Green fields of maize, eggplant, cabbage, and potatoes fill these once-barren fields in a village outside Torit, South Sudan. Where there once was dirt, now there is enough food to feed a family and sell leftovers at the market. William, a Petros Network church planter since 2022, had nothing before he began his work with Petros Network and launched his personal F.A.I.T.H (Food Always In The Home) garden.
This past year, he planted and harvested more than enough food to feed his family and sell at the market. From the proceeds of his sales, he purchased a motorbike, and now, in addition to selling his food in the market, he earns money by giving rides to people to and from town. With the money he is earning from his part-time taxi service, he is starting another business in the market and can be self-sustaining as a church planter—a goal of Petros Network’s approach.
“Praise God for Petros Network and for these gardens. I have 210 people in my church, and I am sharing Jesus and teaching farming to them.”—National Leader
The Impact Is Truly Remarkable!
This is just one story of how F.A.I.T.H gardens are feeding families, feeding children, and providing funding to lift those in need out of poverty in these remote rural villages in South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda—places where food insecurity is high.
According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), South Sudan and Ethiopia rank among the top 10 countries most at risk in 2023. These countries are at the greatest risk of new or worsening humanitarian emergencies. In these drought-stricken, war-torn countries, many families suffer from war, poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.
“If we can understand what is happening in these countries—and what to do about it—then we may, finally, have a chance to start reducing the scale of human suffering in the world.”
—IRC 2023 Watchlist
Alleviating Spiritual and Physical Poverty Through Sustainable Farming
Petros Network indigenous church planters in these countries are trying to do just that—alleviate human suffering in the world by demonstrating the Gospel lived out. They are working to alleviate spiritual and physical poverty in these remote areas—sharing, showing, and spreading the Good News of Jesus to the unreached people groups in their region. As a result of these church planting efforts, they are seeing a reduction in human suffering. Families are being fed, children are being nourished, and by the grace of God, villages are beginning to thrive. Church planters are transforming communities by providing practical physical solutions—feeding families, feeding children, and providing humanitarian aid, all in Jesus’ name. This is Redemptive Lift in action!
And It’s Working!
These gardens are one way this is happening. Many villagers in these remote areas have planted farms in the past, but they have not been as successful as these gardens because they didn’t know how to plant the right foods at the right time and use the farming techniques that work in their particular climate conditions. A Petros Network agricultural scientist changed all that. In a multi-day training, these church planters were able to learn farming strategies that increased their crop yields significantly!
Fedede, a Petros Network church planter in Uganda, said,
“I have been farming most of my life, but it wasn’t until I attended the F.A.I.T.H garden training that I truly understood how to better plant and care for my crops. . . I was surprised to find that my harvest was much better than in previous years, despite the challenges I faced. . .This training has given me a new hope. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my crops and my faith.”
Kantono, another Petros Network church planter from Uganda, said,
“When I first planted my garden, I chose eggplant, and with the knowledge I gained, I was able to teach other women in my community how to mix fertilizers to get better yields. Many women came to learn from me and even started buying vegetables from my garden. It has been a great source of income for me and my family.”
And Sembuya, another Ugandan church planter,
“I cannot help but smile when I think about the F.A.I.T.H garden training I received. The skills I learned have made such a difference in my life. Before, I struggled to grow enough food to sustain myself and my family, but now, with my own plot of land, I can grow greens and eggplant easily.”
An Opportunity to Share the Good News
These gardens are providing the gift of life to so many. Everyone in the villages where these farms are thriving wants to learn how to plant these F.A.I.T.H gardens—providing the church planters opportunities to teach these agriculture techniques and preach the Good News. It is so exciting to hear how these small farms are multiplying. For every garden planted by a Petros Network church planter, five more gardens are being planted in the villages. People are literally reaping the harvest, physically and spiritually. It is truly miraculous!
Reducing Food Insecurity—One Village at a Time
And we can’t wait to train more indigenous leaders to continue these multiplying outcomes and reduce food insecurity in these unreached areas. Petros Network will take a team of experts to Ethiopia in October to train and equip even more local leaders to successfully plant these gardens in their villages. We can’t wait to see what God does!