Did you know Africa’s land mass is larger than Europe, China, and the U.S.A combined? And did you know that Africa has some of the world’s most precious resources and richest soil? And did you know that despite this vast wealth hidden throughout the heart of Africa, the people here are known internationally as some of the most impoverished on the whole earth. Despite the abundant natural resources, Africa, in many places, cannot feed its own people. Although 85% of the people in Africa grow their own food, there are still places where families cannot grow enough to fill their bellies; they go to bed hungry; they are more susceptible to disease; their stomachs protrude; their babies cry.
The reasons for this travesty may vary, but one truth remains: God is Sovereign and is working to reconcile all His creation. He is the Hope for Africa, just as He is the Hope for you and me.
So we are here at Farm Quest 2020 to learn, along with some students from several African nations, what are the best farming practices to produce the most food on the smallest amount of ground. How can a farmer create cost-free fertilizer or minimize soil erosion and nutrient loss? The ideas are somewhat familiar but somewhat radical too. The fundamental truth that drives all these farming techniques is found in Scripture: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” Psalm 24:1.
Understanding that the land belongs to God and that farmers are simply stewards (lenders) is fundamental to conservation farming. We have spent two days in class laying a Biblical foundation for the farming techniques we are soon to be learning. As we’ve read Scripture and discussed man’s role in God’s great universe, I have been reminded that God really owns it all. As Creator and Sustainer of all, He is the Giver of all good gifts. If I have anything whatsoever to my name, it is actually God’s.
How freeing! I don’t have to worry about finances or future disaster. I need not concern myself with how much I have or how much I can give. I can give whatever I have… God is certainly able to give it right back to me. And if He doesn’t I will live daily by His mercy and grace. In the meantime I must ask, “What in the world am I doing with what He has given me?”
Tomorrow we leave on a field trip to go visit a Besotho farmer who is using the Farm Quest techniques. We will work on his farm a few days and return here on Friday. Continue to pray for us on this six hour road trip (Remember: I get car sick and these roads are mountainous.) We can’t wait to report back to you what God is doing in this beautiful land.