A broken pump

The words “a broken pump” came through on “Whatsapp” suddenly changing all the plans I had made for the weekend! How long could we last without it? The Lord has been providing beautiful rain? How severe would any damage be? Would I be able to fix it? Would we need a new pump? I had just managed to get my money back from an offshore solar pump supplier but it had been a four month battle. Should I use the cash to buy a duplicate petrol pump and scrap the solar borehole pump plan? Well only one way to find out. Visit the CradleArk and fetch the pump!

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 
Maize looking happy with the rain


Looking across the field is a reminder of the Lord’s goodness and the abundance of His provision. There is so much happening in the verse above, all very applicable to what we have seen and experienced at the CradleArk during this pandemic. We thank you Lord for all the rain and the impact it is having on our field and the various crops. What started as an attempt to try to grow some vegetables has grown exponentially and continues to do so. Please Lord keep blessing this project !


This has been quite a week and each time as I think we are drawing to a close for the year something new and exciting happens. Please remember that the field is a small part of what is tirelessly happening behind the scenes and all too often I forget to mention the incredible team the Lord has put together at the Cradle of Hope Every time we get to celebrate a small achievement at the field, a lot of work has gone unnoticed in the background! So thank you Melodie, Albertus, Ronel, Olga, Cathie, Edwin and all of you who do so much, that I might not have mentioned.

Even though the year is now short we are already planning for the next big push in 2022. This year will be ending with a community day planned for the 11 December, God willing. Then there is the annual Christmas celebration and having just got an inkling from Melodie, it sounds amazing.

Due to load shedding and my love for “gadgets and fiddling” I recently purchased some bulbs which store energy in a battery and then come on when the power trips. I was bidding in an auction and ended up with two of these. They are 11 watts each and let’s just say that they are not blindingly bright! However, they look a lot brighter when there is no light and nothing to compare too. I believe that is what the Cradle of Hope is doing, as covid, the impact on the economy and the lack of alternatives for so many reduce the “light” – the Cradle of Hope shines even brighter!

Matthew 5:14
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 

Moringa trees

I had a lovely chat with Mariana from SHINE Africa who is donating some Moringa tree seedlings and some seed to the CradleArk. I will give you more detail as we progress but we will be adding these to the CradleArk property with many positive spin offs! Thank you lord and thank you Mariana for reaching out to us.

Avocado trees

We now have fourteen avocado trees planted. Only one is looking very dodgy but time will tell. These are along the border of the field . I cannot help feeling that with the rains we have had we should see some new leaves in a little while. In the meantime I am “fussing” over the next batch at home which we will add at a later stage.

The first avocado tree still looking healthy

Bare Patch

There is a new bare patch that has been prepared just above the field. I got quite excited as I thought that an additional community member may have been inspired by the field and this had resulted in the clearing. However, it turned out to be the “A-team” Matthew and Samson are planning on planting some sugar cane in this area. It is completely their idea and initiative. We will help with any of the inputs that they require to make it work but they will have to keep an eye on the birds!

Cleared for sugar cane

Then I noticed a small addition just below the field. They have added several rows of sweet potato. As it turned out I had four types of Okra and sweet potato runners that I had sourced from Livingseeds.

Freshly planted sweet potato and new runners for planting

What an incredible operation. I ordered online just before Black Friday expecting to receive them sometime late this week or early next week. Wow- Saturday morning my parcel was delivered by courier. An absolute pleasure to deal with this business and highly recommended to anyone.

Delivered almost immediately

Their seed has also been very successful and I have tried turmeric, ginger, three types of garlic, two different types of seed potato and everything has grown beautifully in The Mini Cradle Ark- my back yard! This allows me to monitor how the crops are comparing to the CradleArk field so we can make necessary adjustments to feed and water supply if necessary. It also lets me learn via trail and error at my own expense before trying to implement a new idea at the CradleArk.

As we previously had a proposal to plant marijuana at the CradleArk from an “interested party” (which was obviously not implemented) I had great fun sending Albertus a picture of the sweet potato that I had purchased – IPC yellow aka Dagga !

A Broken pump

I had planned to only visit the CradleArk in two weeks time , as the weekend was suddenly very busy with a school concert, installing some solar lights out on a farm in the North West province and a community picnic for Sunday afternoon. Add a lot of rain and mud to the picture and available time was extremely limited!  I knew I had to go through as everything freshly planted would be at risk despite the promising rains.


The visit allowed me to drop off rations for the team, supplied by the Cradle of Hope. What an impact they have had on the lives of these two families! Both breadwinners losing their jobs and unable to feed their children. Both men coming to work at the field and being completely committed despite not being offered any wages but just on the belief that God would somehow look after them.

It was such a pleasure to deliver the rations, see the field and collect the pump! We gave thanks at the field to the Lord for what He is doing and for the food supplied by the Cradle of Hope. A long drive home followed by a quick clean of the pump and then simple stripping.

Still pristine although the oil was a bit dirty

Not finding anything blatantly wrong a quick reassembly and then a test run at the pool! I can only surmise that there could have been some dirt trapped in the carburettor? Maybe time to cast a slab next to the well to ensure a clean environment for the pump especially when re-fuelling?


  1. What a blessing indeed Peter. So amazing to see the growth of the plants. Congrats to you all for the hardworking and praise to God.for the rain.

  2. Well done Peter and to your committed team. God has certainly blessed that area with good rains and to see the growth with all that your have planted is soooo encouraging! I’m sure you are all rejoicing as to how God has blessed your efforts. I hope the pump will function once it has been reinstalled. May God continue to give you continued energy, wisdom and skill as you invest so much of your time in this amazing project.

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