By Lawrence Oshioreame
Since the inception of this congregation in 2000, the Lord has laid it in our hearts to embark on agricultural projects as a means of sustaining Kingdom work and reaching out in a more effective way. By taking the Gospel to those outside the Kingdom, we are helping to better the lives of those in both spiritual and physical ways.
This vision has been shared among sister congregations here, and it was applauded. But, it has also appeared unattainable due to all the financial involvements, actualizing all the elements, and implementations.
The congregation sees agriculture as one of the most effective ways to support and sustain Kingdom work in Gambia. The Gambia is predominately Muslim, and it is hostile to the acceptance of the Gospel. Poverty is widespread. This Muslim-dominated background slows the pace of numerical growth in the Kingdom, and the poverty level affects many who become Christians in their living. Thus, the strength of their giving in worship service is greatly affected, too.
1. Our Vision:
A. To set up a standard poultry project with chickens of more than one species, as well as layer and broiler chickens. These layers would produce eggs daily, which would be accumulated for sale, and the broiler breeds would be prepared directly for sale.
For example, having about one thousand layer chickens will produce slightly above a thousand eggs daily, because there would be a few exceptional cases that some would lay two eggs daily. The layers can be sold after months of laying eggs and replaced with new grown layers.
Market target: Local markets such as the tourist industry and the general public.
B. Have an orchard of Moringa trees (never-die trees) that would produce seeds yearly, which can be sold for medicinal purposes. Or, another option is to grow cashew trees. Its fruit can be used to produce wine and the seeds for export to the USA and Europe.
C. Set up an irrigation farm to produce vegetables throughout the year for the local market, and possibly for export as well.
2. Our Mission:
A. Buy sizable land within local communities, especially outside a major city where Search for Truth is being broadcasted.
B. Acquire equipment for the poultry project, and establish a steady source of buying chicken feeds according to their kinds. (ii) Later, discontinue the purchase of chicken feeds and produce it for security and cost effective purposes.
C. Construct a bole hole so that there will be constant supply of water for irrigation farming even during the dry season.
D. Seek partners to collaborate with us for the initial sponsorship of finances and materials.
3. Beneficiaries (Church and communities/individuals and non-Christians):
A. The church is the first beneficiary of these projects, in the sense that it will create employment for some indigenous church members who fit the job descriptions. It will help raise steady funds for scholarships and benevolence in general.
B. It will cater for evangelism mechanics, such as necessary logistics to operate and push the Gospel to areas targeted.
C. It will help to employ workers within the local communities where the projects are sited.
D. It will help to operate with benevolence in various relief activities, dependent upon the pressing needs of people or prospects for evangelism nationwide.
E. It will help to provide scholarship for needy children outside the Kingdom as a way of taking the Gospel to the lost. There will be obvious criteria used to ascertain the beneficiaries of this work.
F. It will help to support preacher’s allowance.
G. It will help to build new church buildings.
H. It will help to support Mission work outside The Gambia as the Lord leads.
4. Current Status of the Vision:
By the grace of God we have acquired some plots of lands in some local communities. Such as 200m by 100m x 200m by 100m at Mbullum, 100m by 100, x 100m by 100m at Somita.
Secondly, a few communities are willing to sell plots of land if we establish a school for the community so that their children will not have to travel long distances to go to school.
5. Current Challenges:
A. To raise funds to register the properties from occupancy ownership to leasing levels.
B. Fencing of the properties for security, and to do some local planting of crops to raise money gradually for the main projects. Fencing will protect the crops from animal intrusion and destruction.
C. Raise funds for the main projects to begin and to serve the overall goals.