Vegetables, fish and hope for Quessua families
By Kutela Katembo Dieudonne
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
– Matthew 1:21 (KJV)
As the year comes to an end and we look forward to the New Year, we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you to the Lord and to all who supported us financially, spiritually and through your prayers all year long. As a team, we are making God’s mission live through our work.
I work as a missionary with Quessua Agriculture, East Angola Conference. We launched a food security awareness program last spring to support farmers with agricultural inputs such as seeds, tools and training. Around 150 farmers responded positively to our outreach and attended the first awareness meeting. Most of them lack minimal agricultural inputs to farm and are enthusiastic to learn new information. The program aims to help farmers boost sustainable food production and teach them to keep seeds for the next growing season.
In the next step, we distributed seeds to the farmers. This was the first help of its kind to this community after three decades of civil war, which resulted in the destruction of peoples’ lives and livelihoods. The joy on the faces of beneficiaries has been heartwarming. Following these distributions, we also trained beneficiaries on how to plant and realize an optimum harvest.
Every Sunday after Sunday school and church, we provide a nourishing meal to around 400 children, a nutrition outreach administered by colleague missionaries here. This assures that children receive a meal once a week that is rich in calories, protein and vitamins. Given the poverty and undernourishment of most children here, these meals are an asset to their growing bodies and lives.
We have dreamed of developing a serious fish farming endeavor on Quessua land that will supply protein-rich, fresh fish for students in the dorms and people in the wider community. It is exciting to see this coming together this year. Four earthen fish ponds were dug beside the Quessua River. A concrete pond is being built from what remains of a building that once housed patient families. Once the ponds are completed, we will need fingerlings and feed for fish. Another of the dilapidated buildings will be recycled for rabbit, guinea pig and chicken habitats.
Dear God, thank you for the progress in making Quessua Agriculture a demonstration farm and training center, as well as a food basket for the community and students. Thank you for creating a place where all can learn agriculture and basic knowledge on the importance of farming, contributing to the fight to alleviate hunger in the world, all to your glory and according to your plan.
Kutela Katembo Dieudonne is an agriculturist missionary at Quessua Mission in the East Angola Annual Conference. Quessua Mission, a historical center of Methodism in Angola, was nearly destroyed in the three decades of civil war that finally ended in 2002. Fatuma Kutela, Kutela’s wife, is an agriculturist missionary with the West Angola Annual Conference in Luanda.