This year is starting off fast and exciting for Care of Creation. I am just back from a week-long trip to our project site in Kijabe, Kenya along with Lee Hardman and Nelson Hard, two of our U.S. board members, and I’m excited about what God is doing through our efforts in that part of the world. Let me share some of what we heard and saw during this visit.
Farming God’s Way
Farming God’s Way (FGW), a conservation no-till agricultural program that is presented as part of an intensive Biblical-worldview training program, continues to generate a lot of interest among farmers and with the staff of other development organizations in East Africa. The project site at Moffatt Bible College now features 8 test plots, four for FGW crops with the rest serving as controls. The week before we arrived, a large group of farmers witnessed the harvesting of beans – the FGW plot produced 3.3 times as much as the control (that’s a 330% increase in yield!).
While we were there, Craig Sorley and his staff harvested potatoes for a crowd of more than 100 farmers. The yield increase wasn’t quite as spectacular, but the FGW plot still yielded 180% more than the control did. The title of Craig’s book, ‘Farming that Brings Glory to God and Hope for the Hungry’ pretty much captures this program, and we’re pleased to be getting more and more requests for training from larger and more well established organizations in the area.
Mobilizing the Church throughout Kenya
Our vision statement calls us to ‘mobilize the church,’ and we are really seeing this happen. During our visit we spent several hours with the top leaders of two denominations at opposite ends of the theological spectrum. The Full Gospel Church of Kenya (Pentecostal, about 500,000 members) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (Reformed, 5 million members) are each in the process of creating environmental strategic plans to guide their responses to a variety of environmental threats – and both denominations have come to this point because of Craig’s encouragement and consulting services. It will be some time before the plans we heard discussed move from conference room to pulpit – but we are encouraged, not least because these denominations, and the planning process we witnessed, is entirely driven by Kenyans. We were also pleased to be able to spend time with Care of Creation Kenya’s local board, a group of local mostly Kenyan leaders who provide Craig and Tracy with encouragement and local advice and counsel.
Housing for the Sorley family – half an answer to prayer
Those of you who follow the ministry of the Sorley family most closely will know that these folks have been facing a hard deadline to find new and permanent housing for their family. We discovered on arrival that due to the gracious intervention of friends at Moffatt Bible College, our partner organization, the Sorleys can now stay in their present home for an additional year – that is, until August 2013. This gives us more time to raise the considerable amount of money that will be needed to solve this problem permanently. We’re estimating the cost to be about $125,000 – and we need to have this in hand by October of this year if the new home is to be ready by the time the Sorley family needs to move. Praise with us for this extra time – and pray with us that God will release the funds in a timely fashion. Thank you!
Tanzania is a different kind of place!
As it happened, Erik Ness had just returned to Nairobi from a survey of his new project site in Iringa, Tanzania. (We are expecting that the Ness family will be on the ground by June of this year. Thank you to those of you who are supporting them in this venture!) We were able to spend an afternoon debriefing this experience with him, and I look forward to sharing more details with you in the near future. Tanzania is a very different place from Kenya. For example, the roads are beautiful, unlike Kenya, but because of frequent security checks it took three days to drive 600 miles from Iringa to Nairobi. It is going to be an adventure for all of us to see how the things we’ve learned in Kenya translate to another culture, people and even geography. Thanks for praying!
In other news…
Some upcoming speaking events – drop by if you’re in the area!
…This weekend: Denver Seminary’s ‘Rally for the Common Good’, an annual event hosted by the Vernon Grounds Institute of Public Ethics. This year’s theme is Caring for Our Father’s World, and I will be speaking Sunday afternoon at 4 at Waterstone Church in Littleton, Monday and Tuesday at 11 am at Denver Seminary. Drop by if you are in the area.
…February 28 – March 17: I will be in the Washington DC area, meeting with people interested in our ministry and doing some research and writing. There are still some openings for meetings if you are interested.
…April 20-22 (Earth Day!): The next Our Father’s World Seminar will be held in the Arcadia Florida area. Contact us if you are interested in attending.
Thank you –
We appreciate your partnership with us in this great ministry. Your donations are needed and appreciated, even more so your prayers on our behalf.
Ed Brown, for the Care of Creation family.
1. A group of farmers harvesting FGW potatoes. 2. US Board members meeting with our Kenya board. 3. The Tree Nursery – was a bare field 18 months ago – now producing up to 20,000 seedlings per year.