Jun 2015

I Have a Farm in the Village

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Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she bought a piece of property in the village, seeing that her production would be good. Lets call our landowner Cindy. Cindy is a local Christian in a poor South East Asian country. But she is a woman with a vision to change the environment where she lives. So her farm is in a village of another greenshousefaith. A faith that is often angry and hateful to Christians. Quietly Cindy went to that village and began to prepare her farm. For three years Cindy nurtured her land, tilling it, feeding it good organics and saw it change from a dead, polluted field to a flourishing garden. She built a small greenhouse in which to start plants. She built irrigation channels for water. She built a shade house in which to process the produce. One of B4B’s consultants worked along side her developing a business.

This was a small farm in the midst of other farms, but it was a powerful example of God’s redemptive grace on land that is loved and cared for. The neighbors’ harvestland was polluted and poisoned. They used lots of pesticides and commercial fertilizers, but the land still didn’t produce and the rice stalks turned black. They were worthless and had to be burned. Cindy’s land became fruitful and beautiful: a garden blooming in the midst of worthless black stalks.

As her crops grew they became the talk of the neighborhood. Her lettuce was larger and more vibrant than any other. Her tomato plants produced more than any other. Her rice was beautiful. The neighbors began to wonder why. What was her secret?

bullockAs she worked in the neighborhood, people of the other faith saw that she was different. She was humble –a simple friend to all those around. When a neighbor was being forced by poverty to leave his family and go into town to work, she bought a bullock and set him up in business. Her agreement with him was simple: he could earn a living plowing the surrounding farms if he would also plow her land. The man was able to stay with his family and it was a good business deal for both of them.

When she took her produce into the large city to sell she got a higher price than others. It sold at one-third more than other produce because it was not only beautiful, but also organic and clean. People were eager to buy her produce. She delivered it to her customer’s homes and often stopped to talk to them about issues of life and how biblical principles and Jesus could solve their problems. They listened to her.

harvestThe neighboring children in the village came to her farm and loved the attention she gave them as she worked with the plants. They felt that the farm was theirs and eagerly waited for the produce to be ripe so they could pick it. And, of course, in addition to loving them and their families, Cindy provided some produce for their families in exchange for their work. In time and in the naturalness of the farm, Cindy was able to share her faith with them and their families.

Two or three young women from the city wanted to learn Cindy’s way of running a business that blessed others so they began to work with her and saw the power of this simple farm to share faith. One of the young women is getting married and her fiancé has also been working with them. He has seen the power of this simple farm and now this young couple is committed to going to their home province to start a farm. This small team has prepared them well and supports them to develop the new farm with the same idea of sharing faith through a simple piece of land. A local Christian couple, seeing what Cindy is doing have helped her buy another piece of property next to the farm to build a house for the workers.

As this small team grows, the redemption of the land and the gentle faith of the team begin to show how God redeems people. It is a powerful message in the village as well as the city.

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