A pastor in Southeast Asia sows seeds for the Gospel while fighting hunger with his backyard garden.
It took a little faith for Aarav* to leave his industrial job and serve God full-time as a pastor. It took a little more faith to move his family to a new area of India, rent a house, and ask his landlord if he could transform the barren backyard into a bountiful garden.
Fittingly, the garden Aarav grew is called a FAITH (Food Always In The Home) garden—one aspect of a Samaritan’s Purse agricultural project that not only trains families how to grow their own nutritious produce, but also how to raise chickens and apply the technology of aquaponics.
Since implementing all he learned, Aarav has been enjoying the fruits of his labor: delicious, naturally-grown vegetables that nourish his family every day. The sale of extra produce covers the educational costs for his two children, who otherwise would have to live away from home to attend school.
“The project opens new doors, provides nutritious food, and builds family relationships,” our local partner affirmed. “Chemical-free farming saves money as well as health.”
In uncertain times like these, global hunger is on the rise and high-risk families are even more vulnerable to malnutrition and exploitation. According to a recent report from the United Nations, 2 billion people do not have regular access to nutritious and sufficient food. Worse, it projected that more than 130 million could be added to the world’s undernourished because of the COVID-19 crisis. Aarav and his family might have been counted among them were it not for their backyard FAITH garden.
“The only way to prevent the poor [in Southeast Asia] from becoming slaves again is to teach them to produce food from their own land with minimum external input,” said our partner. “The project fits perfectly with the logic of ‘teaching them to fish’ rather than ‘feeding them fish.’”
Best of all, seeds for the Gospel are also plentifully sown. The project trains pastors in particular so they can feed their families and also be a blessing to their communities. They share their knowledge, their produce—and the Good News.
“The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!” (Psalm 22:26, ESV).
It might take a little faith, but will you step out and provide not just nutrition, but also spiritual nourishment for families in need? A gift of $50 can give a family tools and seeds to start a life-sustaining garden. With $1,400, you can provide agricultural training for an entire community.
*Name changed to protect privacy