Written by William, Foundations for Farming Trainer
After hosting the Tazvita group and being inspired by the outcome of the training, I was looking forward to visiting them and seeing the work they have been doing in their community. Travelling 150km from our station in the early hours of the day, we noticed most crops by the road side had reached wilting point.
When we arrived, the people were waiting for us, sitting on the dry, shrivelled grass, ready to open the meeting with worship and prayer. As we prayed, the group they asked me to share. In the current situation of drought, the only word I could give was ‘HOPE’. Habakkuk 3:17-19 “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and they shall be no herd in the stalls. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.” This was the only word I could share because the verse spoke of exactly what we saw on the ground.
I don’t have the answers, and I had nothing to give, but I know God is forever faithful in any situation and circumstance. Col 1:17 “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” After two weeks of training, the team was so on fire to go out and live everything they had learned. They have all done all they could, yet there was no sign of rain in the sky.
Mid-afternoon in the blazing heat, we toured the fields. The blind, those on wheelchairs, and others on crutches. We all convoyed off to the fields. It was a short distance but took a long time with the different disabilities. We stopped at the first field which belongs to Mr. Machanyangwa. The field was well mulched and done to standard.
They had put so much work into getting the crop to that stage, but unfortunately it was thirsty and starting to wilt. We gathered together and prayed to God that He would honour their faithfulness. We prayed for Him to miraculously sustain the crop.
Even the blind, by their sense of touch, could tell that the crops needed water. We moved on to the next field, and together we prayed and asked God to show Himself in this situation. All we could ask for was His mercy, and for His will to be done. At all the ten fields we visited, we prayed until we could no longer express our prayers in words. My heart was weeping, for the community and for the crops. I have heard of drought and crop failure, but this was my first real life situation. During the 91-92 drought I was just a kid, dependent on my mother, so I can’t remember much from that difficult year, except that we did not harvest anything from our fields. How we survived was my mom’s problem, and it didn’t concern me. Now, many years later I was seeing the devastating effect of drought.
Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” In these situations, all we can do is pray to God and let His Holy Spirit intercede for us, when we can’t express ourselves. These people have done extremely well, beyond what we expect from people with disability, and against all odds. The neatness, the straight lines and mulching was so evident, despite the appearance of the sun scorched crops. Evas Shungu, one of the blind ladies, had an amazing field, despite having no sight, her plot was done to a very high standards indeed.
We finished off with a song of hope that we always sing in these times and season, “Ndinoramba ndichinamata (I will continue to praise Him)” and we prayed together. It was such an honour to be with these people, and share a few hours to encourage and strengthen them. In all this God calls us to count it pure joy as we face these seasons in our lives. Our prayer is for God to continue to give them hope in these very tough times. The looks on their faces was a testimony that God was still control, and what they have inside can’t be compared to what we can see outwardly. I am so grateful to God and all who made it possible for us to minister God’s word in their hearts. May His word continue to lead and strengthen them through this difficult and challenging season.