Frequently asked questions
What We Believe
According to the ancient English (or African) proverb, if you give someone a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Or in our case, give him food to eat, you feed him for the day; teach him to farm and you feed him for life. In short, it is more worthwhile to teach someone to do something for himself than to do it for him endlessly.
This, in short, is the philosophy behind our emphasis on an agricultural based ministry. That is that if people actively participate in their own development, they will not become eternally dependent on others for the basic elements of their own redemption. Jesus demonstrated this several times during His ministry. Before He fed the thousands who had followed him to the desolate wilderness, He asked if anyone among them had bread. He could just as easily have made the bread Himself out of nothing. To a blind man He healed He said go and wash your face in the River Jordan. To the lame man who lay at the pool by the Temple for thirty-eight years waiting for the angel of the Lord to stir the water so he can jump in and be healed, Jesus said, after healing the man, “Get up, pick up your bed and walk”. Yes, I said thirty-eight years. If the man had crawled one inch a month, he probably could have been in the pool long before Jesus came to his rescue. I assume that in thirty-eight years, he bathed, changed clothes, ate and used the bathroom.
Back to the agricultural based ministry and rural development program. We don’t want you as a donor to feed the children in the village; or pay their school fees, buy their uniforms or pay the salaries for their teachers. Or in the case of the much needed Maternal and Child Health Center in the village, we don’t want you as donor to pay the salary for the nurses and traditional birth attendants – local midwives. We don’t want you to dig the water well they need for cleaning, washing and drinking. We don’t want you to build the toilet or pay for the training of the additional nurses we need to run the Health Center. That amounts to giving them the proverbial fish. We don’t want to come back to you the next day for another fish to feed the same people.
What Can You Do?
What we want you to do is to sponsor an acre on our one thousand acre E. D. Baker Farms in the village. We will employ the people themselves to grow the rice and vegetables they need. After harvesting, we will feed the children and sell the bulk of it on the open market and use the proceeds to buy uniforms for the children in the village, pay salaries for the teachers, and the staff at the Health Center. After all, the people in the village are very proud to tell anyone who listens that they built the Health Center and the school buildings themselves. They don’t need anyone to dig the water well or the toilet for them. They just need the funds to do so. And we believe the best or most reliable and efficient way to do this is through the farm project.
What Will it Cost?
For a one thousand dollar (US $1,000) donation, we can plant ten (10) acres of rice and vegetables employing the very people you are trying to help. That’s it; we do the rest. We plant, we tend the farm, we harvest, we market the food we don’t consume and we use the proceeds for the work you wanted to do in the first place. At harvest, your thousand dollars will likely become two, five or ten thousand dollars in proceeds. And then we plant more acres the following year and the year after that from your original one thousand dollars as the gift that keeps on giving.