my next trip update, I will share about a very unique aspect of ministry to FGW as we focus on “Growing People.”
Thanks for your time.
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry