Praise, Prayer and up-coming events!

Prayer & Praise

  • Pray for our Interns and local farmers to prepare well in advance for planting with the rains
  • Pray for our travels and visits with farmers we have trained this year and praise for the save travels for the visits we have already done.
  • Pray for the new ideas we are starting to implement
  • Pray for other Centres of Excellence to shine for Jesus in their areas

Upcoming events

Inspire Zambia 2018

Mark your calendars!  16-20 April 2018 

Johann van der Ham from Foundations for Farming Malawi will be teaching God’s perspective on money and launching the Crown Money Map resource as part of the vision of Foundations for Finance in Zambia.

We will also be having our usual focus on farming and we are busy expanding our Centre of Excellence model farm with the hope of having lots of new things to share. 

 

It’s planting time!

Research, learning and visiting

You have not heard from us in a while and may be wondering what we have been up to.  The answer is research, learning and visiting.  After few busy months of training here in Mkushi, we took to the road to visit some friends and learn what other Foundations for Farming farmers are doing.  Between our team, we have visited almost every province in Zambia to see our friends who are interested in becoming Centres of Excellence.  This is important to us, not just for the relationship with fellow farmers, but also because having more Centres of Excellence means trainings can happen all over Zambia and reach even more small to medium scale farmers!  Please continue to pray with us for these centres as they get started and prepare demonstration plots. 

On Time

Timeliness is very important and every operation that we do should be done at the correct time and in the correct season. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says, ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…’  God has given us time and He has measured it for us in the way the earth and the solar system were created.

God is always on time and is never late!  The date of the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere is always 22nd December. This brings some important factors into play:

  • Plants need sunlight to grow through the photosynthesis process and on this day there is the longest and most intense sunlight.
  • Plants need warmth to grow and on this day we have the greatest likelihood of the most warmth from the sun.
  • Plants need water to grow.  On this date, as a result of the warmth, there is the greatest likelihood of evaporation from our water surfaces.  This means that there is a greater likelihood of water build up in the clouds for rainfall to occur.

Finding the optimum planting date for your specific crops, for your geographical region, is very important. In Zambia, for example, the 15th November is the optimum planting date for maize so that your plants will be just below knee-high on the 22nd of December. This is the ideal size for the plants to take advantage of the best growing conditions, just before the period in the plant’s life cycle when there is the most vigorous growth and expansion of the crop. 

The loss of yield, which we can incur as a result of missing this deadline, is startling!  For every day that we plant late after the 25th of November, we lose 120kg per hectare per day of our potential yield. As we can see teaching timeliness is so very important! Let’s not waste the opportunities that God so freely gives us in His natural creation. Remember, farming is a 12-month endeavour, time is not redeemable, and so as farmers we should use every moment in the season to glorify God and fit our farming operations into His timetable.

Foundations Groups

As you heard in our last update, Foundations Groups were trained in July/Aug and then sent back to their communities to begin their group meetings.  Each group has 9 to 12 members and meet every week to two weeks.  The meetings consist of a bible study and practical farm work done on a group demo plot.  In between meetings, group members apply their new knowledge to their own fields.  All of the groups have started meeting and some have already dug their holes in preparation for planting maize.  Pray with us that all of these fields will shine, be a testimony to God’s ways, and the Gospel will continue to spread in these communities. 

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August News

Winter work?

These farmers from Welkom farm Foundations Group are off to a great start! Do your fields look like this?  They can!  Don’t forget that this is the time you can be preparing your fields so that you are ready to plant when the rains come.  This preparation isn’t only good for you–it also provides an example to your neighbours of how to farm with high standards and how to be on time.

More Trainings

July and early August kept us busy with three straight weeks of training.  We officially launched our Foundations Groups outreach with two separate weeks of training local community members in Foundations principles, basic farming methods and how to run these community groups.  We are very excited about this opportunity to reach those in our community that we may never meet.

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Interns Graduation

Congratulations Interns!

