A lesson from our interns…

We hope you enjoy our third and final video of this series – this time from all of our current interns!

The founder of Foundations for Farming is Brian Oldreive. As Brian was starting the ministry he asked God “how can I help people come out of poverty?”. God’s answer was “Teach them to make a profit!”. It doesn’t sound very spiritual but its very important as we learnt last week’s video. Brian then asked God, “how can I teach people to make a profit? I can’t send them all to business school”. Again, God was gracious and answered him.

On Time – God created time and is always on time. The longest and shortest days of the year never change. In farming we must plant on time to achieve the best yields. Many people in Zambia plant a month late, because they did not plan or prepare their fields early enough.

At High Standard – God is a God of standards and cares about the details. Read about the plans he gave Noah for the Ark or Ezekiel for the Temple. We should be children of Standards too and we can glorify God through the way we work. In farming the higher the standards the higher the yields.

Without Wastage – in John 6:12 we read that After feeding the 5,000 Jesus said to his disciples to gather the pieces so that nothing may be wasted. Jesus doesn’t like wastage! By mulching the soil a farmer can reduce water run-off and soil erosion. In the EU nearly 1 billion tones of top soil is lost each year. If we lose our top soil we lose our ability to produce food sustainably.

With Joy – Nehemiah 8v10 ”The Joy of the Lord is our strength”. We need a positive attitude to our work to do it well and when we do it well and see the result we have joy and hope to continue. God is the the God of hope. Poverty has a spiritual root. People trapped in poverty are trapped in a spiritual sense of despair and hopelessness. Only Jesus can break through that despair, not money, science or new way of farming. Which is why Jesus is the Foundation of Foundations for Farming. All the teachings come from Him and point to Him as the true Lord and Saviour we all need to follow.

A lesson from Wanslous…

Last week we shared with you a video by Winess Nalungwe on Giving. This week, Wanslous Nchima, who was an intern at Foundations Zambia in 2017-18 and is now one of our Junior Trainers will share a quick lesson with you on ‘Profit’

Jesus taught in the parable of talents that those who are faithful will be given more and have an abundance and if we give unselfishly we will receive back abundantly. God wants his children to have an abundance to support their families and care for others. In business we call abundance profit. The poor have a very special place in God’s heart and so if the Body of Christ can be productive and profitable in their work we will have resources to meet the felt needs in our communities.

If farmers in Zambia don’t make a profit in their business they end up in poverty. There are so few jobs available the only way they can survive is begging from friends or family or stealing. Our identity in God is not one of beggars or thieves. We were not created to be Takers but Givers. We were created in the image of our Father who is a generous giver. Therefore, Foundations Zambia has the joy of teaching people about their true identity in Christ and practically equipping them to fulfil it.

A lesson from Winess…

Winess Nalungwe was an intern at Foundations Zambia in 2016-17 and since then has been working for us part time as one of our Junior Trainers. Watch the video below to see a clip of her sharing her thoughts on ‘Giving’ one of our key principles.

Jesus said

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Luke 6:38

Many of us wait to receive before we think about giving. But Jesus said we must first give. This takes unselfishness and models the heart of God.

Foundations Zambia is teaching farmers how why and how to give good things to the soil. We are all stewards of creation and if we care for the soil, the soil will care for us. Through out much of the world humans are destroying the land and depleting the natural fertility of the soil. This is either because of a lack of knowledge or selfishness. For many people in Zambia they feel they are trapped in poverty because their land is not producing good crops, but this principle of Giving is helping them see that there is Hope of God redeeming the soils if they acknowledge Him and follow His ways in farming and stewardship.

Please pray for farmers and interns in Zambia as the rainy season starts. Many will have been putting compost in their fields, but it is very hot at the moment and need Joy and Strength to finish the task On Time. Pray also for the Foundations Zambia team that they would have the joy to keep giving in their ministry to serve others.

