A view of the land from the church! One of John's prerequisites was that the land be near the church! It is!
We have purchased some land behind RCC (Restoration Community Church) - the church in Kadawa - and our vision is to turn it into a farm to produce free food for the destitute widows of Kadawa and surrounding area.
We will need to fence it in to keep out
the cows and goats that get on it.
The culture for centuries has been that the oldest son takes care of his mother when she gets old and is a widow. Many of these destitute widows have lost all or most of their sons/children to aids. Then there are some who were barren - never had children. Added to that is the fact that the people are all so poor that few can think outside their own family when it comes to helping others.
One of Marty's prerequisites was a mango
tree (above)! She has at least 3 !
We have challenged the people of the village to join with us in this venture. We have bought the land and we are asking them to become partners with us by giving their time - volunteering to work on the land to plant, fertilize, water, weed, and harvest the crops. All of this without expecting to be paid! It is a major learning curve. The lack of compassion for others that have absolutely no one to help them is appauling. Even Hesbone wasn't aware of the scope of their plight until we went into the homes of these very old, sometimes ill, absolutely destitute widows. We were all stunned - and Margaret's plight really brought it all home (see the blog - Margaret's House). We have cried a lot. We have committed to raise funds to develop this farm; i.e. buy seed, fertilizer, pay a caretaker/overseer, pay for plowing, put up a fence, and other expenses as we become aware of the needs for operating the farm. The goal is for it to eventually be self-sustaining.
Holy Spirit began to speak to John about some more practical ways to help these women. He has wanted to buy land for a long time - very long time. He just wanted a small piece of land - not for any specific purpose other than "to walk on it". This time while we were there Hesbone realized that John was serious and began to look around the village for land for John. Then this piece of land - directly behind the church - became available. The man, a church member, had just decided to sell and it wasn't even on the market yet. No one knew about it. But when we went to look at it the whole idea of buying it to farm for the widows began to settle in to John's mind and spirit. So we pursued it. The buying and negotiation process is really an experience - totally a cultural thing. But we have done it! We have 3.5 acres, with a potential of it becoming 4.2 acres. It and the church's land are separated only by a pathway. Potentially, when it is time to plow we can have it done at the same time as the church. Our plan is to turn the land over to RCC when we get too old to go, or when we die.
The whole idea - the reason behind it - is so that these women can have dignity in their senior years. Some of them live in just terrible conditions. We never saw any of this before. We can't begin to describe some of it. Now - having said that - at least they aren't living in the slums where sewerage runs down the streets.
The land is being cleared as we write. There are two ant hills (about 8 feet tall) that have to be leveled first and then some brush. It is relatively flat and rock free.
This photo shows Marty's prayer chapel. It is hollow inside those trees.
Marty has asked a friend, whose husband is a farmer, if she would teach her how to be a farmer's wife! (Well - she already has learned to do a chicken.) Seriously - we won't be farming it ourselves, but will be directing/managing the operations. More about that later!
Now we ask you. Isn't God hilarious? Here is Marty - 70 years old - and John 69, and we are starting to farm. What a riot!! Two city-slickers doing something like this.
Isn't is exciting? What great fun! Lots and lots of challenges, and there will be pit falls, but this is totally a God thing, and He is in it and we are going along for the ride!
There is much more to this story, so stay tuned for the next episode of the WIDOW'S FARM PROJECT
This is John and Ibraham - the owner - looking at the map of the land we got from the Land Office.
BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL!!!