A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself. -Franklin Roosevelt
You and I have rarely thought of soil fertility. We don’t concern ourselves with micro-bacterial content or fungal root grow that are essential for soil health. We never worry if our dirt has the proper organic matter, if it’s porous enough for smooth nutrient transport, or safeguarded against wind and rain erosion. We assume the soil, like the air and water, is in perfect harmony to produce what we need for survival.
One short walk around Lesotho tells a completely different story, even to the untrained eye. The ground here is riddled with deep gullies and washed out ravines that cut furrows through almost all potential farmland. And across the landscape cattle, sheep and goats are grazing freely, leaving almost no natural grasses to protect against future erosion. The land has been stripped of nutrients leaving the exposure of bare rock where there should be farms and fields. It is hard to feed a nations without fertile soil. So much of our training is how to restore soil to its God-given health and how to pass this information on to the farmers who live in this land.
I have two teen-age daughters who are also students of FarmQuest 2020. They have left the comforts of home- television, cell phones, social media, movies, pizza, shopping, hanging out, Netflix, and pop-tarts- all gone, for a solid month, while they sit in classes and work in fields, soaking in farming practices that can help save communities in Africa. And guess what? They are amazing! They are shoveling manure for rich compost, clearing rocks from patches of land to help create new gardens. They are putting in holes and raking up hay; they have measured perfect squares for garden sites and searched different soils looking for signs of healthy fungi and root space. They have endured evenings of no power, long church services in another language, crowded rides in vehicles for hours over mountainous roads that twist and turn forever. They help cook meals, clean the kitchen, play card games at night, take long walks by day, and participate and even lead the daily Bible studies.
God’s call is evident in their lives as it is in ours. The work here can be frustrating and often seem futile, but when we are moved with God’s compassion, there is no question of personal comfort. Our time here is so short. Continue to pray for these last two weeks: that we will fulfill all God has called us to in Lesotho. And pray specifically for Layla and Charlotte: that this trip will be just the beginning of God’s call on their lives.
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