He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”—Matthew 9:37-38 NRSV
“This season of Lent opens doors for us to change into the person that God wants us to be. Step up and do your part. Christ will soon offer his life to us. Be the first to offer your life to God.”
This quote is my favorite Lenten message. It encourages me further to commit myself to God’s divine ministry in which I serve. I wish to use this period of Lent to thank you all again for the great support you have offered to me in ministry and in prayer. I am your hands and feet in ministry. You cannot imagine how your support impacts life in Africa.
We celebrate because a church in California helped to provide hives to several farmers last year, and the expectant boost in honey production has increased income levels and improved standards of living. Beekeeping is becoming a farming activity of choice in Ghana and in Africa. Several farmers who were trained over the last 10-15 years through the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Sustainable Agriculture and Development novel beekeeping training program testify about how the activity has transformed their lives. The farmers’ incomes have increased more than 10-fold, and they have honey, which is highly marketable and nonperishable. This enterprise in beekeeping is therefore already sustainable and ecologically friendly, thus helping to offset the losses and challenges we encounter because of climate change.
Abraham Breseh, a 50-year-old Ghanaian farmer and father of five, said, “I have been farming since I was about 23 years old, but the profits from my beekeeping activities over the last six years surpass all that I have gained from the farming activities of over 20 years.” Breseh started beekeeping with two colonized hives and now has more than 85. He gives back to his community by sharing his knowledge and resources with as many who are willing to learn. He traveled by plane on his first trip out of Ghana to the Asian Rural Institute in Japan to train in organic farming methods using organic fertilizers and pesticides that are more environmentally friendly and cheaper than chemical methods. “A relative of mine who learned of my rich knowledge and experience in agriculture invited me to help start a poultry farm. The farm has been doing well so far—we have over 1,700 chickens.” He feeds their chickens with organic poultry feed.
Solomon Koduah also attended ARI in Japan, training in organic agriculture and rural leadership for nine months. “I have conducted some training for community members since my return from Japan and have been campaigning against chemical farming,” he said. “I have so far influenced some 50 young farmers who are practicing organic farming and are producing very healthy crops.” Among them are two women farmers, Yaa Owusua and Sarah Adoma. Adoma, who grows vegetables, said she loves organic farming because it is safer and cheaper than chemical farming. Thanks to Koduah’s training, she said, she’ll continue to farm organically to produce healthier crops and maintain her family’s good health.
My family and I cannot thank you enough for your show of love through your prayers and support for this work. What an amazing relationship this has been. Please continue to bear this ministry in prayer.
Dear God, we continue to uphold in prayer those who continue to do your work in the world by teaching the men and women under their care “how to fish” and better provide for themselves and their families. Help us, Lord, to do all we can to support them in their efforts and to do our own good works in your name.
Mozart Adevu is Africa regional coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture and Development Program, UMCOR. He is based in Accra, Ghana. This devotion was developed using his Lenten and Easter letters.