I'M GOING BACK TO EAST AFRICA!!
I leave in less than a week on November 29th, and will be returning to the States on December 17th. I am so grateful to the Lord and humbled to get to once again return and serve my farmer friends in Kenya and Uganda. Our organization has been working in East Africa since 1998 so the relationships with our cooperatives there run very deep. My primary role on this trip will be taking six young farmers to the Manor House Agricultural Center in Kenya for a week-long training on "organic pest and disease management."
The Back Story:
The farmers who tend our gardens in Uganda have been greatly struggling with pest and disease issues over the last two years, and are doing their best to avoid using the harsh chemical pesticides that are locally available. They have been educated concerning the detriment these chemicals can bring not only to themselves, but also to their land. As these pest and disease issues are regionally specific, it was decided that would accompany them to this school in Kenya where they can be trained in multiple strategies for preventing pest damage and also how to make their own organic pesticides. Acquiring this knowledge and skill will be so empowering!
The Manor House Agricultural Center:
The "Manor House" is a demonstration farm and school that was founded by John Jeavons, often referred to as the "father of biointensive agriculture." His work has been extremely influential in our organization's approach to agriculture, which centers around organic and sustainable techniques for gaining the highest yield of food from a small plot of land. For more info, check out their website: CLICK HERE.
The Trip Agenda:
BIBLE CONFERENCE IN NAIROBI (November 30th--December 2nd)
I will be flying over with four other co-workers from G.O.D. International, landing in Nairobi, Kenya on November 30th. There we will host a bible conference for a group of Kenyan youth who our cooperatives (Reuben, Simon, and John) meet with regularly. Twelve other students currently attending the East Africa Institute for G.O.D. in Uganda will also be meeting us there to attend the conference. There will be over 30 youth in total.
We will be bringing them together for two days in order to encourage them with the Word of God, and provide them with a better understanding of who we are as an organization. This is going to be power packed time that we hope God will use to stir up these young people and their desire to serve the Lord.
To provide a Bible, or sponsor a student for the conference in Nairobi, CLICK BELOW
KIDS' CAMP IN UGANDA! (December 3rd--December 8th)
After the Bible conference in Nairobi, we will be heading to Uganda to prepare for the coming Immersion Team, consisting of 10 American students from the Institute here in Nashville. We will be bringing our Kenyan friends to provide them an opportunity to see what God is doing with our community in Uganda, and to build stronger relationships with our Ugandan and American team.
When the Immersion Team arrives on the 6th, we will be hosting a one-week camp for the St. Johns primary school students right after their school term is finished. This will provide both an educational and recreational experience (like the "Camp Skillz" we facilitate here in Nashville) for them as they transition into their holiday. Our hope is to provide an exciting experience for the students and an opportunity for the Immersion Team to get the joy of working with these children.
We are going to provide lunch for them everyday! If you aren’t aware, the majority of these children do not eat lunch--ever. The majority of them are severely malnourished. We get to ensure that they get a solid meal for an entire week!
To donate towards providing lunches for these kids, CLICK BELOW:
FARMING IN UGANDA!
Last fall when I traveled to Uganda, the majority of my time was spent facilitating educational workshops for our farmers on relevant topics such as composting, crop rotation, livestock management, drip irrigation, and the use of ergonomic garden tools. This year I will have more opportunity to "get my hands in the dirt," facilitating a week of work projects in our gardens. I will help with direction on the expansion of our community garden, and also be assisting in the launch of a school garden at St. John’s primary school, located right next to our property there. I'm so excited for this opportunity to work side by side with my East African brothers, sharing with them all I've learned over these past seven years of farming.
To donate towards community garden projects in Uganda, CLICK BELOW:
To help us install a school garden for St. John’s primary school, CLICK BELOW:
TRAINING AT THE MANOR HOUSE AGRICULTURAL CENTER IN KENYA
(December 9th--December 15th)
On the morning of December 9th, I will be taking a bus with three Ugandans, two Kenyans, and one American from the Immersion team (all of whom are involved in our Agriculture program). We will travel back to Kenya for training at the Manor House in Kitale, beginning the morning of December 10th. It is my prayer that we will come away inspired, unified, and equipped with some appropriate remedies to get control over the pests on our farm in Uganda!
After departing Kitale on the morning of the 15th, I will go and visit my good friend Reuben's family farm. I'm excited to be able to see his farm as he will soon be moving with his family to our land in Uganda to manage the gardens there. This will be a big step of faith for him, as Ugandan culture and language is very different than his homeland of Kenya. I also know the deep connection a farmer can feel to his land after investing into it for so many years. Reuben's farm has been a source of inspiration in his community, as he has successfully implemented many of the bio-intensive techniques he has learned over the years. Neighbors often come to see his land and learn from his non-traditional techniques.
I will head back to the airport in Nairobi on the evening of December 16 where I'll begin my journey back to the U.S. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for safety and favor in all of the many travels taking place on this trip. I'm confident this will be a very fruitful time, and I know the Lord is with us! I love you all and am so grateful for your prayers and support.
P.S. - I will be updating via Hopewell Gardens Instagram on this trip (see below), so make sure to follow hopewell_gardens on IG!