Church of the Brethren Newsline
April 21, 2017
Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Food Initiative recently worked together to send representatives from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), representatives from South Sudan, and a Church of the Brethren representative from the United States to Kenya to receive training in a program called Farming God’s Way with an organization called Care of Creation, Kenya.
Those who took part from EYN were James T. Mamza, director of ICBDP; Yakubu Peter, head of the agriculture department; and Timothy Mohammed, head of the crop production unit. Participating from South Sudan were Phillip Oriho, Kori Aliardo Ubur, and James Ongala Obale. Christian Elliot, a pastor and farmer from Knobsville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, represented the Church of the Brethren in the US.
Following are excerpts from a report about the training by James T. Mamza:
“These are topics facilitated on the first day: group discussion on health of Kenya, Africa’s agriculture, environment, God’s creation cares, cancer of the land or an environment diagnosis, onion harvest (outdoor activity)…. We learned that the health problems of Africa at large are the same as Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Kenya itself: deforestation; strong wind; soil erosion; lack of water; streams, rivers, and lakes are disappearing; hunger; low crop production; loss of animals; poverty; land degradation; and shortage of rainfall.
“We learned how to care for God’s creation especially protecting our water sources from plastic and leather…because when eaten by fish and the fish consumed by man, it causes cancer to human beings….
“Later we went for outdoor activities where a plot of onion was harvested and compared between conventional farming and farming in God’s way plots. The…differences is up to five times the one of conventional farming….
“What is at the heart of our agricultural problem? How we can bring change through biblical basis for agriculture stewardship, farming that brings glory to God. We can personally bring changes or solution through understanding what we mean by ‘FGW,’ by implementing and management of high standards….
“The lesson learned is love your neighbor as you love yourself….”
The training also included tree planting for reforestation, compost making, bee keeping, manure application, sowing of maize, fireless cookers, and characteristics of a well watered garden, among other topics and additional Bible study.
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