Looking Back and Looking Forward

I am vacillating somewhere between speechless and writing a small novella. Unfortunately for you, it might turn out to be the latter :).

It’s only Tuesday, and this week has already held enough surprises that we can call it a week right now.  But, I love surprises, and if we keep going at this rate, we’ll have the farm done this week.  So on second thought, let’s not close the door on this week just yet!

Looking back to December of last year, realizing the need for sustainable food production, we were just beginning to talk about starting a farm.  John had written an e-mail suggesting we take a look at 20 acres.

Soon 20 acres were purchased, then 30, then 40.  This week, another 45 acres were added, so the farm now sits at 85 acres!!!!  This is such an astounding blessing.  And not only is it additional acreage where future food will be grown, but the new land already comes complete with “a big banana plantation, which will be a source of food for the children.  Bananas are expensive to buy here, and to be realistic, I do not remember when I last bought them for the children.” (John Mugabi)

Jotham, affectionately called Peanut by Cara, is the sweetest kid, always laughing and smiling

Jotham, affectionately called Peanut by Cara, is the sweetest kid, always laughing and smiling

The SWAP-IT project was started June 15th of this year.  The goal is to substantially expand the farm so that 1200 children (and soon 2000) can receive a complete, nutritious AND delicious diet!  The global food crisis has sent food prices soaring in Uganda so that their diet consists mainly of beans, maize (posho or porridge), matooke and sometimes cabbage.  If you haven’t yet taken the rice & beans challenge for a week, let me encourage you to take this opportunity to do that for a week.  You can hear from those who did it earlier this year.  I personally found it to be both a thought-changing and lifestyle-changing experience.

I wonder what amazing things could happen if we all adjusted our grocery and eating-out budgets.  What if we swapped out some of our expensive food for less expensive?  Our meals out for meals in? How many children could we feed and feed well?  If we are not wanting to eat rice and beans for a week, are we loving our neighbor when we allow them to eat that for a year?

A friend of ours shared with us what she heard at church this past weekend.  An African orphan-turned-speaker/advocate shared his experience of growing up on the streets of northern Uganda,  fearful, lonely and hungry.  The service was then closed out by another leader who said (rightly), “If we have food everyday, we’re incredibly wealthy.”

Just food on the table, and we’re rich.

Which is more messed up–that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don’t think we’re rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves “broke” or “poor”? We are neither of those things.  We are rich. Filthy rich. Francis Chan ~ Crazy Love

*********************************************

A swap-it update is long overdue!

Goal:       2,200,000 meals

Progress: 1,211,644 meals

On the swap-it list were another 20 acres of farm land, irrigation & water for the animals, a tractor, a small used car to get to the land, 1400 avocado, mango, fig and citrus trees, chickens & goats, a hen house and goat stables, and one BIG kitchen!

As of today? Farmland. Check. (God has supplied abundantly beyond what we could have asked or imagined less than a year ago!) Goat/Hen house. Check. Car. Check.  Water for the animals. Check.

Looking forward, a little less than 50% of the farming projects remain to be completed.  So, we press on!

Yes, there are more surprises, and we’ll share those in a couple of upcoming posts. Stay tuned!!

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