Seeds of faith: Thomas Simubali on evangelism through agriculture
To Thomas Simubali, they are more than a means of feeding hungry people. They are a means of spreading the Gospel.
Simubali, director of outreach for Mapepe Bible College, travels to communities surrounding the Zambian capital, Lusaka, and asks villagers how many grow enough food to sustain themselves.
In most places, 15 percent or less raise their hands, he says.
It frustrates Simubali. “If God has given us enough land and rain, God will give us enough food,” he says.
A large lake near Chanyanga used to provide sustenance, but it has been over-fished, Simubali says. He helped the community plant the garden to show the value of drip irrigation, a farming method that uses minimal water. Healing Hands International, a church-supported ministry, provided instruction and equipment. The effort, Zambia Agricultural Ministry, is supported by the Forsythe Church of Christ in Monroe, La.
Zambians have seen the fruits — and vegetables — of their labor. One villager, Moses Mulenga, has planted a similar garden nearby. He’s feeding his family and selling his excess onions and carrots.
“This makes me very grateful,” Mulenga says.
In Zambia, “the days when a missionary can walk into a village, preach and baptize … I think those days are over,” Simubali says. “Now we need to engage the community, build relationships.”
When Zambians see a Christian working to improve their lives, “I’ve earned my right to be heard.”
FeedbackIt is great to see Thomas demonstrate such a service. It is not surprising though since his heartbeat has always been food security. Thomas with his great determination, can cause even the snail to participate in farming. He challenged me to grow love for agriculture although I went to facilitate church planting. Keep it up Thomas. We, the admirers are on the side seeing your good work.
Mustapha SandiMustapha SandiChurch PlanterBo City, Rep. of Sierra Leone
Sierra LeoneJanuary, 12 2013