Growing Crops, Growing Churches
Growing Crops, Growing Churches
Do you love making things grow or advocating for sustainable practices? Or maybe you have a vision for community development. You know something about agriculture or see the potential in it. You want to meet practical needs and come alongside people and empower them to steward local natural resources wisely.
God is using Pioneers farmers around the world to help build up communities, provide fair wages and bring the love of Jesus.
“Small-scale farmers in developing countries have the ability and work ethic to run a successful, productive farm,” explains a Pioneers worker. “Oftentimes, local people don’t have the access to the information, research or resources that they need to make it happen. Or they don’t have the margin to risk changing things because their families’ lives are on the line.”
Members of a Pioneers team purchased land in Southeast Asia and ended up starting a farm to engage with more people in their area.
“It wasn’t producing very well, and the previous owner operated it like nearly all of the farmers in our area, relying on pesticides and herbicides,” says Steven, who was part of the team. “My background and training are in organic small-scale farming. Jungle farming and growing coffee are very different from what I was trained in. Some of the bigger projects I’ve tackled are adding cover crops, grafting onto healthy rootstocks, terracing and diversifying crops.”
At first, neighbouring farmers mocked them because what they were doing was so different. “But we began selling our coffee for more than double what everyone else was getting, our neighbours started to listen to us and see value in how we were doing things,” says Steven. “Now we have a real opportunity to work together with these farmers and help them transition to more sustainable models.”
Opportunities in Agriculture
If you are looking for ways to serve through agriculture, mariculture, ecotourism or ecological preservation, Pioneers may have a place for you.
- Tish and Alan teach sustainable cultivation techniques while managing an organic farm.
- Seth and Heather’s chicken farm provides jobs to people in their community as well as meeting a market for good sources of protein.
- Chris manages an orchard that helps develop relationships between Christian workers and unreached people of their area. “We have a vision to holistically impact local communities here while also facilitating long-term presence.”
These Pioneers and others are serving their communities while building pathways for evangelism or creating contexts for discipleship. Often, they work shoulder-to-shoulder with local believers, living out the gospel in places where it has been little seen.
- Some build on years of experience in related careers.
- Others learn as they go, working with business advisors and local partners, especially in newer fields like aquaculture or ecological preservation.
- Many could use help to develop markets, manage the books or keep track of inventory.
- Some also welcome short-term workers—from subject-matter experts who can provide training seminars to interns who want to work alongside them.
As you might expect, it helps if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. “We’re looking for adventurous spirits excited to travel in the rain and wind, sleep on the floor and eat whatever we’re given,” says a team partnering with believers in Southeast Asia.
Could it be that God wants to use your passion for making things grow, even as He wants to use you to help plant churches and grow disciples? Get in touch with our mission mentors and let’s start talking!
God has a way of speaking to me about himself through his creation, and my aloe plant is no exception. I was minding my own business, thinking I only had one aloe plant. I looked after it as best as I knew how, but all the while, under the surface, things were happening that I couldn’t have imagined.
We’ve seen business and work opportunities provide disciple-makers like you with a clear identity and access to meet and serve people, especially in places where unemployment is high. And that leads to relationships that are natural and break down the barriers to the gospel in people’s hearts.
We have already realised the challenge that familiarity and connectivity can bring. It can be easy and tempting to seek out our regular comfort zones and enjoy the familiarity of home – the danger being that we don’t get alongside the people that God has brought us here to serve.