1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us everything for our enjoyment.
It has been five years from when I first saw the land that is known as the CradleArk. Very little has changed and yet so much has changed during that period. We have had nearly two years of pandemic and now we have a full scale war between Russia and the Ukraine. People have re-assessed what they do for a living, they have moved into rural areas, people have lost loved ones, businesses have closed and new ones have started. People have made and lost fortunes. Buildings have been vacated, even churches have changed to keep pace with the changes.
But the Lord is consistent, His Word does not change and His promises are true.
The CradleArk property seems not to have changed much to the outside observer and yet the project is gaining momentum and this is just the start!
A definite play on words but so appropriate!
We worship an amazing God. Never could we imagine that we would receive the rain we have had this season. Water is life. Despite our lack of knowledge and our somewhat limited and feeble attempts , the Lord has blessed us with an ongoing harvest. We have had success and failure with some crops but the learning has been exceptional. The latest thrill in arriving at the CradleArk field is seeing what is still producing and what new produce has been added to our basket. The broader goal remains and the self feed is just part of it but it is the trigger that allows us to try to have a meaningful impact on the community’s lives. We must however, always remember that this is a tribute to the Lord to allow people to see how good He is and to want to follow Him, believe in Him and love Him.
There is more interest in the project than before . It is amazing to be able to draw on the knowledge and support of the Cradle of Hope and its professional team plus others who have approached us. We never knew we needed some of them and yet they have approached us exactly when needed. Thank you Lord.
A blast from the past
We planted some fruit trees in May 2017. The community was surviving on 2500 l of water delivered weekly so there was not much to spare. The trees did not last long before they vanished into the long grass. A failed experiment? Imagine our surprise when we saw these!
More signs of “Buy in”
It was exciting to see Jesta’s new stall. He is selling cold drinks and wants to sell off produce from the farm. Even more exciting was his grasp of product differentiation and vertical integration (the only jargon I vaguely remember from university.) He is also selling hot meals and these can be enhanced with herbs and other farm produce. We will assist in negotiations between him and the farmers so as to try get the best for both parties. The most difficult part will be the weaning of the community from the free produce this year. They benefitted without providing any labour or inputs . If we continue to provide the produce for free his business might not get off the ground. With him buying directly from the farmers it also means their efforts are becoming a small business and ultimately this is where we want to go. Initial thoughts are to direct some of the free produce through the pastor to ensure that those who really cannot buy still get fed? However, we will discuss this and see where it takes us and most importantly ask the Lord for guidance.