Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Land Update

This week I had the opportunity to meet with Principal Abu Conteh from The Evangelical College of Theology in Jui, Freetown. This meeting was to inform the principal of my desire to use the land next to the Hope Center for the Tree of Life project. This land is currently undeveloped and was kindly offered by GCPN with the agreement that one day this land would still remain in the possession of the college.

Overall, meeting was positive and encouraging. Discussions about utilization of the land, TECT’s role in the project and sustainability all took place. I was informed that the principal would take this information to the board to inform them of this new development. I believe the college will benefit from the project because it will offer training and education to the students and faculty. It will be a great asset that will compliment their ministries by learning how to ease physical suffering and give their families and neighbors wellness and health.

Thank you all for your prayers. Continue to pray as details come together. Pray that no complications would come to pass, and that God would continue to be faithful day by day to bring this ministry into being.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Moringa Experiment: Week 2


DSC00288smallIt has been two weeks since we planted the 121 seeds in our experimental moringa plot. The purpose of this experiment is to see if the moringa can be grown using the intensive cultivation. This means that we are growing the seeds close together and harvesting the leaves every six weeks by cutting the tops of each plant. The small stems that remain will regrow and be reharvested after six weeks. Again, this is an experiment to see if this type of technique can be used when the project officially begins.

About 85% of the seeds planted have now sprouted (see picture). I am thrilled to see that the seeds are doing well in the soil near the sea. This plot is located at the Hope Center which is adjacent to the land that we are pursuing for the project. We hope to be able to harvest these plants within the next 5-6 weeks.

Not only are we working with the experiments, I have been working with a local pastor named Pastor Emmanuel in refining the Bible Study materials and Community Health Curriculum. Please continue to pray for this process. Our hope is to present the Gospel during the month of class the students will have. We are committed to a holistic approach just as Jesus was.

land1smallAlso, I ask that you all continue to pray for financial provisions. The land has been given and agreed upon. We now await the $15,000 USD to secure the land with the fence. Once secured, we will be able to prepare the land and begin planting. For more information about the project, click the tabs above on this blog. I have included a picture of the land as well. I know God will miraculously provide in his own way and time. I love you all and cannot do this without you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Off to a Good Start

Moringa1I have just returned to Sierra Leone and have had a wonderful time catching up with friends and colleagues. I am so excited about the Tree of Life project and have hit the road running. My friends Kassim and Sissoko joined me this week in doing a small project to test the Moringa trees. 

While in America, my good friend Tom Brockelman tested the soil on the land where the project will be located. The results indicated that the land is perfect for growing the Moringa trees. The land lies adjacent to a brackish river that empties to the nearby ocean. I wanted to test the land and also a technique known as intensive cultivation. 

We began by digging a plot that is approximately 2.5 feet by 2.5. feet. We dug a pit about 70cm deep and mixed chicken dung with the soil removed from the pit. It was a difficult task because large stones were found just below the surface. We had to use a pickax, hammer and chisel to remove the stones. 

Moringa2After refilling the mixed soil, we soaked the soil for a couple of days. We will wait several days before we plant 121 moringa seeds on the plot. They will be planted 10cm apart making them grow close together. When the trees reach should length after about 6 weeks, we will cut the trees back to about 20 cm from the ground. This will allow us to harvest the leaves and then we will await the new growth from the remaining cuttings. The new leaves will grow back in about a month and we will harvest again at that time and so on.

Thank you all for your prayers. We have received an estimate for the fence around the one acre of land. It will cost about $15,000. We are asking you all to pray that God will provide these funds so we can move forward in the project. In the meantime, I am working on preparing the curriculum and Bible studies for the project. Again, I cannot do this without you all. Thank you for everything and may Christ receive the glory for it all!