New Life

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.

The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Transformational Development (TD) is a term used today which means a holistic approach to development that, instead of focusing on what people lack, recognizes the God given gifts and strengths of communities and individuals, encouraging them to use these to bring change to their own communities.

I have read several books, sat through lectures and now have an entire book of lessons to use in a community about Transformational Development. Farming God’s Way (FGW) is a tool which you can use to bring about transformation in an individual, family, and/or community.

This past week we had a mini-Farm Quest here at Growing Nations in Maphutseng, Lesotho. It is hard to put into words what we experienced. I had heard the concepts and had practiced FGW at home. But to be in a community where you see the poverty among the people and you see the land literally disappearing, you ask the question, can transformation really happen? YES.

We encountered a changed family high up in the mountains here in Lesotho. We drove for over an hour on very steep rough African roads passing many plowed fields, thin animals grazing on short brown grasses, people stacking piles of rocks, and ladies washing clothes in tiny streams.

up the mt
Heading up the Mountain in a Land Rover and Land Cruiser. Pictures can’t capture the amazing views and how rugged the terrain was.

We found ourselves among a small group a homes surrounded by green fields. What a contrast! What was different here? From the beginning, you could feel the Spirit among the people. We were welcomed into a small church where we first prayed, sang a song, and then one of the men shared the transformation from “once we were poor but now we are rich.” They were not rich by worldly standards but they had everything they needed. They were no longer hungry. They had a new song in their heart to praise God for what He had done. A new life had begun.

20150811_114551
Last year’s maize field with oats and peas as a cover crop and you can see the grass blanket keeping the moisture in and breaking down the soil. Notice the dryness all around, such a contrast.

Then we went out to his fields. Immediately, you saw the life, green wheat among the dry cornstalks from last season. How was he able to grow when everyone else had brown fields? The secret was the thick blanket of mulch on the soil. FGW calls it God’s Blanket which is like the leaves on the forest floor. This blanket was at least 3 inches deep and underneath was moist soil that fell apart in your hands, teaming with life we could see, worms. It was some of the best soil I had ever seen. It smelled wonderful. It’s the dry season here and it had not rained in weeks but there was plenty of moisture.

soil
He was showing us his hand held tractor and said this is alll they use to farm with! The smell of the soil reminded me of a fresh bag of soil you can buy in the states but better.

He continued to share how God had showed them how to farm through Growing Nations. They took the knowledge to heart, came home and started changing the way they were farming. They stopped plowing. Many of the neighbors thought they were crazy for taking the dry grass and laying on their fields instead of giving it to the animals. The hard work and ridicule has paid off. This family’s hearts were as fertile as their fields. A new life has begun.

In the dry season they have plenty of green and veggies to keep everything moist. The sign is what greets you as you turn into their community off the road.
In the dry season they have plenty of green and veggies to keep everything moist. The sign is what greets you as you turn into their community off the road.

 

Transformation can happen. It starts with a changed heart for the Lord. Truly giving your whole life over for God to change from the inside. It overflows into every part of your life. He opens your eyes to the gifts He has already given you and enables you to use them to bring Him glory. So you can truly say, “I was once poor but now I am rich.”

One thought on “New Life

  1. awesome. looks like you have your work cut out for you there. The good part is you know it can work. Im sure all involved are proud of their accomplishments. Imagine a green Africa once again 🙂

    Like

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