Cursed is the Ground
Anyone who wants to produce something in Onseepkans, South Africa, must creatively sidestep and overcome challenges such as primitive infrastructure, lack of water, poor soil, too much sun, marauding animals, very hardy weeds and insects.
The extreme conditions are an exhibit of the truth God spoke when he said to Adam,
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.”
Breaking the Curse
ITMI partners, Gerhard and Elmane le Roux are bringing the restoration of Jesus to barren and isolated Onseepkans, South Africa.
They are using the resources God provides – funds, ingenuity, community – to be “fruitful” and cause the earth to “multiply.” Then they use the bounty God provides to bless others.
Many Ways to Bless Their Community
The le Roux family has identified so many ways to bring life, hope and productivity where the curse once reigned.
They have already:
- Been instrumental in restoring a key canal from the Orange River, opening up farming as a means of productivity and provision for the community where it was impossible before.
- Opened a mom-and-pop, fair-trade, cash-only supply store where locals can get supplies at fair prices and avoid high interest rates.
- Bolstered the goat-herding industry through educational and co-op like practices, allowing locals to afford medicine and living conditions appropriate for God’s created animals.
- Presented public health information from a Biblical perspective in several local schools.
- Planted and are shepherding a local congregation.
Gerhard le Roux (wearing the white hat) helps local goat-herders protect their flocks from disease by purchasing a batch of expensive vaccines from his own pocket, then allowing the locals to purchase only the dosage they need from him.
The 6th Way: Blessing Many with a Vegetable Garden
When the earth is fruitful, as it was before the fall in God’s good creation, many can be blessed.
“Since we started with the garden, we realized that the success of the garden could have an impact on the people and communities around us and we hope to assist them with implementing successful and sustainable gardens. We value your prayers for our garden.”
For the le Roux family, gardening is a lifeline and a ministry. It’s an avenue by which they can bless their community.
It’s also the only possible way they can eat fresh vegetables. The fuel cost of a trip to the nearest store is simply way outside the budget.
“After school in the morning the children help in the vegetable garden, pushing wheel barrows full of goat manure around or planting seed in the seedling trays,” Gerhard says.
Through trial, willingness to learn and God’s provision, Gerhard is becoming quite the expert on growing plants. Their most recent adjustment (after the picture above was taken) to the garden was to plant rows of fruit trees between vegetables, hoping to provide shade. Also, they reap the added benefit of…fruit!
Last fall, the blessings from Gerhard’s gardening expertise extended past Onseepkans when he provided visiting ITMI Director, Steve Evers with seeds and gardening lessons.
Steve passed both on to the eager villagers at his next destination, the isolated and impoverished Lukulu East, Zambia. The addition of a few freshly grown vegetables into the diet of Lukulu’s people could make a huge impact on the overall health and quality of life in the area.
All of this is possible because the le Roux family is serving in Onseepkans, South Africa.
It’s possible because you supported. You prayed. You gave
You helped break the curse and bring restoration.
A New Opportunity to Break the Curse
Onseepkans Mission is currently facing a new opportunity to trust God. As the local electric company takes advantage of the powerlessness (literally!) of their customers, electricity is becoming so outlandishly expensive that they are struggling to turn their lights on in the evening.
To overcome this challenge, ITMI would like to help them continue to wisely use the resources of God’s creation to bless their community.
They’d like to harness the sun by purchasing a solar system for the mission.
There’s quite a few benefits:
Onseepkans Mission would not be in danger of losing electricity
Solar power conserves natural resources
The power generated would allow the mission guest house to also have electricity, which currently is not affordable
- Onseepkans Mission’s funds would not be subject to the unreliability of the local electric company. Their monthly costs would become predictable.
- What is good for Onseepkans Mission is good for the community because the Mission exists to bring good and share what they have with the people of Onseepkans.
- Would you like to partner with ITMI to free up this creative and industrious family to continue bless their community?
by Summer Kelley
Summer Kelley is a writer who lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and three kids. She has had the privilege of telling ITMI’s stories since 2006. She loves to write uplifting stories of God’s work overseas, read and learn about the world around her and enjoy her family.