Planting Seeds in DRC

“One thing I’ve learned here with the communities, is that people should work. So, when we teach them to work, that’s when they’ll own the work, and they’ll be able to continue with their livelihood.” (Chalmers Center, Helping Without Hurting, Part 3: Understanding My Intentions Are Not Enough.)

In April 2018, we walked through our AHOME initiative in our mission to restore the hearts of the Congolese through trauma healing, train the members of the community in trades of hope in an effort to sustain the heart and soul health of them as a people, and within that, as a community. As we walked in faith pursuant to the points in that very initiative, men and women, led by Michel were able to deforest the grounds, prepare the soil, then plant crops which thrived in such a way that they were able to plant a second round of crops within the same year.

pineapple plant in Dungu, DRC

pineapple plant in Dungu, DRC

Since March of 2018, they planted on ½ hectare (The DRC equivalent of 1.25 acres):
Pineapple, maze, tomatoes, onions, cassava, cabbage, ground nuts, egg plant, sorghum (grain for bread), oranges, basil, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.

Their first harvest was in June and yielded all but the oranges and pineapple which take five years, and one year respectively to yield fruit.

The crops that they were able to harvest were in turn used for the House of Hope, then the remainder divided up among the Batissons l’Espoir staff. (17 men with families, who in turn were fed.)

As a continuation of care, in training and self-sustainability through micro-finance within the community of Dungu, the garden will be extended by an additional hectare, (2 ½ acres equivalency) allowing the members of Batissons l’Espoir to grow more pineapples, as well as more orange trees and additional crops. We will then sell the harvested crops in an open air market in Dungu.

By enabling this growth through fundraising here in America and refocusing those funds to the projects in Dungu, we have been able to lean into the Congolese’s God-given abilities, through the stewarding of God-given resources, thus relieving the strain of poverty, rehabilitating the heart of the community to one of hope after trauma, and reconnecting them with the heart of their Creator.

“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. […] everything that has the breath of life in it- I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.” -Genesis 1:29-30

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Rachel Thornton