Well, 2017 has been a year for the books! I’d say it has been one of highs and lows. I’ve had the worst corn crop I’ve had in over 20 years. Just a perfect storm of things going wrong. I’ve seen my son graduate high school and prepare to enter Clemson University.
I had so much fun planting soybeans the first time, I decided to do it again! I had some herbicide damage and the beans were stunted and not growing. And still aren’t growing! Those larger plants in the above photo are 9 weeks old! They should be over knee high! But these might be 8 inches! Do you remember the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? Jack’s mother just threw the beans out of the window and they grew into an enormous beanstalk. That’s how beans usually are. But not this year. Not for me. I am beginning to wonder what I am doing trying to train others about agriculture if I can’t even get beans to grow! I might need to turn in my ‘farmer’ card! Farming does nothing if not keep you humble! But God is faithful through it all and I am thankful for His blessings.
And speaking of blessings! A container that was loaded in October of last year finally made it to Nairobi! Yay, GAiN! There were so many starts and stops to this process. But drip kits are now in the field in Namanga with some more awaiting transport. The container also has parts for an electric fence to help with animal control, but they haven’t unpacked that yet! These are boxes of bucket drip kits that will be used by families in southeast Kenya and northeast Tanzania. And these are the buckets to go along with them!
EDEN has two trips on the not so distant horizon. Jon Ozmint will be leading a team back to Uganda during the first week of September. They will be taking a large drip irrigation system to the refugee camp at Kiryandongo. EDEN is also purchasing a corn (maize) shelling machine for them to use to process their crop. This will save money on the refugees’ food supply and also serve as a business start-up. The team will also distribute improved crop storage bags (PICS) to help protect the harvested crop. They will also train on irrigation at the Rhino camp in northern Uganda. At a South Sudanese church in Arua, Uganda, they will work out the details of establishing a sewing center. The ladies there will be trained on how to make Luopads for other ladies as well as general sewing. They also hope to help distribute Bibles provided by With Open Eyes while in the Rhino camp and in Arua.
The second trip will be in October to Kenya and Tanzania. Jim Mixson will be leading a team to work with several schools and orphanages on irrigation training. We are also looking into providing a well at one of the orphanages. We will also go back to the Maasai village that was visited in February to install a large drip irrigation system there. Sewing centers will also be established in several locations. What? Ya’ll didn’t know Jim could run a sewing machine? It’s got a motor on it doesn’t it?? All joking aside, Kristin Mixson has done a great job with video training on making the Luopads. So rest easy, the pupils will be well trained.
We feel that now is such an opportune time to minister to and teach the South Sudanese who are in the refugee camps in Uganda. God has brought so many out of their country and congregated them in the camps. The logistics, while not ideal, are much more conducive than those in South Sudan.
All of these efforts are costly. We first ask you to pray for us as we undertake the ministry that God has laid before us. Second, we would ask you to consider helping us financially. EDEN is fully registered as a 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations are fully tax-deductible. Any contribution can make a big impact. Donations may be sent to our mailing address:
1110 Blakely Court
West Columbia, SC 29170