Money and Marriage
Jerry’s 1st trip blog from Africa (Zimbabwe)
Farming God’s Way is a tool that can help the body of Christ equip the poor to break the yoke of poverty. Our biggest need is for more trainers. We currently have 8 trainers working in 6 countries. Most of them have disciples whom they are training to train others. But our trainers need to provide for and spend time with their own families too. If they spend all their time running around teaching FGW but their family needs are not met and their marriage fails, that is a loss for the kingdom.
In December 2018, we laid out a plan to help our brothers train more disciples while meeting their family needs and giving them more time at home. Our vision was to buy land for those trainers who didn’t have land already. Then we would develop model farms that would provide income for our trainers and a short-term residence and classroom for their disciples/trainees. This would allow some disciples to travel and practice training FGW while others could stay on the model farm and practice implementation in the field.
A new disciple starts on the farm, learning FGW hands-on while getting a chance to observe how our trainer interacts with his family. We are not just looking to raise up great farmers, but great followers of Jesus. Africa and the rest of the world need godly husbands and fathers just as much as they need food.
In the next stage of training, the disciple travels and trains others, developing the ability to teach the FGW material. Finally, that disciple is sent back to his community to live as a disciple of Jesus, implement FGW there, and train others.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors (you are phenomenal!), this recent trip to Zimbabwe allowed us to purchase land for our last two landless trainers!!! We still have to develop the classrooms and dwellings, but you helped us accomplish our 5-year goal in just 3 years. Praise God!!
Joseph and Oni and their wives, Aggie and Wendy, are doing incredible work in Zimbabwe. This year they graduated their 20th class of students from their 18-month training program, which teaches FGW, sewing and cooking, and Business God’s Way. (To learn more about what they are involved in, check out my trip blogs from November 2020: 1. Growing Food, 2. Growing People, and 3. Growing Kingdom.)
The delivery of funds was a main reason for stopping in Zimbabwe on this trip, but just as important was the opportunity to minister to Joseph and Aggie, a newly married couple dealing with some struggles. Marriage can be challenging at times, especially in the early years. And if we are going to grow godly husbands and fathers, not just great farmers, we need to start with our team first.
We all met at a hotel in Harare. My intention was to give these two married couples an evening away from their kids in a different environment where they could just enjoy being with one another. We settled into our rooms and then went to eat at the hotel restaurant. After eating, we all went to Joseph and Aggie’s room.
We handed over our financial support and talked about goals for 2022, and I encouraged the brothers to remain faithful. After that, we released Oni and Wendy to enjoy their evening. Pastor Fred—my brother and travel partner on this trip—and I stayed and counseled with Joseph and Aggie for the next hour or so. We prayed, listened, and shared some communication tools. My final encouragement was “What would it look like to minister to one another tonight?” (If you are married, pray to the Lord and ask yourself that same question: “What would it look like to minister to my spouse today or tonight?”) We all left very encouraged and I felt as though the Lord was moving in their marriage.
The next morning before breakfast, I trained these couples in how to run a 3/3rds group. We had a wonderful time of fellowship and mutual encouragement. We were in Zimbabwe for less than 24 hours, but we accomplished our mission.
I thank God for the opportunity to know, love, and serve these two couples. I also thank God for YOU, our family who supports the mission in obedience to our Father’s leading through prayer, finances, and encouragement. I appreciate you!
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry