A few days ago, Reuben set up an updated plan for the garden here on the land. It was great seeing him and Simon [grown men from Kenya] teaching Simon-Peter and Elijah [young men in Uganda] how to properly care for the garden and be on task each day, giving them explicit goals and expectations. Reuben, who is in his 30s, is really standing out to us as a good manager, and his competency in food production is awesome.
Reuben and Simon (brothers) have known our ministry since they met Gregg in Kenya in 1999. Cameron and I were talking about their exemplary enthusiasm, and how it is a sign of their faith in God. When they met us, we had no land, we had no gardens, we had no structures. We had nothing but the Word. That Word got into their hearts, and they are steadfast in the faith, encouraging to our Ugandan believers.
"Reuben and Simon were teaching Simon Peter and Elijah how to replant banana trees and how to organize their day in the garden to increase efficiency. They are really hands-on and aren't afraid to teach them by working right with them. I'm so thankful for these men." --Derek Bargatze
They are farmers by family trade, but they've implemented techniques taught to them by our organization and seminars we've enabled them to attend. The result has been a major increase in their production. Neighbors who once shunned them for choosing unconventional ways of farming are asking them to teach them these new methods. Now, in Uganda, they have competence and confidence in their realm of expertise, and are benefitting their neighbors here as well.
They've remained hungry for God's Word. Simon, who is in his 50s, will tell our team "teach me anything, anything from God's Word--I want it." We never have to convince Reuben and Simon to participate, come to Uganda, organize the garden, or try something new. They come with the same commitment I saw in them in the early 2000's. I believe their commitment is a result of learning God's Word and as a result, sensing God's work in their midst. They've always been able to keep going, as long as it's together, and with God. I asked Reuben, "what if it was time tomorrow to move to Uganda permanently, what would you say?" Reuben replied, "We are prepared for that." [There are currently some factors preventing them from residing full time in Uganda.]
We've been taught that enthusiasm is the impetus for quality participation. Reuben and Simon have no trouble being enthusiastic about anything we are doing together. Their participation is secure, and their joy in doing it is contagious. These men are and their wives are some of the most precious, sincere people I've ever met.
Read more about our history in Kenya here.