"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Apparently we may not have explained very well everything that we are being asked to do with the agriculture project. Philip “wewally” has left some good comments; but we may need to further explain how we must be hitting two different fronts. (And FYI-it is the guy FROM ECHO who made the comment about the fence! He said the fence is the key to third world countries progressing themselves into being self-sustaining.)
A 100x100 garden plot (or even a few of them) is not going to feed 600 students and all the staff that come with it. (And yes, I know cattle-been around them my whole life. A stick fence will work for awhile, but when they get hungry, the sticks won’t cut it.) Granted we are not at those numbers right now of course, but we are looking at the long-term implications, not just what we need for this season. We are trying to create the long term plan that will hopefully enable this school to become self-sustaining. We are looking at about 20 acres of just garden plots around the main compounds PLUS we must farm larger scale to provide revenue. (We already have over five acres of gardens, plus some of the staff had planted their own few acres of corn). The original goal of the project is that the farming will feed the students AND provide revenue. We then must look at how to develop the full 300 acres to even remotely have a chance to do that.
A fence is a must to do this. This isn’t about “American” farming. All the large scale African farms around here have fences. We’re not just talking about the garden type farming.
Actually, right now no one else near here is putting in more gardens of any type of scale. Lucy and Christine went looking for tomatoes, they were told maybe in a few months. This was from a local who had a small garden right near his house who could easily watch and keep livestock out of his garden. We do not have the time or man power to be on livestock patrol on a garden that isn’t directly behind a compound-maybe it’s a kilometer walk out to a field.
So yes, we plan to “farm the Zambian way” in the gardens nearer to the compounds and probably some of the corn fields. (Just what the “Zambian way” is though, would be up for another discussion!! Pastor Henry hires a tractor to do some of this work, is he not farming “Zambian?” If we irrigate this 100x100 garden, are we “Zambian?” Only if you are near a river do you irrigate, with a 5 gallon bucket! Or if you have enough money, you buy a pump to pump out of the river. But I digress….)
But we have so much more we have to do. You won’t feed the numbers we are being asked to with small gardens, and they certainly won’t generate enough revenue.
Maybe this all leads us back to the question: are we here to be an agriculture training school AND a bible college (using only “appropriate” technologies that an average local has access to) or are we a Bible College where you happen to learn some skills-whether in ag, construction, nursing, etc??
We’ve already seen the gardens suffer over the last 3 ½ months while the students were trying to do two-week intensive class modules. I just couldn’t require all the work knowing they were falling asleep in class as it was. The Pastors who came over to teach for two weeks had to raise their support to get here as well; I did not want to undercut them and what they came to do in such a short time.
The manpower and capital needed to be both types of schools may not be there. That’s why we have lots of questions to ask and answer before we can go much further.

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