Enoch's peers all told him that his plans for a garden in their community would fail.
As the church team works with new church plants, we emphasize that the church must impact and transform its community. We desire the church, from its very inception, to understand that proclaiming the gospel and loving its community must go hand-in-hand.
While discipling new believers in the community of Letukunyi, we studied the work of the early church in the book of Acts. Each week we asked the questions, â€œWhat do we see the early church doing?" and â€œWhat can we do today?" One week, Enoch (the first believer in Letukunyi) had an idea to plant the first garden in the community. The garden would be located next to the school. The produce would be used to provide lunch for the students, and the excess sold to help pay the school fees for orphans in the community.
In June of 2013, AfricaHope and our summer interns spent two weeks in the community of Letukunyi. The purpose of this time was to deepen relationships, continue sharing the gospel and discipling the believers, and to plant the first garden. After long days of working alongside the community, a thorn-filled area of brush turned into a fenced plot with tilled ground and neat rows of crops. The interns and team returned to Narok, excited about the time spent with Enoch and other believers in Letukunyi and the work accomplished.
Months later, we became discouraged as we watched weeds take over the garden, and the plants eventually wither and die. A national friend encouraged us saying, â€œThis garden will fail, but it's not a complete loss. I failed at so many community projects before I succeed. Although you didn't see a harvest, you did a huge thing, you proved to these people that they can till the ground, and that crops can grow here."
The following year the community of Letukunyi had been sub-divided and Enoch set aside 3 acres of his land to farm corn. His goal was to demonstrate that farming could be profitable. He waited and waited for a tractor to come and till his ground, but the tractor never made it. At the time, we were again discouraged. However, as the months went by, the rains never came and severe drought set in. If he had been able to plant his crop, it would have failed.
This year, Enoch planted 2 acres of tomatoes and watered them from a borehole provided by AfricaHope several years ago. Enoch's peers all told him that his plans would fail, but the entire community watched as the crop grew. In July 2015, he harvested a crop of tomatoes so large, he was able to employ other members of the community to help him, and still end up with a large profit.
The people in Letukunyi are now praising God for good produce from their own land. We also praise God for his timing, and as land-subdivision makes animal grazing more difficult, for an alternative livelihood for the Maasai!
Clearing the land