Dick Samuels and I arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa after a 17-hour flight from Washington D.C.—a “non-stop flight” that stopped in Dakar, Senegal for an hour. We arrived to discover it is summer here in the Southern Hemisphere, which was a welcome improvement over the snow we left behind in Pittsburgh.
This morning we spent three hours with Grant Dryden, who flew in from Port Elizabeth to meet with us. Grant helps direct a ministry called Farming God’s Way, with which Heaven’s Family has partnered to educate poor subsistence farmers about biblical principles that can help them produce amazingly-better crop yields. We had a fascinating conversation, and I learned that there are proven, simple, and affordable means for significantly decreasing plant diseases and soil erosion and for dramatically increasing drought tolerance, weed resistance, crop yields and profits. One of those means is to stop plowing one’s soil, which destroys soil composition and inverts the aerobic and anaerobic soil layers, effectively killing the specific microbes that inhabit each layer.
I asked Grant, “But doesn’t the Bible repeatedly mention plowing of fields?” He explained that the plows in biblical times were light, spear-tip tines that only loosened the soil to a very shallow depth for planting seeds. Why else, Grant explained, would the Bible speak of “hammering your swords into plowshares”? How could you hammer a sword into a modern soil-inverting plow blade? When I confessed decades of churning my rototiller through my wife’s tomato garden, Grant informed me that I was guilty of agricultural malpractice!
Through our Farming God’s Way Fund, directed by Dick Samuels, we’ve been training poor Christian farmers in Kenya and Malawi, and soon in Zimbabwe, in Farming God’s Way principles. We’ll be visiting some of those farmers over the next week.
This afternoon we flew to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, where we’ll be for the next few days. Thanks so much for your prayers. — David