How does the Bible impact lives?
Connected to prayer
This article was first featured alongside our Prayer Diary in August 2019. You can download the August 2019 prayer points here or sign-up to receive future editions by post or email.
Growing Nations in Lesotho teaches people how to farm sustainably using conservation agriculture (CA) methods. These methods are not biblical in themselves, but everything they teach to farmers and students is underpinned by key biblical principles. Whilst conservation agriculture produces increased yields and meets physical needs, Growing Nations’ vision is to see transformed spiritual lives too. Barry Mann, Communications and Media specialist at Growing Nations, explains how the Bible underpins their work.
Part of Growing Nations’ ministry is discipling farmers and students. We share the gospel and teach how our core beliefs influence our values, which in turn influence our behaviour, and how our behaviour ultimately has consequences. So it is through putting God at the centre, understanding biblical values, and living those out on a daily basis that we ultimately see changed lives, with people giving glory to God and having improved relationships with others, themselves and creation.
“…it was through these Bible studies, the discipleship of the team and God’s grace that Makalo is now a Christian. His family have noticed the transformation too.”
Students are discipled through daily devotions at the Growing Nations base in Maphutseng, where each morning we worship God, study his Word and pray together. The Extension Workers do the same with farmers in their communities.
That all sounds great in theory, but what impact does it have? Makalo Sefuthi joined the Resident Student Programme in August 2017 and it has been amazing to see his life change.
“Before I started at Growing Nations I didn’t have a love of farming or a passion to spend time with God. Those two things have now changed. Now, I have a love for my farm and a love of God. I want to thank you because I never thought that agriculture could change my life.”
Initially during the devotions Makalo was always questioning what he was hearing – deep and heavy questions challenging Christianity. Some of his friends are Muslim and he admitted that he leaned more towards that faith, hence the questions. However, it was through these Bible studies, the discipleship of the team and God’s grace that Makalo is now a Christian. His family have noticed the transformation too. His brother commented, “That man has changed. His behaviour has changed, he spends all his time working on his farm and the whole family now welcomes him back home.”
Called to mission
God has also dramatically changed the direction of Ntsiuoa’s life since she first got involved in the Student Programme three years ago. Her faith matured whilst being discipled at Growing Nations. During one of the devotions August Basson, the founder of Growing Nations, was invited to share his heart for mission and his passion for Africans to reach the unreached in Madagascar. It was at that point God called her to ‘go’. AIM colleagues at Growing Nations, worked through a missions course with her, and she then completed three months discipleship training in South Africa. Subsequently, Ntsiuoa has been doing mission work with them in a remote community in South Africa and has also been part of a short term mission trip to Malawi. It hasn’t been an easy journey and she has faced many challenges along the way, particularly in raising finances, but she is faithfully following her calling.
There are many more stories to tell of transformed lives, but at the moment, future funding of Growing Nations’ work is uncertain beyond September 2019. We are therefore praying that God will release funds so that lives can continue to be changed in Lesotho and beyond.
If you would like to give to Growing Nations, you can visit their website: www.growingnations.co.za/support-us.
Barry & Heather Mann
Barry & Heather work with Growing Nations in Maphutseng, Lesotho. Heather is the CEO and Barry works in Communications and they are Unit Leaders for Lesotho.Find out more…