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New Harvest Farm – Milestone and Testimony

“Jesus said, “I am the True Vine and my Father is the Gardener” (John 15:1). Chad Vanden Bosch (pictured), ASM Africa Director, and his team are praising God the Great Gardener for all He has taught them, as New Harvest Farm (NHF) celebrates five years of ministry!

“When we started the project, we knew we had to let the Lord lead us,” Chad shared, “The initial ideas we had were thrown out very early. So we’re extremely thankful for all the support we’ve had. We’ve been able to do so much already, just trying to work with the soil here and work with our neighbors. And we’re finally seeing some good results—things that we can bring into the local context, and we think they’re going to have a great impact here.

To develop the “Growing with God” training program, the NHF team had to find agricultural principles that fit the climate and resources available in rural Mozambique, which are vastly different from those in a USA farming context. In adapting to the local subsistence farming context, Chad began implementing agroforestry practices, which use a strategic forest-like ecosystem to naturally provide nutrients, shade, and moisture retention.

“With what we’ve learned [in agroforestry techniques],” Chad reflected, “especially over the past year or two, we’re on the right path …[to] provide the abundance that people really need to survive here, but doing it culturally sensitively, which is something that is very rarely done.”

After five years, Chad and his team are seeing encouraging results on the farm. Before using agroforestry systems, they struggled with erosion and runoff, which kept their fields from absorbing rainfall. Today, the roots and mulch from their newly planted trees have kept their fields intact even after a recent massive rainfall that left surrounding fields in bad shape. In addition, they are also seeing the literal fruit of their labor, with crops like cassava and pineapples producing more abundantly than they ever expected. “Applying research from agroforestry efforts in Brazil, our test plots confirm that pineapple actually thrives in a partial-sun environment,” Chad explained.

“Five years from now, what we’re going to see is a very different landscape from what we see now,” Chad shared, “where we now have open fields that are de-stumped and terraced, we will soon see fields that are covered in [strategically placed] trees. This variety of trees are going to be providing wood, forage, fiber, and fruit: all of the things people need, in order to have abundance.”

Right now the need is all the more apparent, as the region is experiencing the worst famine in a generation, due to a major drought. Pray for relief, and for the NHF Team to be a beacon of hope in this difficult time. 

Chad and his team recognize the significant opportunity they have to share vital information and point back to God as the source. “Pray for open doors for us to go into new areas to talk to people, to set up test plots for people to do training, and to raise up a team of “extensionists” that can go out and not just provide people with the agricultural help that they need, but to sit with them and to talk through what we’re doing with this training program called ‘Growing with God.’”

Our Great Creator is the source of hope and life, and He is the One who can bring real growth, and abundant life, meeting our deep spiritual and physical needs!

Listen below as Chad reflects on the last five years at New Harvest Farm. 

For one young man, the Bible-based agricultural program at New Harvest Farm has been completely life-changing. Alberto had always wanted to be a farmer, and studied agriculture at a local technical school. However, at first he did not find much success in his farming with conventional methods.

Alberto began attending New Harvest Farm’s training, and came faithfully every Friday for two years.  He sought to understand God’s creation and the natural cycles that were put into place by God himself. With this new framework, he began to see changes

Recently Alberto shared a testimony: as he has applied the “Growing with God” methods and training, his farm has now risen from debt to profitability. Most importantly, he shared, that his faith and depth of understanding of the Lord have also increased

Praise God! Now Alberto is a professor at the same technical school he attended, and is eager to use the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience daily with his students.

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