Home > Andrew's Blogs, Mango Mission, Missions > 2.5 Acres Should Feed Ibrahim’s Family

2.5 Acres Should Feed Ibrahim’s Family

We go to Walmart weekly and purchase what we need so it’s hard to comprehend that a man named Ibrahim in Mango, Togo needs 2.5 acres of farmland to feed his family.  If you’re not growing it or purchasing it from some one who grew it – in Mango or Kara, then you’re not eating.   Keep reading to learn more from Tim and Esther – on the front line in Mango which by the way is in the 10/40 Window.

June 14, 2009

The power is off, and I’m certainly thankful for our battery backup system, which gives us light, and power for the computer.  It was hot today, but a storm blew in this evening, and with the rain, Ibrahim our guard said that he would contact one of the men who drives tractor and get him to plow his field tomorrow.  There are a number of tractors here in town, and the going price for plowing is 5000 francs, or about $11 for them to plow a little over half an acre.  They have to provide something for the driver to eat as well, so it is more like 6000 francs, or about $13.  For the amount of work it saves them, and the larger crops they can raise, it is money well spent.  Ibrahim plans to plow a hectare, or about 2.5 acres.  That should feed his family, and perhaps provide something extra to sell.  He needs to purchase fertilizer, as the soil is very poor around Mango.  It continues to rain, and we hope that signals the end of the long dry season.

We planned to drive to Ouagadougou with other team members this week but Esther came down sick the day of the trip.  Another case of, “L’homme propose, mais Dieu dispose,” which carries the idea that man makes his plans, but it’s God who determines what happens.  We think it was a case of malaria, brought on by using malaria meds that were about four years past their expiration date.  Our docs have told us that most medicine is safe to use at least a year past expiration date. However, four years is probably pushing it a little. The remaining pills have now been flushed down the toilet, and she will be using something that we recently purchased at the pharmacy here in Mango.  That was a wake-up call.  Thursday and Friday were down days, but on Saturday Esther woke up feeling chipper.  I know, because she went out and hand washed laundry, and then scrubbed the floors.

Our colleagues did learn that it doesn’t make much sense to fly into Ouaga and then drive down to Mango, even though it is geographically closer than Lome.  By the time you cross the border from Burkina Faso into Togo, pay for the extra visa, and hammer the car on a very bad road, you are time and money ahead to fly into Lome or into Accra.  At least we know that now.  But they did discover swamp coolers for sale!  We are definitely going to try and get one.  People in Eastern Washington would be familiar with swamp coolers.  They use less than 10% of the power that a traditional air conditioner consumes, and in a dry climate they are great.

Esther and I traveled to Dapaong this morning, where we ministered with Pastor Laré and the church at Nassablé.  We always enjoy the people in that little church, and we think there has been growth, both numerically and spiritually.  For one thing there are now more men attending, and it seemed to me that there was a good group of children for the Sunday school as well.  There is a lady with Down’s syndrome who attends very faithfully, sits right at the front of the church, and is dressed “to kill.”  She is a delight, and today during the song service she got up and stood by the keyboard, swaying in time with the music while looking up toward heaven.  It was sweet, and I was sorry that I didn’t bring my camera.

We are just two weeks away from welcoming the team from Silverdale Baptist Church, so it’s getting exciting.  In the meantime I have Mumoni and Awanou, both guards, but also carpenters, working on making screen doors and installing windows in the outdoor rooms of the guesthouse.  They are so slow that I’m getting nervous.  We told them the work has to be done by this Saturday, but we shall see if that speeds them up at all.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

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