The HHI Agriculture team just returned from an evaluation and planning trip to the City of Children and the eleven Baja Missions congregations.
The trip to the Baja region and the City of Children resulted in much enthusiasm and excitement among the children and churches HHI is working with in developing both garden sites and ministry opportunities.
With a work fund provided by HHI, and direction from Rex Watson of Baja Missions, Christian Husband (also of Baja Missions) has installed two 1250 gallon rainwater harvesting tanks at City of Children in Ensenada, Mexico. Thirty-two of the children are a part of the garden club that Christian formed. On the property, he has also worked with students from the Baja Bible Institute. From this plot they are collecting data on both the amount of water used and the quantity of food produced.
With the help of U.S. sponsoring congregations' work teams, Christian and Baja Christians have been able to plant nine additional community gardens which include rainwater harvesting. These projects include 45 raised garden beds and the ability to collect roughly 8,800 gallons of water throughout the Baja Missions churches and homes. As vegetable production increases, food preservation techniques will be taught, especially to girls at the City of Children.
The gardening projects make significant difference in the physical and spiritual lives of residents of the Baja region. At the
Vicente Guerrero congregation, three gardens have been developed in the community. Martin (pictured below) had been visiting the congregation for three or four weeks when they asked him if he would be willing to host a demonstration garden at his home, since his land was a corner lot on the main road and visible to everyone coming in and out of town. Rainwater harvesting and five planting beds were developed and planted for the community to see. After participating in the planting of the garden and seeing the love and care the church has for the community, Martin was baptized into Christ. Christian Husband says Martin is just one example of “Lives being changed and souls saved through the garden projects.”Christian asks for prayers “for the continued enthusiasm and commitment for the people who tend these gardens. Pray that God will help us to bear not only the physical fruit of the garden, but also the spiritual fruit in the lives of the people.”
Another man, Antonio Gonzales from the San Vicente congregation, says “It is not always easy to find people interested in the Gospel, but the garden creates an open dialogue opportunity and a chance to build relationships. Planting the plants and seeds in the garden will help me plant the seeds of the Gospel in the community.” And that is exactly what we pray for the City of Children and the churches in the Baja region–opportunities to plant the gospel.
Written by Carl Burkybile, Agriculture Director