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JL's Journal

May 24, 2016

DOUBLING YOUR HARVEST…

PART 3

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good,

in order that they may provide for daily necessities

and not live unproductive lives.”

(Titus 3:14)


A Double Harvest Bishop!

Dear Ministry Partners,

   One of the great weaknesses in most education today is that it is often more cerebral than practical. When it comes to theological education, there is usually an imbalance of emphasis on the head to the neglect of the heart and hands. As a result, many pastors and young leaders focus on knowledge that “puffs up,” rather than on love which “builds up” (I Cor. 8:1).

   Like the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul set a different example. His approach to leadership training was more balanced and holistic. Even though he was one of the top scholars of his day, he followed the rabbinical model that taught by precept and example. As a result, Paul demonstrated a balance of head, heart and hands – rather than the Greek model of just the head. He wasn’t interested in producing “Greek philosophers” – but rather “servant leaders.” So, he thought with his head…led from his heart…and worked with his hands to support himself and others (Act 20:34; I Cor. 9:6; I Thess. 4:11; II Thess. 3:6-10).

   The last thing Paul wanted to do was to produce “dependent pastors” or “welfare Christians.” He wanted to be both self-sufficient and self-supporting as much as possible – especially in pioneer situations.

   As you have seen from the last two reports, Bishop Trevor Manhanga is setting the same example through his Double Harvest program in Zimbabwe, Africa.

   On our last trip to Zimbabwe, Arie VanWingerden helped Bishop Trevor construct the first greenhouse on the Double Harvest farm. It is now filled with healthy vegetables, and will produce crops to eat and sell year round. 

 
Two "hands-on" Kingdom Entrepreneurs: Arie & Bishop Trevor. 

 
Bishop Trevor completed the greenhouse skeleton, and then the plastic skin was attached.


The completed greenhouse was fitted with drip irrigation,
and filled with healthy vegetable seedlings.

   As a consummate teacher and mentor, Bishop Trevor then trained others with what he had learned. He started at the denominational Bible College in Harare.

   A couple of years ago, we purchased a small greenhouse for the school to produce vegetables. This greenhouse served a two-fold purpose: providing food for the students, professors and staff, as well as providing support for the school by the selling of any excess vegetables.

 

 

 

 A NEW GREENHOUSE IS BUILT…

   That first small greenhouse was so successful that they needed a larger one to increase their production. So, taking what he learned from Arie, Bishop Trevor “led by example” and helped the students erect a second greenhouse – which they did in just two days!

 
The new greenhouse, transported on the new 2-ton truck, was unloaded 
 at the Bible College, and the students helped lay out the metal frame.

  
After the metal frame was laid out, the frame poles went up.

 
Both the men and the women students helped to erect the greenhouse.

 


Bishop Trevor led by example, and directed the students.

  

 
Once the frame was complete, the plastic skin was attached.

 
After the plastic was on, Bishop Trevor helped hook up the water.

 
The drip irrigation system was laid out and hooked up.

 
The completed new greenhouse, ready for vegetable seedlings.

 
Bishop Trevor and his team of Bible College students and staff rejoiced
over their success in setting up the new greenhouse in just 2 days!

FIRST HARVEST AT THE NEW DOUBLE HARVEST FARM IN MUTARE…

  Due to the combination of the hard work by the “soul-mates” and the drip irrigation, the vegetables I wrote about and pictured in my last email are now being harvested. Because of El Nino, there has been a severe water shortage in Zimbabwe, resulting in a serious lack of vegetables being grown. This situation has placed Bishop Trevor in a very strong position to reap a good financial harvest for his ministry.


Beautiful butternut squash headed to market.

   
Lush cabbage ready for market, healthy young tomatoes soon ready
for harvesting, and hearty cucumbers ready for picking and pickling!

 
At left, a newly harvested field is replanted in onions, and at right, harvested
oinions are dried for market.

CONCLUSIONS…

   We are very excited about this pioneer project with Bishop Trevor that is already reaping a Double Harvest of vegetables and souls. Through the generous giving of partners like you, we have been able to put the infrastructure in place to jump-start this program that is now just a few months old. We have bought work uniforms and boots for the inmates and guards, who have become soul-mates as a result of accepting Christ and being baptized. We pay for their daily meals and tea as they work on the farm from Monday through Friday. 

   We also were able to purchase a van for $15,000 that is used for their daily transportation. In addition, we were able to buy a 2-ton truck for $16,000 for hauling building supplies and vegetables. We pray that after this first year of financial sponsorship by our ministry, this farming project will be largely self-sustaining.

   We are indeed seeing an authentic Double Harvest through this historic program that is combining physical farming with spiritual farming. While physical seeds are being sown in the ground – spiritual seeds have been sown in the hearts and minds of these inmates and their guards. As a result, most have already accepted Christ and been baptized. And now they attend Bishop Trevor’s church, Victory Tabernacle, each Sunday. This is truly a ministry of rehabilitation through transformation.

   Upon completion of this year-long program, each prisoner will be given the stipend he or she has earned, and this will help them start anew in society.

   When I think of this program, I think of Paul’s words of exhortation to similar Christians in the early church:

“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need (Eph. 4:28).

   Through this work release program, these men and women are doing just that. While some were serving time for stealing – and other more serious crimes – they are doing so “…no longer.” Now they are being trained in practical skills and are “…doing something useful with their hands.” The end result is that they are producing fresh vegetables, and chickens, so they will have “…something to share with those in need.” Formerly, they were “takers.” Now they are learning to be “givers.”

   As I have shared before, we began this pioneer program by faith – just as we start every program. Several Christian “risk-venture-Kingdom-capitalists” gave us the funds to jump-start the program. Their investment is already producing a double and triple bottom line!

   Also, now that the farming aspect of this partnership is up-and-running, we will soon be starting a new Hydraform brick making and building operation that you will be excited about. So, be watching for the report in the weeks ahead.

   But, for now, we still need help in sustaining the program at the cost of $2,500 each month. That amount is not only paying all of the program expenses, it is also helping build a self-supporting model that will reproduce itself in the years to come. We also pray that it will become a model for other churches to copy.

In His holistic love and compassion,

JL

PS: Next week’s eNewsletter will move from Africa to Asia and update you on some significant advances in Nepal and India. I know you will be blessed and motivated. And, I encourage you to forward this email to some of your other friends, to further enrich their lives in what God is doing around the world!

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