Hargesheimer Reports on Trip to Africa
by: Stafford North | February 8, 2017
Ken Hargesheimer has a ministry to teach people how to farm and through this ministry to reach them with the message of the Bible. In a recent report he told of a trip to Zimbabwe and Zambia which tells good news about work going on there. His trip was financed by WBS of Tulare County through donations by Jeffrey Skinner of California.
Hargesheimer arrived in Zimbabwe, just north of South Africa, where he was met by John Svova. They planned meetings on Thursday through Saturday to teach about a no-till farming method which uses bucket drip irrigation. On Wednesday they were summoned by local officials who questioned them extensively, but eventually allowed them to do their classes on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their original place to teach, however, had canceled their location for the meetings.
They then arranged their sessions at two farms, one in the shade and one on an enclosed porch. The interest was high with a good number attending. Since many farms are abandoned because of racial tensions of the past, each family must have its own garden or they do not have a good way to get food.
Hargesheimer teaches a method called “organic/no-till gardening.” This method involves establishing beds to which organic material such as green manure is added, covering up the beds, adding leaves and grass clippings, leaving all crop residue on top of the soil, no digging or cultivating, and using irrigation by drip lines or buckets. Such methods provide an increase of 50 to 100% in yield while reducing the labor by 50 to 75%. Once set up, the main cost is just for seeds to plant. The mulch gradually rots into the soil providing a constant supply of nutrients and prevents weeds from growing. Plants can be set twice as densely as normal so that the yield is usually four times the usual amount.
While in Zimbabwe, Hargesheimer distributed solar players developed by Sunset Bible School which plays the Bible and related information. He gave one to John and to elders of three congregations, and one to the president of the farming association. He also gave out some Bible DVD’s. He plans another trip there after the harvest and funds are already available. These sessions will be held at the church building and the preacher school.
Hargesheimer also went to Zambia, to the north of Zimbabwe. There he visited the new campus of a preacher school. Every student there must be married and must come to the campus three months before starting classes so he can plant a garden. While there, Ken taught classes for three days to show students from thirteen different villages and others connected with the school the best farming methods. The new plan will use less water and that is important because their well draws from a water table that is declining. The new method should also increase their production.
In addition to teaching about farming, Hargesheimer handed out the Bible solar players which students could take to serve the congregations in the thirteen villages, gave one to the preacher school, and gave one to farm manager Francis Mwanza.
So, the gospel can be spread in many ways and among them is helping people know how to farm more effectively. As people benefit from improved practices they have more time for the Lord’s work and sharing their new farming information gives them opportunities to share the gospel as well.
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