We had a great first week of vocational classes here at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching in Arusha, Tanzania. We had 29 students in attendance, five of them being graduated preachers that traveled far to learn how to support themselves better agriculturally. I also have worked with several of the Masters Program students after school who have approached me to receive the training the other students are. We taught on several subjects that tremendously help preachers in third world countries feed themselves and their families better.
One subject is that of the rabbit. Rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat on earth (according to USDA) because of its high protein content and low cholesterol. One female rabbit and her offspring can produce over 300 lbs. of meat in a single year. This is with little to no external input (purchased processed feeds) and with a very small footprint (it takes less than 6 square feet to raise to maturity one rabbit!). Rabbits can be fed grasses, garden refuse, and table scraps that will not be consumed by humans. With proper training (less than 3 days worth plus followup) a person can be trained to produce all the protein for their family with extra to sell at the market. Several of the students have been attempting to raise rabbits over the past couple of years but told me that they had met failure, but during the classes you could see the light bulb go off inside as they learned what was causing them to fail (generally the problem had been poor nutrition and hygiene for the rabbit). They also told me that there is a great market for rabbit in most of the villages and they are quite excited to return home and amend the problems that they have encountered.
Another subject is the Moringa Oliefera tree. It grows throughout the world, specifically in the places it is needed most but unknown to natives is the nutritional and financial benefits. It is sometimes called the Miracle Tree or Mothers Friend. Its leaves contain three times more iron than spinach, four times the protein as in an egg, four times more vitamin A than carrots, three times more potassium than bananas, four times the calcium of milk, and seven times more vitamin C than an orange. It contains 46 antioxidants and 36 antiinflammatories. The benefits of these leaves have proven to help alleviate malnutrition in children and have helped nursing mothers produce enough milk while maintaining their own physical health. The leaves and branches serve as a highly nutritious fodder for livestock. Growing upwards of 12 to 18 feet per year, it proves to be a nutritious and fast producing food source for livestock. Recent studies have shown that the flowers have proven to be a powerful antiinflamitory agent and have reduce muscle spasms in laboratory rats. They also contain powerful antibiotic agents which can help combat infection. The chemical compounds found within the flowers have been proven to help reduce bloodsugar fluctuations in diabetes patients and have also proven to help control high blood pressure. The seeds contain 40% oil which is comparable in quality to that of Virgin Olive Oil and can be easily pressed to extract it. The seeds are also being used to clarify water due to their natural coagulant properties. Sadly however, none of the students knew none of these benefits and regularly destroy the trees. We purchased 25 seedlings for the school and 3 kg. of seed for the school to distribute to the students. All of the students are very excited about the possibilities of this tree to help overcome malnutrition in their villages and families. Today we will be planting the seedlings around the school property and also will be planting several hundred seeds.
Please keep our work in your prayers as we strive to keep preachers in the field preaching by educating them vocationally.