by Gerhard le Roux
Why Don't We Just Buy Vegetables?
Maybe you have wondered why we as a mission try to produce vegetables. Why don't we just buy vegetables from one of the small little local stores in Onseepkans, or in the nearest town?
Buying fresh produce from a local store in Onseepkans not only is an extremely expensive operation, with some produce nearly three times the price that a person would normally pay, but also many times the produce are not fresh anymore.
We could buy from nearest towns, and sometimes we do. But they are between 93 to 140 miles away. It's an expensive exercise if the fuel cost is taken into account.
But Those Aren't the Most Important Reasons We Grow a Garden
There is, however, a more important reason for us doing vegetables. One that is more important than our own well being of having fresh vegetables as a family.
The most important reason we raise vegetables is to bring hope to our community.
How does our garden bring hope?
Imagine, if it is that hard for us to obtain fresh produce, how much harder must it be for those in the communities around us that do not have the transport or finances to buy such produce.
It therefore comes at no surprise that the main local diet is comprised of maize, wheat flour and loads of sugar in the tea that they drink.
On top of that there are the widespread alcohol abuse and heavy addiction to smoking tobacco, not to mention the increasing marijuana and drug abuse.
Having a sustainable garden serves as a beacon of hope to the hopelessness around us. Hope that if we can do it, they can do it. They also know that we are willing to help them with knowledge and resources if they ask for it.
Our garden is so much more than a supply of fresh produce for our mission, it is a ministry of hope to the hopelessness around us.
But there's one more thing...
Right now, livestock farmers are really suffering from drought. There is precious little grazing left for their animals.
Please remember these farmers in your prayers.
We, too, are experiencing the drought in a very real way.
The drought has caused a food shortage for the birds in the arid semi-desert and our vegetable garden and fruit trees seem to be a very attractive alternative. One realises the seriousness of the situation when even our young onion plants are disappearing.
Our garden isn't a hobby, but a necessity. We had no other option but to start putting big areas under net.
Our first tunnel is now completed and we are busy erecting a big net house that will cover a big part of our vegetable garden and also some of our Guava and fig trees.
Thank you for your partnership and support in bringing hope and Good News to our community. We value your prayers.
About the Authors
Gerhard le Roux lives and ministers in Onseepkans, South Africa. The Le Roux family bless their town of Onseepkans, South Africa through development projects, hosting a weekly gathering of kids at their home, leading, equipping and encouraging the local church while declaring and demonstrating the Gospel.