In Zambia, there is a phrase for the early rains that signal the start of a new farming season.
Chihuna ngombe – literally translated “cattle rescuer”
The first rains help shoots of green grass to sprout for animals to feed on. Traditionally, it was good for the oxen to have nutritious grass before beginning the task of ploughing. These rains are a sign for earnest preparations of the fields for the farming season to begin. In times when the cattle-rescuing rain is scarce, drums are played around the time the rains should have come, telling the community to still start preparing tools and the soil for farming.
Last week many of you gave to the Farming Match Challenge, which aimed to raise $7000 for crucial farming training, seed and fertilizer. This weekend we’ll be announcing via eVoice the results of that Match Challenge, so stay tuned!
To all who gave … your gifts were like the chihuna ngombe rains. Thanks to your gifts, families and churches can begin preparing their fields for planting, as we prepare to provide training, seed and fertilizer through our church partners. These families and churches will be equipped with crucial resources to improve the food security for those under their care.
You need to know that your gifts are blessing families facing both of the scenarios described above. In the regions where Forgotten Voices works in Zambia, the chihuna ngombe rains have begun. People are busy preparing their fields so that when the planting time comes, they will be ready. Among those preparing are church leaders and caregivers who received Foundations for Farming training facilitated by Forgotten Voices in August, and who will receive vital seed and fertilizer through our partnerships when their fields are prepared.
In the areas where we partner in Zimbabwe, people are preparing in faith. The rains have not come yet, and water shortages are severe. Nearly two weeks ago representatives from 6 Forgotten Voices church partners plus a number of other local churches gathered for Foundations for Farming training. They met in spite of the fact that many of their neighborhoods, including the one where the training was held, had not had running water for nearly a week prior to training. Coordinators spent the days before the training securing enough water for drinking, food preparation etc. This further emphasizes the value of the Foundations for Farming method which is designed to conserve and maximize water.
Your gifts in this critical time are like precious drops of rain, reminding us of God’s promise to provide, encouraging us to continue moving forward in faith for a fruitful growing season, enabling us to provide the training, seed and fertilizer that will impact families throughout our network of church partnerships in southern Africa.
Thank you for giving! We look forward to keeping you posted as our partners move from training to preparing to planting to growing … and then to the harvest. We covet your prayers over this growing season. You’ve already planted seeds of hope and for that we thank you and thank God for the privilege of serving with you.
Director of Project Management