October 2018 News

Basic Internship Course

This year we made some changes to our internship programme in order to best serve the young people in the area villages.  The biggest change we made was to break our year into two internship courses: a three-month Basic Course and a nine-month Advanced Course.  We designed the teaching in the Basic Course to cover all the foundational teachings of Foundations for Farming and the Gospel.  They covered all of the Foundations for Family course and most of the Foundations for Finance course.  The Basic Course started with 12 young people and 10 of them returned for the Advances Course this week as they have shown faithfulness in their learning and field preparations at home.
If you are interested in sponsoring an intern for the Advanced Course, please get in touch!

Field Preparations

Farmers should aim to finish their digging by the end of September so that in October they can start applying lime and finish gathering mulch.
In Zambia, our soils are generally acidic and, on top of this, years of poor farming practice can make old fields a very unpleasant environment for plants to grow in. The most common way to reduce acidity is to apply lime or ash to the soil. Reducing the acidity of the soil is a crucial first step of redeeming our land as it means the plants are more able to take up the nutrients which are in the soil, compost or fertiliser.

October is also the time to prepare and plant tree seedlings which can be transplanted at the beginning of the rains. A fantastic tree to plant is the Faiderbia albida (also known as Musangu or ‘the fertiliser Tree’)This tree sheds its leaves in the rainy season; for this reason, it is highly valued in agroforestry as it can grow among field crops without shading them. The leaves from this legume tree are high in nitrogen, and can increase yields in maize crops.

Prayer & Praise

  • Pray the interns will be faithful with their new outlook on life, whether or not they continue on in the Advanced Course.
  • Pray for us as we continue to seek new and appropriate opportunities for former and current interns to sustain themselves.

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August 2018 News

New Foundations Groups in the Kaindu Chiefdom

Foundations Zambia Mkushi,with support from Kasempa Foundations for Farming champions, had the opportunity to train community members in the Kaindu Chiefdom from 7th – 14th August. Kaindu is located to the North of Mumbwa Town, bordering the Kafue River and National Park. In partnership with the Kashokoto Conservancy Limited, a total of 82 attended the trainings, six Foundation Groups were formed, and group leaders chosen, in the three communities of Mpusu, Kalwanyambe and Kafikamo.

The people’s expectations were exceeded, as many heard for the first time God’s approach to farming as seen in nature. When the management principles of doing things on time, at high standard, without wastage and with joy were taught most of them acknowledged why they struggle to make profits. There was great zeal to immediately form Foundations Groups to start working together in implementing the knowledge, which they learnt.

We witnessed the participants realizing that without laying a strong foundation on Christ, whatever they embarked on could not bring abundance. The people were very receptive and they reported that their highlights were:

Learning how nature relates to farming

The relative ease of  Foundations for Farming basins  compared to the larger CF basins, which most of them have failed to implement.

The potential to produce enough for a family of 6 on a pfumvudza plot, which far out weighs yields on their large portions of land.

How ploughing destroys soils compared to minimum tillage as seen from our hands-on soil demonstrations

The need to be faithful with what God has given them and how to use it to glorify God.

Field Preparations

Have you started digging your holes and mulching your fields?  It would be easy to assume that there is still plenty of time before the rains, it’s too early to start thinking about planting stations! However, this is the best time to start these preparations for many reasons.  First, time is on our side!  That means that with only a few hours each day you can prepare all of your fields on time.  Working now means avoiding joyless all-day digging in the future!  Second, it is not very hot yet so the work will not be as difficult as it is in October and November.  Third, you still have time to properly plan your fields and prepare for the compost and seed needed for this season.  It is a trap to think that there is “always tomorrow” for such crucial steps.  Start today so your fields can reflect the management principles and be a testimony to God’s glory.

Prayer and Praise

  • Pray for our Interns that they will be faithful with their knowledge as they learn more about Jesus and farming.
  • Pray for these new Foundations Groups in Kaindu as they get started.
  • Praise for safe travels for our trainers that traveled a long way to train in Kaindu

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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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