We cannot say enough great things about our most recent group of interns.  We have journeyed this year through many topics and events and all have gained a lot.  Thank you for joining us in praying for them and their learning.  Check out our facebook page for even more pictures!

A Song of Thanks

Rabecca, Winess, and a friend preformed a song for us during the ceremony.

The Gifts

Each of our graduates were presented with gifts as they graduated.  Most important- a Sharpie Marker to use in their fields to keep high standards!

The Jokers

Dan and Wisdom traded glasses for the certificate giving!  Doing things with Joy is something we take very seriously!

Friends and Family

It was an honour for us to meet friends and family members of our Interns and celebrate together as a big proud family!

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June News

Wow!  We are standing amazed at all the ways God has shown his love, mercy and faithfulness to us in the past few weeks.  We have been busy hosting a variety of people lately!  Here are some snapshots:

National Training

We were able to use our training centre for the first time to host our National Training participants in late May into June.  30 people came from all over Zambia to learn more about Jesus, Foundations for Farming principles, conservation farming, and connect with a broader network of farmers.  It was a lot of work as we learned about all the ways our centre is still in need of finishing but our guests were very gracious.  Please pray for them as they go back, put these new ideas into practice and teach others.

Grow Vegetables Training

The first week of June, we teamed up with Chengelo Training Farm to teach 24 farmers from Samfya about Foundations for Farming principles and vegetables.  we had a wonderful time sharing with them what Jesus teaches about faithfulness, giving, and our lives being centred on Him.  They had a great experience learning about growing vegetables under drip irrigation with Starling Chipanga (Chengelo Training Farm Garden Supervisor). They have returned to their drip irrigation project led by Water4 and are already seeing some success from improved methods of farming but they are battling with poor soils.  Please pray for them to be farmers that glorify God with all their lives and for God to redeem the poor soils as they follow His principles of stewardship. We will visit them later in the year to teach about maize and soya growing.

Newcastle City Church Short-term team

As the Grow Vegetables training participants left, we welcomed 10 visitors from Newcastle.  City Church has a long relationship with the Framptons and Foundations Zambia and this is their second team they have sent to serve alongside us.  This group of young people were a huge encouragement to us as they learned, served, and built relationships with those in our community.  One of the best parts about their visit was the time they spent with our interns in their homes and fields.  Our interns had the opportunity to really share their lives and work with the team, making a lasting impact for all of them.  Please pray for these new friends of ours as they go back to life in the UK as more globally minded people.  Pray that they will follow after the plans God has for them and know how to apply the things God has taught them while they were in Zambia.

A New Season

It is now winter and many of our fields are brown with a lovely blanket of mulch from this year’s crops.  We are harvesting and drying maize, groundnuts, beans, sunflowers, popcorn and more.  We are also saying goodbye to this past year’s interns.  We have so enjoyed the journey through this past year with them.  More to come on their graduation and send off in the next post.

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April and May News

Inspire Zambia 2017

In April, we hosted what we previously called our ‘Champs conference.’  We changed the name this year to ‘Inspire Zambia’ because that was our true desire and goal for the week–to inspire those who are championing Foundations for Farming in Zambia to continue to glorify God and build His Kingdom through agriculture.  Soil and compost experts, Darryl and Hazel Edwards, joined us from the FfF head office in Zimbabwe to share vision, update us about the work going on in Harare and teach from their vast expertise.  Another change we made was to split the conference into two ‘tracks’–a leaders track for those leading FfF centres around Zambia, and a basic training track.  Over 60 people joined us for an awesome week of worship, testimonies, learning and encouragement. We learned about God’s incredible design in the soil and how farming His way complements that design and brings abundance.  Our interns were a big part of the training track–teaching lessons, acting out Bible passages and demonstrating the power of conservation agriculture. Some interns even gave conference delegates a tour of their own fields, highlighting the real-world impact of FfF.  All in all, Inspire Zambia 2017 was a huge success–glory to God!  A big thank you to all those who came or prayed for the event.  We are very encouraged by what God is doing in the FfF family in Zambia.  We hope to see you next year for Inspire Zambia 2018!

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