Feeding a nation – God’s way
If the Church in Zimbabwe stands unified and committed to God’s way of doing things,they can feed a nation. That’s the belief of Trumpet Call! – Agriculture – an initiative of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) in partnership with Foundations for Farming which is mobilising churches in the southern African country to stand together and take the fate of the country’s food crisis into their own hands.
The situation in Zimbabwe is dire. Away from the beauty of the Victoria Falls is a nation that has for years been racked by hyper-inflation and poverty. In 2008, inflation was estimated at over a million percent per annum – numbers that we cannot even begin to comprehend. At present, Zimbabwe has abandoned its own currency and is using others.
This year it is estimated that ‘Zim’ will suffer a one million tonne maize deficit because of drought and crop failure. For pastor Scott Marques and the EFZ general secretary Reverend Lindani Dube, the leaders of Trumpet Call – Agriculture! – the grim situation is an opportunity for the Church to step in.
“Where all else has failed, we have a message that never fails – the Church has solutions founded on the Word of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. As we put our trust in God and not in man or worldly kingdoms, God is able to transform our hearts and our nation… and we are demonstrating this here with agriculture.”
The situation in Zimbabwe is widely acknowledged and some £80 million of taxpayers’ money from the UK alone is given to the country each year through the Department for International Development (DfID). But throwing money at the problem does little to relieve what the Trumpet Call – Agriculture! leaders believe is a spiritual issue that only the Church and God can help with.
“What’s happening in Zimbabwe is endemic of what’s happening in Africa. The continent has 32 per cent of the world’s natural resources and yet contributes only two per cent of the world’s production. We believe that the problem of poverty is essentially a spiritual issue. We have got to address the hearts of people.”
As with all spiritual issues, there is a practical outworking. Trumpet Call! - Agriculture advocates the Foundations for Farming methods of “farming God’s way” and has seen miraculous growth when the ethos of “on time, to standard, without wastage, with joy” are employed.
“Our national tendency of being late, using sub-standard farming practice, not working together and not caring for the poorest is where the Church can very clearly demonstrate the kingdom of God, bringing material and spiritual transformation,” says Scott.
In the 2010/11 season, an independent survey measured more than 10,000 farmers linked to Trumpet Call! - Agriculture – and of these, each had averaged just under 10 times the national average yield. If every Christian household planted maize this year using the Foundations for Farming methods, this could yield an increase of 1.2 million tonnes – enough to wipe out the food deficit predicted.
This message needs to be heard, and has benefited from a renewed sense of unity among the different denominations in Zimbabwe coming together to advocate the message. Trumpet Call! - Agriculture has been fully endorsed by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, incorporating the Protestant mainline denominations.
“God’s people need to get hold of God’s way of doing things. This is not about any individual man or organisation, but this is about fitting in with God’s pattern. We no longer want to conform to the pattern of this world – looking to man and money for our salvation – which is keeping us in poverty….we want to genuinely look to Jesus’ for His answers to our situation. Imagine what a story it would be if the Church – mobilised together - feeds the nation. It would mean that we could go on to transform education and health as well. God is taking our five fish and two loaves and feeding a multitude.
“We would love the evangelical Church in the UK to participate with the Church in Zim – in prayer and in whatever practical way most appropriate. We believe that the plans God has for this nation are not only for this nation, but for the demonstration of His glory far beyond Zimbabwe.”
For more information, or to see how you can help, visit trumpetcallzimbabwe.org