GIVE A MAN A FISH, AND HE WILL EAT FOR A DAY. TEACH A MAN TO FISH, AND HE WILL EAT FOR A LIFETIME!
"Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime!" You have probably heard this many times, but I can tell you that it is true. It is true physically and it is true spiritually. That is why at Cattle for Christ we always try to find ways to make our work with the people so that it can be self sustaining: Training Pastors who can evangelize and disciple their own people--training and equipping the people to learn skills that they can sustain and be able to provide support for their own families and communities.
In 2009 and 2011, Cattle for Christ started working with rural cattlemen, University Professors, and Government Officials to help improve their local cattle genetics and management practices. When the average family is totally dependent on the production from 3-10 cows, this can double or triple their income and families nutrition in just 2-3 years. With better genetics and management practices, they have better and healthier cattle that produce more meat, milk, butter and cheese and other by-products. (You can read much more about this by clicking here). We are currently researching to determine if cattle genetic improvement training events can be sustainable in Uganda, India and West Africa.
Most recently, our partnership farm in the Middle East is teaching local farmers how to be more productive while also taking better care of their land by reducing irrigation practices that increase the salinity of the soil. We are also introducing new crops and varieties of existing crops that extract the salt or at least tolerate it better. Not only is this economic development, but it is also evangelistically feeding thoursands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. In 2014, in addition to field demonstrations where we introduced new technologies and farming practices, we produced enough fresh produce to provide 525,000 meals to refugees. In 2015, we almost doubled our production and produced and distributed enough to feed 937,000. During our 2016-2017 season (which is currently being planted), we are introducing hydroponic technology that will not only conserve precious water, but we expect will increase production another 25-50% from last year. A second farm is being planned in the region that will introduce improved wheat farming and no-till technology. We expect to double wheat production the first year and we hope to construct six new greenhouses on the new farm which will allow us to train farmers in a different region of the Middle East and will allow us to provide fresh produce year round.
What is most important about the Economic Development work that Cattle for Christ funds is that it is always evangelistic, meaning that the people will hear and see the Gospel message, will learn Biblical based work ethics. Our work enables and requires that the people actually work and that they help others so that our work becomes self sustaining and does not create a welfare society.