As of this month, the contact details for REAP are changing. Our postal address is now:
10 Bourne Road, Pangbourne RG8 7JS
Email address: email@example.com
These changes are the result of Cheryl and Andrew Twigger stepping down after many years of faithful service to REAP, Cheryl as trustee and writer of the Newsletter and Andrew as our financial adviser.
Sad as we are to lose Cheryl and Andrew, we are delighted to let you know that Jenny Nhau (nee Sharland) will be taking over the newsletter and general communications and her husband, Tich Nhau, will be providing financial advice. You will be hearing more from them I am sure in the May newsletter.
On behalf of Roger and Jos and the remaining trustees, Harry Hogg, Paul Fountain, Veronica Hindle and myself, Ruth Hampton, I would like to thank you for your prayerful support for REAP, many of you since it started in 1999. Hopefully some of you will be able to arrange to meet up with Roger and Jos on their visit to the UK this July and August.
Help farmers in Kenya reap a better harvest by supporting REAP this Harvest Season
REAP works with poor farmers in western Kenya, teaching them how to look after their land using locally available resources, so as to get more reliable yields and better output for their work. Our main focus is on caring for the soil so it is not washed away by erosion or burnt by the hot sun, and teaching on how to increase soil fertility in various ways including incorporating the right trees in the farm. We are actively promoting Vetiver grass to control soil erosion, as well as planting of both leguminous trees and leguminous cover crops. We also promote the use of animal manure, and particularly the value of dairy goats for providing manure as well as milk. With the challenges of climate change we have started challenging farmers to grow those crops that are more suitable for the less predictable conditions we now have. Our strategy is to motivate people from the Bible by working with creation and thinking of others, and when people are challenged by having teaching that they can put into practice from their own labour and resources.
Here are some examples of what contributions to REAP can achieve (numbers in brackets refer to the pictures:
£9 will buy 10 litres of fuel for a motorbike enabling our staff to reach farmers where they are.
£20 will buy a tent for drying vegetables including Moringa as well as natural medicines (1. Pastor Ben by a tent with Moringa leaves drying)
£40 will cover the cost of a set of tools for a tree nursery. (2. A tree nursery by Lake Victoria)
£50 can pay for the rent of a piece of land for a year so that a community can multiply up Vetiver grass for sharing in the community (3. A Vetiver grass nursery for the community)
£60 will pay for a part time extension worker taking our teaching to the farmers for a month (4. Bishop Silas, one of our extension team with his Vetiver Grass hedge)
£65 will cover the printing cost of 1,000 leaflets which we produce on both Biblical and technical topics
£100 can provide a young dairy goat to a family (5. A dairy goat with her feed in a simple house)
£120 can cover the cost of displaying our teaching ideas to farmers at an open day at the Agricultural Training Centre (6. REAP stand at the climate change conference)
£240 will cover the cost of a participant at a week’s intensive residential training including materials to take home after the training (7. A practical session during a training seminar)
During May REAP held a weeklong training seminar on Natural Medicines with Anamed. There were participants from Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Sudan, a Dutch couple working in South Sudan, a Japanese volunteer working in Kenya, a Jesuit Catalan father from Kakuma refugee camp and the others from Kenya. They ranged from a university professor and community health workers to several youth. All were keen to learn of the holistic approach to REAP and actively requested Biblical input. Following the success of this training seminar, we are planning to hold another one in November. We are thinking of having a similar type of training relating to the Stewardship program, and are exploring this idea with some Christian NGOs. We have also been asked to do a week’s training on Natural Medicines in August at the AIC missionary college in Eldoret.
George and Rosalia spent a week training in Central Pokot in April. This is most encouraging as they were from a remote area where people are able to see the value of taking control of their own situation. Domitilla was able to visit Wau in South Sudan for a follow up on her training on stoves. She found the people there were much more focused on this occasion. A third visit is planned. Rosalia and Monica will be conducting a training group for the Lavan Children’s Ministry in Kilimambogo on 10th June. There is much interest in REAP teaching in Ukamani, south east of Nairobi. An established trained Ukamani contact is already using REAP teaching and planting material at his home. He would be an ideal person to take our teaching forward in this area.
Donations have been received to cover the cost of replacing the REAP vehicle. This is currently being imported from Japan and should be in use shortly.
In his capacity as a board member of Across, Roger has been able to visit South Sudan in order to interview the new Executive Director and Personnel Director, and will be returning to Juba later in June for meetings with the Across management and board members. We have currently had positive interaction with CMS Africa, in relation to both natural medicines and environmental teaching. We would like to learn from each other without duplicating.
Praise for the positive responses from recent seminars and the steady spreading of REAP teaching
Prayer that REAP will shortly obtain written final approval for building the much needed Demonstration and Resource Centre on REAP’s Kajulu land
Thanks for the safe delivery of Faith Ruby Sharland on 3rd June; Roger and Jos’ second grandchild
Pray for the success of the REAP stand at the Kisumu Show during the first week in August
Last November’s four day seminar to train twenty key contact people in REAP’s holistic methods has inspired much activity as participants have keenly put their newly honed skills into practice.
Thanks to funding from Spring Harvest, REAP was able to gather together twenty key people from various locations in northwest Kenya.
The seminar focused on how to become good stewards of God’s creation. As a result of four day’s intensive training the delegates have since enthusiastically shared practical help with less fortunate farmers who live in their communities.
This teaching took place at Ukweli, close to REAP’s Kajulu garden plot, so the delegates were able to benefit from witnessing REAP concepts already being put to use.
Seminar attendees dig up clumps of vetiver grass from the REAP farm, to start a new nursery at the Ukweli Centre
When REAP is not holding seminars on behalf of other organizations or within supporting churches, participants often require funding.
REAP’s only limitation in spreading news of proven, low cost, methods that vastly improve the lives of the poor is funding.
The full cost of bringing together a group of twenty committed rural leaders for four days of intensive training is £3,000. Sometimes churches and individuals are able to contribute to their own attendance, but often delegate sponsorship is needed.
Kajulu plot with proposed new building in the bottom left hand corner, close to the road
REAP’s plans to develop the Kajulu land by erecting an eco-friendly and cost-effective demonstration, training and resource centre, await final permission from local authorities.
This building will enable non-residential training for visitors throughout the year.
REAP staff are currently locating paths to enable the plot to be toured logically. The farm and building will clearly demonstrate to visitors diverse methods of soil conservation, farming, mulching, natural medicine, recycling and domestic ideas that are being used.
Pray for the development of REAP’s seminar program and necessary funding to sponsor delegates from the poorest communities
Praise for the encouragement of seeing many REAP’s ideas put into practice to improve the life’s of Africa’s poor
Prayer that REAP will shortly obtain written final approval for building the much needed Demonstration and Resource Centre on REAP’s Kajulu land.
Once again we have entered December and Christmas will soon be here. Let us start by wishing you a very Happy Christmas and God’s blessing in 2013.
We look forward to celebrating as a family this time of year when we remember God’s wonderful gift to us, and how Jesus humbled himself to come and live amongst us.
Emmanuel and Grace and Naomi will be with us for Christmas, before proceeding to England for their ‘home assignment’, having just finished their time in Yei with Across. Grace and Naomi have been with us for a couple of weeks now and we have enjoyed spending time with them, and getting to know our granddaughter as a person. At 2½ she is full of energy.
Since getting back from England at the end of August we have had a busy time and have been seeking to fit in many different things. We had a good time in England in the summer, and enjoyed watching the Olympics on TV, as well as catching up with many people.
Encouragement in the work
Our work in REAP has been continuing to attract interest and spread slowly, though over the last year or so we have been rather restricted by lack of funds. We have not been able to reach out as much as we would have liked but this has also meant we have been able to develop the plot near Kisumu so that it is a very positive place to teach from.
Over the last few months we have been consolidating our teaching so that we can more effectively offer it to others. We continue to focus on the three core areas of sustainable agriculture, teaching through women’s fellowships and Natural medicines. We now have clear packages of teaching on each of these, and have been able to link the practical teaching clearly with spiritual teaching from the Bible. This holistic approach sometimes makes it difficult for us to attract the funding we need to expand, as so many see the spiritual aspect that we see as central, as being a diversion!
In November we had a grant to run a workshop on the Biblical approach to agriculture. We had 20 of our keenest contact people together for five days and were able to positively consolidate the teaching. One thing that we have been able to work on well this year has been getting Vetiver Grass out to many more people through encouraging small nurseries on many farms. This is something that is now a major focus of our extension work.
We have also been able to continue to do some teaching for others with Rosalia and George teaching in Pokot, and Domitilla teaching on stoves in South Sudan, both this last month.
Visits to South Sudan
2012 is the 40th anniversary of Across. While we were in UK it was wonderful to meet up with so many former Across friends for the day celebration in August at ‘All Nations’. In September both of us were able to travel to Juba for the celebrations there. It was a time of giving thanks to God for all he has done through Across and also an opportunity to look ahead.
The Executive Director of Across is not extending his contract after the end of the year, and so effectively left the work at the end of October to spend time with his family in Australia before returning to a new ministry in Juba. As one of the board members based in Nairobi, Roger has as a result been spending quite a bit of time in the Across office in this transition period. An interim ED has been found for a period from January 2013, which should reduce the time input needed.
Roger also made a visit to Leer in Unity State for an evaluation of a Community Midwives Training School with the Presbyterian Church. It was good to visit a new part of South Sudan and, as well as looking at the project there, to be able to get a feel of the development of the new nation from a remote part.
Jos was hoping to visit Mundri in November to move forward her vision for starting a nursery school near our home. She has some funding to start building and was hoping to get things started. However, her eyes have been giving her trouble and she had a cataract operation in one eye at the beginning of November, and since the eye is very dry it is taking time to heal. So she is now hoping to go in the new year.
We are looking forward to catching up with Manny when he joins the rest of his family here next week. They have finished their time with Across, and are looking to the way God is leading them in the future, probably in further sports ministry in South Sudan. They are still with Pioneers.
While we were in England in July and August we were able to catch up with Jenny and Tich. Since we came back to Kenya, they have moved to our house in Reading and both of them have new jobs, which build on their experience and lead more towards their career expectations.
Becca continues to enjoy being at Braeside School in Nairobi and is preparing for her IGCSEs next summer. This is an important year for her, and she does not find it easy to commit herself to study.
· We continue praise God for the new country of South Sudan.
· Please pray for Roger’s continued input into Across, and for wisdom for the board in appointing a new Executive Director.
· Please also pray for Jos’s vision for a nursery school in Mundri, and for the resources to take it forward.
· Please pray that we may find more resources for the work of REAP, so that we can continue to move out with our teaching and build on our vision.
· Please pray that as we continue to found our practical teaching on Biblical teaching, others may pick up the vision of the importance of taking Biblical teaching into every aspect of life.
· Please pray for Manny and Grace as they seek the right way forward for their ministry.
· Please pray for Kenya at this time of build up towards the elections. The elections are in March and politics is central to all discussions and news. There is apprehension after the violence following the elections five years ago. Please pray especially that Christians will stand firm and that faith will be seen in action
We very much appreciate all the interest in our work and the prayer and other support. We are at this stage very much looking for more financial resources for our work. If anyone has links with trusts or foundations that may be able to support our work, we would love to hear from you.
With love in Christ,
Roger, Jos and Becca (Sharland)