This month we have had our ups and downs with farming. However, we are learning patience and to be thankful. To pick up where we left off last month – we planted beans in 6 of the 30-something rows in our 1-acre raised bed drip irrigation plot. We are only planting 6 rows for the short rains. We have a cut off after the sixth row so that the water does not go to all 30- something. It would cost us too much money to try and water the entire acre during the short rains, but during the long rains, Lord willing, we will receive enough rain to plant the entire acre.
We are currently working to improve the milk production in our two dairy cows. We are also looking to purchase a third dairy cow. We met with a local man who raises dairy cattle and he taught us a lot. He pointed us in the direction of planting napier grass and using it to make silage for the dairy cows. After more research, this will help up their milk production. The local veterinarian brought us napier grass and we were able to get it planted this last week. We have also educated the locals in the importance of deworming, minerals, and proper nutrition for the animals.
Justin was asked to travel to Mosquito River (a village approximately an hour away) and hold a seminar for the locals on raised bed drip irrigation. We are so happy to say that this way of farming (so far) works and it is a way that the locals can farm themselves. They are very eager to learn this new technique.
As I said previously, we have had our ups and our downs. This month the door to our layers was not locked at the end of the day. This accident led to the slaughter of 25 of our 100 laying hens. When the guard dogs were let out for the night, they eventually noticed the unlocked door and that led to the demise of some of our layers. With that being said, the issue has been addressed and we are thankful it was only 25. However, this was a huge blow to our progress. We have been using the eggs we sell to buy all of the feed for the layers, broilers, and cows. We use that money to buy medicines for the animals when needed, pay the vet to deworm the cows, and purchase new broilers every 4 weeks. Losing 175 eggs a week is a big deal. However, God will provide; of that we are sure.
Many have asked how we are going to replace the lost hens. At the moment we are not going to. We would have to build a separate place to grow them out and then it would be 6 months before they were laying. (Unless we can find 6 month old hens – our one lead on that lost 1200 layers in a recent storm. See - our problems aren’t so big.)
Many evangelistic opportunities have arisen this month. Justin went out with the locals to conduct Bible studies in Niroshini.
The same day that Justin went to Niroshini, Samantha and Anna attended the monthly preacher’s wives Bible study. Anna had the opportunity to present the lesson for the women that morning.
Her lesson came from Ruth chapter 1 verses 1-16. The lesson focused on walking by faith and not by sight and how often we want to take matters into our own hands instead of trusting in God to provide. She also discussed how we need to be in a place to receive God’s blessings – not merely hear about them as Naomi did when she fled Bethlehem during the famine. She was not in Bethlehem when the Lord lifted the famine and did not get to experience this blessing from God – only hear about it.
Justin has also preached at Kisongo this month. He had a wonderful lesson on The Prodigal Son. He presented the Sunday morning Bible study at the Monduli Kanisa La Kristo introducing the topic of Spiritual Disciplines.
Samantha and Anna led several children’s Bible classes at Kisongo. They covered Joseph and his coat of many colors and the lame man from Mark 2 whom Jesus healed.
We will send out one more report this month. I hope to send it out by the end of next week. The entire report will be on the Children’s Seminar we helped conduct this past Saturday. It was incredibly successful with more than 150 children and we praise God for the amazing day. However, before next month’s seminar we need to raise some more funds. Be looking for the report! Thank you for everyone’s continued support and prayers. We are eternally grateful. To God be the glory forever and ever.
The Maynard family