The Beautiful Women of Mutukwa

08 Apr

The Beautiful Women of Mutukwa

The Beautiful Women of Mutukwa

[David’s 1st Photo Blog from East Africa]

She has good reason to smile, but you’ll have to keep reading to learn why…

Greetings from Zimbabwe, where Heaven’s Family has been serving for many years. Along with three other Heaven’s Family staff members and two former-Amish friends, I’m spending two weeks in East Africa, starting here in Zimbabwe.

We’ve been joined here in Zimbabwe by 19 other Heaven’s Family special-servants from East Africa. They’ve journeyed from Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi and Kenya to gather for our semi-annual Farming God’s Way and Disciple-Multiplication Summit—to learn and be encouraged. Together, the devoted men and women at our Summit have collectively helped transform the lives of thousands of East African people—by teaching former-failing subsistence farmers the methods of Farming God’s Way (FGW), and through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The result has been abundant life—and eternal life—in scores of rural communities. I’ll be sharing more details in my upcoming photo-blogs.

Yesterday, our team traveled to a small village named Mutukwa, about an hour from the city of Mutare (where our Summit is being held), and where a number of families have been farming God’s way. We were greeted upon our arrival with joyful singing and praise to Jesus. It was quite clear we were among our spiritual family.

Today, when I returned by myself to take a deeper dive into the challenges the villagers are facing, I was prepared for the worst, because Zimbabwe has been suffering a drought. Farmers usually plant their corn in November, soon after the first rain of the rainy season. They harvest in April. This year they had to wait to plant until December. After they planted it rained very little, and it hasn’t rained at all since February.

I learned that among Mutukwa’s 180 families, only 24 had farmed this year using FGW methods, primarily because it is initially more labor-intensive (mulch, what FGW farmers refer to as “God’s blanket,” that nourishes the ground and retains moisture, must be gathered and spread), and because it contradicts long-standing agricultural traditions.

In Mutukwa, the corn stalks of those who used traditional farming methods have withered and died. There will be no harvest. In contrast, those who followed Farming God’s Way methods are anticipating a harvest very soon, although it won’t be as abundant as last year. FGW leaders in Mutukwa told me that it is very likely that everyone in their village will be Farming God’s Way next year.

Below are some photos, with captions, that tell the story. I’ve also included some portraits of the beautiful women of Mutukwa. When we hear about Africa’s poor, we sometimes forget that they are not just statistics, but real, struggling people who are members of families, people who have aspirations and dreams. Because of the compassion of friends of Heaven’s Family, I was able to deliver some very good news to all the people of Mutukwa that will give you reason to rejoice with them. Thanks so very much. — David

I asked a group of about 20 of Mutukwa’s women who had gathered if I could take their portraits. This woman won the prize for the most colorful dress.

This woman won the prize for the most joy.

Best in the hat category…

This is how all the corn looks in Mutukwa, except that which has been farmed God’s Way.

And here is what the FGW corn looks like in Mutukwa. The man in the photo, named Stephen, told me that last year he harvested nine bags. This year he anticipates only three, and he admitted that he didn’t spread God’s blanket over his entire field. One consolation is that he has a huge avocado tree beside his house that is covered with fruit.

As in most rural villages in Zimbabwe, daily water is carried, always by women and children, from a local water source—hopefully a well with a hand pump. In Mutukwa, the closest water source is a stream that has been diminishing for the past five years because of repeated drought, and it will be completely dry by July. Then the nearest water source is a shallow well with a hand pump. But because the water table is so low, water at the hand pump is already being rationed. Families are limited to five gallons per day for drinking, washing, and watering their gardens.

This pool, into which stream water trickles in, is Mutukwa’s primary water source. Within a few months, it will be stagnant and then dry.

An even more depressing nearby water source…

One of Mutukwa’s cutest, and likely a future FGW farmer and follower of Jesus. I was happy to announce to Mutukwa’s adults that a drilling rig will soon be visiting their village to drill a bore hole to a probable depth of 250 feet. That hole will be topped with a solar-powered pump that will fill an elevated water tank, courtesy of compassionate friends who have supported Heaven’s Family’s Safe Water Ministry. That blessing should ensure water security for all 180 of Mutukwa’s families.

This FGW farmer and trainer, named Edward, is in the process of moving from his old home (in the background) to a new house he has just constructed. He is prospering for the first time in his life. Thanks to everyone who is supporting Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way Ministry.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest