I have just returned from Israel– my wife and I went for a two-week break to visit the Holy Land. Part of our visit was spent in the Negev Desert in the southern part of Israel where I saw some amazing miracles take place. I saw those farmers planting wheat and cereal crops literally into sand dunes.
Further south, we saw a kibbutz that was literally “flowing with milk and honey”. They were growing everything there, from lush tropical fruit to sweet grapefruits so large they had to be held in two hands (and I’m not exaggerating), green peppers, tomatoes.
There were also dairies where the cows were continually inside their sheds, probably because there are no pastures, there’s not much space and the heat is incredible. It reaches up to 50°C in the summer. These men and women have the will to succeed, to overcome and they are doing it. I think one of the greatest challenges that a farmer has to face (because most farmers are self-starters and independent) is to get up every morning, day after day, week after week, month after month and keep going.
I ran the Comrades Marathon – only once. I never quite finished, but nearly got there. When we were coming up to the 40km mark, a man I was running with said to me, “If you don’t stop, you’ll make it.” I didn’t stop. I passed out. As a result, I didn’t make it. With farming I believe it’s exactly the same. If we don’t stop, if we keep on going, we’ll succeed.
There’s a scripture in the Bible in Philippians 1:6 which says, “We are confident of this very thing; that He who has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The farmers in Israel are up against political, economic and weather challenges. Yet they are succeeding. The reverse side of the coin is that I’ve seen men farming in some of the most arable, beautiful parts of our own beloved Africa, but there’s nothing there. There’s nothing to see, because there’s no will, no purpose to succeed. I would encourage all farmers in this year of 2009 to set hands to the plough and not to look back (Luke 9:62). Then we will be able to overcome and succeed.
God Bless! – Angus Buchan |fw