Our work in Tanzania is multifaceted and our approach is simple. Our main focus is agriculture, and we have teamed up with Farming God's Way in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Farming God's Way is a free gift given to the wider body of Christ and is a non-denominational, non-organizational, relational network of people who share a heartfelt consideration for the poor. Josh is currently the only qualified accredited Farming God's Way trainer for Tanzania. Farming God's Way first deals with the internal transformation of the individual before we can achieve external transformation. God has given us agriculture as a beautiful example of when we obey and glorify Him in everything we do that He will restore our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) Other facets of our work include but are not limited to rain water harvesting tanks, small animal husbandry, composting, and bee keeping.
Food aid and technological innovative farming alone are not the solution to the hunger crisis. Giving handouts to address ongoing needs are crippling the poor and promoting an unwanted need of dependency. People living in remote, rural areas have extreme limited access to new technologies, and can't even afford those new technologies offered by local businesses and NGOs. The people of Africa also have enormous strongholds of witchcraft and ancestral worship. We must address the spiritual issues as well, which are an enormous part of the African culture, and what we believe to be the root of what is keeping the African continent is poverty. Farming God's Way is an amazing relevant, Godly solution to the food security and poverty crisis for the rural poor. Farming God's Way is not just a technology but a well-balanced biblical, management and technological solution for the agriculture domain, equipping the poor to come out of poverty with what God has put in their hands and revealing the fullness of His promised abundant life.
It is true, "if you give a man a fish you feed him for one day; teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime." We are committed to educating and equipping the poor with this tool in order for them to achieve their full potential and break the yoke of poverty forever.
Through Farming God's Way we teach local smallholder farmers, pastors, church planters, husbands, wives & parents how to use what they already have to be successful and profitable through farming. Using local resources and simple technology together we achieve a meaningful impact against the fight of poverty. Lives and families are being changed, land is being restored and crop yields are dramatically increasing. In the future we believe that we will see entire communities changed.
By partnering with other local non-government and government organizations, church planters, pastors and churches we're able to share this message of hope on a wider base. We come in and train leaders within those organizations to then train those within their network and sphere of influence. After each class, follow up visits are conducted at the organization and/or student’s home farms to help them implement the new techniques taught to them in class. Visiting our students allows us to pray together, disciple them, and encourage them in all aspects of their lives. Through promoting Farming God’s Way we believe that agriculture will be changed in Tanzania and beyond to the benefit of people who need it most. Many of our partners have already adopted Farming God's Way as part of their agriculture curriculum.
Within our three day training course we cover the following, as well as a practical demonstration.
We teach six biblical keys to unlocking the potential of the land and its people:
1. Acknowledge God and God alone - Exodus 20:3, Proverbs 3:5-6
2. Consider your ways - Haggai 1:2-19
3. Understanding God's all sufficiency - 2 Corinthians 9:8
4. What you sow you reap - Acts 20:35, Luke 6:38
5. Bringing the tithes and offerings to God - Malachi 3:7-12
6. Stake your claim - 2 Chronicles 7:14, James 5:14, Proverbs 15:29
Farming God's Way technology is a means of Conservation Agriculture. Conservation Agriculture is a method of farming that is being adopted by more and more farmers across the world. Conservation Agriculture systems build up organic matter in the soil, which improves soil quality and fertility. Conservation Agriculture has also been shown to dramatically reduce some of the negative environmental impacts associated with modern-day agriculture, such as soil erosion.
The laws that God has put in place in creation for the most productive echo systems in the world include little or no soil disturbance, no destruction or incorporation of surface organic residue and a significant biodiversity of species. In keeping with this model, there are three main principles we follow within our agriculture practices:
1. Minimal soil disturbance or no till farming - It is now known that plowing or any other form of cultivation causes the destruction of bacteria, fungi and microbes in the soil that are vital to the health of the soil.
2. Permanent soil cover with organic matter or cover crops - The second element of FGW is developing a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil. A healthy ‘blanket’ of mulch over the soil has many positive effects on the soil that increases water retention, keeps soil temperature down and promotes soil health.
3. Practice Rotations - Rotations have great advantages over mono-cropping systems, including providing for protein and vitamins in family diets, fixing of nitrogen by legumes, which result in cost savings and yield improvements for the following season’s crops, breaking disease and pest cycles, improving soil structure, and spreading of financial risk.
We have to teach the poor to make a profit for them to come out of poverty. Farming God's Way four management keys are:
1. On time - God is a God of time. God’s creation in the beginning gives us the platform for which we determine time. God created days, months, years and seasons. His timing is always perfect. If time is important to God, it should be important to us.
2. To a high standard - “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:23
3. With minimal wastage - Man is extremely wasteful through deforestation, slash and burn agriculture, soil erosion, runoff & through farming large tracts of land at low returns.
4. With joy - If we sow with Joy, we reap with Joy! “Let each man do according as he has proposed in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7