22 farmer study group facilitators from seven areas in Malawi’s central region came together from the 14th to 17th July to review the progress made to help their community groups grow in spiritual and practical development. Here are three personal stories that capture something of what God is doing in people’s lives.
John Mpinda from Chibanzi
It all started when Austin Nkhata, who had been trained by Veritas College as a facilitator, organised a day when invited the John’s community to see how he was growing his maize using soil and water conservation technology. Austin hat had learnt to care for the soil by attending a course (Farming God’s Way) that helped him understand his responsibility to carefully manage the farm land. John had been struggling to grow enough crops to feed his family. Very impressed with Austin’s harvest, he asked how he could do it.
At this time John was having a lot of problems in his life. He had stopped following the Lord, spending what little money he had on beer and cigarettes and neglecting his family.
In 2013 he first mulched half of his land and saw a big contrast between the two maize crops. Totally convinced, he changed his farming method the next season.
Due to his enthusiasm in farming, he joined Austin at a farmers review meeting Veritas held in Lilongwe for farmers. He made a decision to follow the Lord and bought a Bible while he attended this workshop.
This decision changed his life in every way. Austin has really encouraged him in his spiritual and practical growth. There is unity in his marriage. This has changed his family. Now he is active in his local church. Despite the poor rains in Malawi this year, he harvested 10 ox carts of maize from his small field; ‘The best ever’, he says. Many farmers in Malawi this year have had a very poor harvest. He is so excited about how the Lord has been faithful to him and is blessing him despite his past.
Mary Dausi from Ntchisi
Since Mary started the Veritas Bible classes and joined the Village Savings and Loans group, many things have changed. It started with her relationship with the Lord and a deepening prayer life. This has impacted her family because they now pray together and they have experienced answered prayer.
Due to her new understanding of the Bible she has the confidence to preach, help others to understand the Bible and reach out to her neighbours. She has also learnt to give joyfully.
She has been involved in the savings group for six years and she has built deep friendships. This has enabled her to start a small business. Things are easier financially at home and they can afford to pay for her children’s secondary school fees. Due to the livelihood training she has seen a big improvement in her crop yields because she is now mulching her fields.
Alex Chimpeni Ndaladi Village, Kasitu
Alex is married with 7 children and has nearly completed Bible Training Module 3. He explains with joy how his life has changed since he started the Bible training because he came to know God’s love in his life. He now has a loving relationship with his wife, children and friends. Many visitors come to his house because they see the love of God in his home. Due to the Village Savings and Loans group he is able to pay for secondary school education for his children and can afford to send one child to university.
He stopped drinking and started working hard in his fields. Due to the livelihood training, he is motivated to mulch his land because he now understands the importance of taking care of God’s creation. When people ask him why his farming has changed, he shares about how much God has done for him.