Food Projects - 080600 Animals, Agriculture & Livelihoods

Agricultural project expands in Senegal

The crisis was real and potentially overwhelming.

The company Eric Toumieux hired to find water for the Samaritan’s Purse-supported Beersheba agriculture project in the West African nation of Senegal came back with a discouraging report: initial drilling found nothing but tiny amounts of salty water.

“That was one of the worst evenings since I arrived in Senegal,” recalled the native of France, who has lived in Africa for 14 years. “I was crying. I felt like God had abandoned me.”

For solace, Eric began leafing through the Bible and came upon Deuteronomy 33:13: “May the LORD bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below” (NIV).

“I wiped away my tears, called my contractor and said ‘keep drilling,'” Eric said. His faith in the Lord paid off; after several days of drilling, water began gushing out of the ground.

The drilling contractor was stunned, Eric said.

“Before, he didn’t believe in God, but then he said, ‘Praise to God.'”

The water was vital to expanding Beersheba. Today, the 100-hectare project is a model of sustainable agriculture in a nation where subsistence farming-including cutting down trees to clear arable land, and the misapplication of costly chemical fertilizers-has ravaged much of the landscape.

Since 2002, Beersheba has:

  • Reforested 100 hectares of desert-like land, which helps conserve rich soil
  • Vastly expanded the variety of plants and trees
  • Taught dozens of Senegalese farmers the basics of sustainable agriculture techniques, entrepreneurial skills, and Biblical truths
  • Planted and raised organic cabbage, eggplant, corn, peanuts, and watermelon, usually in small, forest-surrounded plots or in the midst of trees, which provide important shade and help conserve soil
  • Generated income through buying weakened cattle, improving their diet, then butchering them (in a new Beersheba facility) and selling the meat; the cattle generate manure to replace costly and potentially harmful chemical fertilizers

Samaritan’s Purse’s contribution to Beersheba has included financing the construction of a water storage tower, classrooms, dorm buildings, and a kitchen. Your donations are also helping to train farmers.

“This project is not only the work of our efforts, but of the grace of God,” said Eric.

Your prayers and gifts make agricultural projects like Beersheba possible.

Food Projects - 080600 Animals, Agriculture & Livelihoods

More than a billion people worldwide are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Through your gifts, Samaritan’s Purse is providing lasting solutions through hands-on farming training, home garden projects, and practical education about nutrition, as well as desperately-needed food staples for hungry families in emergency situations.