2 Thessalonians 3:10 He who does not work shall not eat
Proverbs 12 :11 He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgement”
People are people
Dealing with people can be difficult and dealing with a diverse, largely uneducated and unemployed community is even more difficult. When facing a difficult task or decision I try to turn to the Word. I then pray about my interpretation of what I have read. I also discuss the problem with Edwin to get his input. These meetings usually take place in the car on the way to the CradleArk) to get his input. All this to try remove my own personal agendas and to try to get to the fairest decision. We are doing what we believe God wants us to do. We try to continually ask Him exactly how He wants it done.
I focused on these verses when I was contacted. I needed to try to clarify who the produce from the field “belonged” to. However, when praying, I kept getting the answer “Feed my people”
This didn’t gel nicely with the verses my brain had selected!
We were going to collect some IBC tanks for the CradleArk and then do a progess check on work done. We needed to gauge the extent of the dispute that had arisen. I really do not like relying on social media as the messages get distorted so easily!
Farming is hard work
Pastor Matthew has taken a lesser role in the farming. He is more focused on supplying his congregation their daily bread. Samson is now being assisted by Elias and Shadrack. There is already a substantial amount of tough, backbreaking physical labour in the farming. Despite this, whenever expansion is mentioned, Samson is only to willing for it to happen. Thanks to the Lord , we are getting pretty good results in what is still really a learning phase for us.
Ed and I have on numerous occasions invited the community to join in the farming. We are unable to pay salaries – always the first question asked. CradleArk provides ploughed land, seed and water and allow the farmer to take whatever he or she might grow. Unfortunately we have not had a very enthusiastic uptake but that said we have doubled our workforce since we started.
We are hungry
The very people who do not want to assist and be involved in the farming, now want a share of the crop for free.
Samson has no income and to generate anything, he needs to sell the crops. This is also a major part of the learning we are trying to instill at CradleArk, to establish a business for himself and to become self-reliant.
The dilemma we face was explained to the community. If we do not let Samson sell the vegetables but insist that he gives them away, what incentive is there for him to keep working so hard? We hope the message has given the community some food for thought (excuse the pun- I couldnt resist!) Maybe this will incentivise and create further interest in what we are doing at the field?
Anyway despite all of this we still had hungry people with no money at this stage of the month! So we had to keep both groups happy. Feed My people!
We established a short- term solution. Ed and I bought the first batch of sweet potatoes and then donated some of these back to the community. ( Anybody out there with a better solution is welcome to discuss with me directly.)
The good news
We had 19 bibles donated to us by a lovely Christian man and his wife- thank you Rudolf and Margaret. This is the second major donation of Bibles from this family the first happening in March 2018 with Pastor Jesta A handover of the Bibles and the Apostle’s Creed
I had the pleasure of fetching them and was treated to a lovely lunch. Five were in English (as per pastor Matthew’s request) and the rest were in several black languages.
They are beautiful quality bibles and it is a great joy to hand them over to pastor Matthew for distribution.
Feed My people – the proper food?
The winter crops are in and Samson is looking at planting extra ! Thank you to our donor who blessed us with the seeds. Anyone who would like to read up about winter vegetables can refer to Livingseeds
Samson has had great success with the “Chinese cabbage” which is looking fantastic.
The sweet potatoes are due for harvest and they have also been a great success.
Two of the avo trees have taken very well and he is covering them for winter for protection. Come spring we will replant those that did not make it through their first year.
The compost heap is growing nicely and it is now a case of trying to establish a few more to maximise what we can produce and supplement any donated compost!
CradleArk has been blessed with 5 IBC containers. We went to fetch them but unfortunately the donor was not home so we will need to go back again. These are integral to several of the projects that we wish to undertake at the CradleArk.
We plan to place one on top of the container and to run a water line to it from the irrigation dam. This will provide us a little pressurized water at the container and site for the future creche build. We will use a second for the establishment of an earthworm-based toilet and the third for a pilot bio gas project! Thank you Lord for your provision.
I have made the lid for the irrigation manifold and this will be a weekend project to try to tidy up and then expand the existing irrigation. For now the soil remains moist and it is incredible having such late rains!
The well has been completely overgrown and I have tasked Matthew with clearing around it with the brushcutter to ensure that no body stumbles into it. (It is covered by poles and pallet wood)
We continue trying to source an additional container to expand on our storage and to help with the long term goal of building a church and community centre, where learning and skills can be passed on. Feed my people?