What? Doing It Wrong?
Jerry’s 2nd trip blog from DR Congo
Imagine with me for a moment that you have been employed and doing a particular job for years. You were taught how to do this job by family members and people you highly respect. You do it just like everyone around you does it. Then one day, some complete stranger walks into your workplace, analyzes the operation, shakes his head in disappointment, and then looks you dead in the eyes and says, “You’re doing it wrong.”
When we do a Farming God’s Way training in a village, we’re doing the exact same thing. Think about how you would feel if a bunch of foreigners in white polo shirts rolled up into your town and said that to you about your job. Your feelings might be similar to the way many of us felt hearing the gospel before receiving Christ as our Savior and Lord. You mean I’m doing it wrong? I need to repent? Who are you to judge me? This is exactly what we’re up against.
From 2016 to now, most of my trips have been centered around visiting farmers who are already practicing FGW. They’ve already walked the hard road of accepting new ideas, and have struggled to master them. They are now tasting and seeing the benefits of Farming God’s Way. But during our 3-day training in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this was the first time I got to feel how resistant to change these rural farmers can be. (If you missed my first trip blog from DR Congo, click here.)
After a brief intro to FGW by our trainer Joshua from Uganda, I taught them about the “Biblical Keys” of the program, covering the first one, titled “Acknowledge God and God Alone.” I shared some scriptures from the FGW field guide, including Proverbs 3:5-6. Then I ended by sharing the story from 1 Kings 18:20-40 where Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a contest. I particularly love verse 21, which says, “And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.’ And the people did not answer him a word.”
This is a great set-up to compare and contrast Farming God’s Way to the traditional method. It is very easy to talk of abundant harvests and improved soil, but the burden of proof remains on us. As our team taught on the biblical keys, management principles and technology, I saw more and more lightbulbs coming on as I looked at their faces. But once they saw the experiments, the natural resistance to change turned into a desire to bypass the basics of FGW, which starts with planting corn and beans, and get straight into advanced vegetables!
I’ve experienced this same impatience in my walk with God, when He gives me a glimpse of a revelation, and I’m ready to take off running before I receive the full instruction. We had to admonish our brothers and sisters a few times to slo-o-o-ow down. But the interest and enthusiasm was very encouraging.
Early into our third day of training a concern arose. One of the farmers felt overwhelmed because we were telling them not to do what they’d already done to prepare their land. He said, “We’ve already burned our fields, burned God’s blanket (mulch material), plowed the soil—we can’t undo that.”
Wow! Have you been here before? I certainly have. “God, all that you’ve given me, I’ve destroyed. What do I do now?” The simple answer: Repent! Stop doing it your way and start doing it God’s way! These parallels for natural and spiritual lessons run throughout Farming God’s Way. We encouraged the farmers to start practicing FGW on a small portion of the land they already prepared, but do it to a high standard.
We had them work in God’s Love Groups and did the practical work of laying out a demonstration garden in the field. It was a brutally hot day but the farmers worked diligently to fully plant, blanket and water the garden. Then we prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Please agree with us in prayer that God would not only heal their land, but ours also.
We do not just train people and hope for the best. We also help them implement what they’ve been taught by visiting their farms and helping them get started. Be on the lookout for my final trip update. I will share a link to a video that gives you a chance to “come on a field visit” to a remote village with us.
Thank you for your investing yourself in this ministry. Your “garden” is overflowing with African fruit for Jesus!
Grace and peace,
Director, Farming God’s Way Ministry