Poor No More!

Image of farmer in UgandaA happy, prospering Ugandan female farmer…due to Farming God’s Way

Poor No More!

David’s First Photo-Blog from East Africa

Dear Family,

Along with three other Heaven’s Family staff members, I just returned from a 12-day trip to three East African nations: Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Although I’ve journeyed on as many as 100 similar overseas trips over the past 20 years of Heaven’s Family’s existence, this one may have been the most encouraging trip yet. The reason is because we witnessed so much transformation—both spiritually and materially—due to your investments.

The primary purpose of our trip was to meet with small-scale subsistence farmers (who generally own no more than one acre, and often much less) who are now applying agricultural methods they have learned from Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way (FGW) trainers. We have seven such trainers working full-time in five East African nations. Those seven full-time trainers have equipped a large number of volunteer trainers whom they refer to as “generals.” And ordinary farmers who have learned the Farming God’s Way methods are also naturally passing on what they have learned to their inquisitive neighbors. Putting it all together, I suspect that, as a result of Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way Ministry, tens of thousands of small-scale farmers in East Africa have benefitted with better yields.

At gatherings of our FGW farmers, we heard testimony after joyful testimony from farmers who were once failing, but who are now succeeding. Most were previously either not able to successfully grow anything on their land that produced a harvest, or they could not produce enough to feed their families for a year. Many told us how they previously only ate one meal a day, and often ate nothing for several days. Heads of households described the shame of not being able to feed their children. Some of those household heads were widows and abandoned wives. Like me, you probably can’t imagine their degree of hardship.

But everything has changed for thousands of East African substance farmers. They are now growing more food than they can consume, and so they have crops to sell. They are using their profits to send their children to school, to care for widows and orphans, to purchase goats, pigs, chickens and cows, to add additional rooms to their one-room mud-walled houses, to rent additional land for growing more crops, and even to purchase more farm land. It is amazing. And those African families are no longer eating just one meal a day on a mono-diet of crushed corn. Now they are eating three meals a day of a variety of nutritious vegetables, and even with some meat or poultry. Naturally, their health has improved with better nutrition.

But I haven’t even told you the best part! Jerry Jefferson, who directs both Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way Ministry and Disciple-Multiplication Ministry (DMM) has integrated them together, so that there has not just been a harvest of corn, beans and peppers, but also a harvest of souls! Everyone who receives the Farming God’s Way training (which involves a lot of investment to achieve the highest standards) must also join a “God’s Love Group” (GLG), which is actually a house church. It is in those GLGs that attendees learn to love God, love others, and make disciples. Some of their GLGs sounded so heavenly to me that I was tempted to be jealous!

The heroes in all these stories include not only Jerry Jefferson, his predecessor and mentor Dick Samuels, Heaven’s Family’s administrative staff, the seven full-time African FGW trainers, and all the “generals,” but first of all, the investors who have made it all possible. Here is an amazing fact: Jerry Jefferson estimates that it costs Heaven’s Family about $50 to initially train one household head how to farm “God’s Way.” And that training is enough to turn a failing subsistence farmer, usually in just a matter of months, into a successful cash-crop farmer who can lift his family out of extreme poverty while at the same time learn to follow Jesus!

I’ve been involved in international relief and development for two decades, but I don’t know any better way to lift the rural poor from poverty than FGW. Coupled with Disciple-Multiplication methods, it is extraordinary in the world of International development.

Becky and I are such big believers that we support Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way Ministry every month with $150 that is automatically deducted from our bank account. Will you join us? Just imagine lifting 12 African families from extreme poverty over the next 12 months, while at the same time either introducing them to Jesus or to a deeper relationship with Him—all for just $50 per month! If you want to take advantage of this great opportunity, just click here.

Below are a few of my favorite photos with captions. Enjoy!

David Servant's signature

David Servant
Founder, Heaven’s Family

Image from trip to UgandaThis photo illustrates the “chain of blessing.” Jerry Jefferson (at far right) trained Rwandan FGW trainer Peter Nzamutashya, who stands to the left of Jerry. Peter trained the farmer, Emmanuel Nsabimana, to the left of him and in whose field everyone is standing. And Emmanuel has trained the farmer next to him who has trained the farmer next to him! Note “God’s blanket” on the ground between the rows!

Image from trip to UgandaThese two sisters had the same disease that caused their older brother to go blind, which none of them could resist due to malnutrition. Farming God’s Way solved their problem by providing their father with the income needed to pay for medical help and with the nutrition that was lacking in their diets. They literally can see because of Farming God’s Way!

Image from trip to UgandaThe cute granddaughter of the widow, and FGW farmer, behind her.

Image from trip to UgandaThe guy who makes difficult things look easy: Jerry Jefferson, lifting a homemade concrete barbell.

Image from trip to UgandaI snapped this photo above the entry door to an administrative office of a public school where several of the teachers are teaching Farming God’s Way to their students using a “demonstration garden” on the school property. This is a strategy that will expose over 1,000 Kenyan families to Farming God’s Way.

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