Jerry’s 2nd trip blog from Africa (Uganda)
Our greatest need in FGW is more trainers. Every time I go to a community to see the work our trainers are doing, someone says, “We need more training in our area.” In 2018, we set in motion our model farm game plan. The model farm provides income for our trainers, a training center where people can learn FGW, and a place where quality trainers can be developed, all while allowing our trainers to spend more time with their families.
Our lead Ugandan trainer, Joshua, ran a model farm called Double Portion for two years. He has experience in commercial-scale farming, bookkeeping, budgeting, and instructing short-term trainees who would live on the farm for several weeks and then be sent back to their communities to equip others. Joshua’s job is to build out the template for our model farms in the other four nations where we are active.
The Lord opened a door so that, thanks to your prayers and generous donations, we were able to pick up an addition to the land we had previously purchased, at half of the original asking price. The total land is 1.5 acres. There is a simple two-room house for trainees and a larger house (located on the property we bought at a discount) that Joshua’s family lives in. These two buildings housed 30 people during our summit meeting.
So what has the model farm produced thus far? Since Joshua’s first training there, we now have a new God’s Love Group in Mpigi, and two of its members are pastors. I’d like to talk about one in particular, Pastor Simon.
Our team was so big that when we went out on field visits, we had to split up. I’m happy I got to meet Pastor Simon. He and his brother operate a good-sized farm and grow a lot of cash crops including coffee, bananas, and vanilla. He is brand-new to FGW and attended Joshua’s first training at the model farm earlier this year.
The first thing I noticed when I saw his farm was the thick layer of “God’s blanket” (mulch) on his field. He was very excited to show us around his farm and share what he learned from the training. He said applying God’s blanket had already doubled his yields of vanilla and coffee. He also said he wants to make his own farm a model farm where people can come and learn. But the best thing about Pastor Simon is that he set up a demonstration garden at his church and is now training the members there. He is taking what he learned, applying it, and sharing it with others. I’m excited to see what happens after Joshua trains Pastor Simon’s GLG in disciple multiplication tools.
At the end of our second day, we headed four hours east to Nambale. We woke up early the next morning (Saturday) and did field visits all day. There were so many great testimonies, but one stuck out among them all.
One of our leading struggles with FGW has been to get youth involved. Many of them have grown up poor and hungry due to their parents’ failed attempts at farming. They haven’t seen successful farmers, especially young ones, until now.
When Barbara (pictured above) was 15 years old, she learned FGW in a class taught by Daniel, one of our trainers, at her school. She was given a small portion of her mother’s field to practice what she learned. During her first season, she planted 1 kg of beans and harvested 40 kgs. At that point, Barbara’s mother became convinced that the whole field should be done using FGW. They now have plenty of food to eat, sell, and send to the school, which is a requirement. But even more impressively, Barbara, now 17, has trained 15 other girls her age in FGW and is leading them as her own GLG.
We are seeing disciples who make disciples! I expect even more kingdom growth in the years ahead as our trainers teach what they learned in our disciple multiplication training. We have found good soil; may God cause it to produce a hundredfold harvest.
For my final trip blog, we will move on to Rwanda to see what the Lord has been up to there. Just two years since my last visit, what I saw was above and beyond what I could’ve imagined.
Thank you again for your time and attention. I value it.
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry