Sunday, 10 July 2011

Irrigation scheme at Antelope

Farmers at Antelope are in the process of a “clean up” exercise of the irrigation canals. The gates were being closed so that water could accumulate in the canals after they had been cleaned. The idea was that where there was once “rubbish and junk”, order is coming. People are taking responsibility for their environment and more of an ownership of what happens in the Antelope community.

Already, the farmers’ spirits are lifted. They can see a physical difference.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Training at Antelope with the farmers

Brendan Smith, Augustine Nyamayaro and Stephen Manhanga went out to Antelope to do spiritual training and look at contracts. This was a follow up and builds on the momentum that was already generated.

Stephen Manhanga spoke on the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13:1 – 9 and 18 – 23.

Augustine Nyamayaro spoke about the contracts and the 2 points that came out of this discussion is:
1. 10% of all profits that the Beyond Belief farmers are to be given to the local community projects. The farmers were very excited about this as they would be leaving a legacy in the community. They don’t want handouts but want to help their own communities. The hope is that one day the farmers will do it automatically without it being part of a contract.
2. The farmers will work in teams of between 5 and 10. If a farmer makes a loss then they jointly make a loss. It promotes community spirit, team work and accountability by them working together. The purpose was for them not to make a loss but they can actually make more by working together. At first the farmers were very sceptical but eventually they agreed that it was the best point of the whole contract.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

What constitutes a happy chicken?

Good question for the Ebenezer graduates.....

The chickens at Ebenezer were weighed this week and they are averaging 1.57kg after 4 weeks instead of the estimated 1.3kg after 4 weeks. A chicken expert from Technoserve visited Ebenezer and said that the only time he has seen chickens looking so healthy, happy and fat were chicken done on a commercial scale under environmentally controlled broiler rooms. He wanted to know what the secret was at Ebenezer especially seeing as there was no electricity or fans?

So what constitutes a happy, healthy and fat chicken at Ebenezer? The graduates pray over the chicks and the Union Brothers sing hymns to them. They sure are applying themselves in every area. The chickens are breaking commercial records in the rural areas. These high standards are on par or even better than the commercial chicken houses. The principles of on time, to standard, without wastage and with joy are applied and this is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and fruitfulness.

How does Beyond Belief, Ebenezer and the Graduates all fit into the healthy, happy, fat chickens? Ebenezer provides the land and the buildings. Beyond belief provides the chickens and the technical support while the graduates provide the labour and it another skill they are leaning. Teamwork is the way forward.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Overview of Beyond Belief so far...

Feedback on chickens by Mxwayisi Dube
1. Generally the chickens are doing well.
2. There are 9 chicken farmers so far.
3. During the first few weeks the main problem that occurred with the chickens was the eye disease but they are now fine.
4. Spiritually - The chicken farmers themselves are fine but they need prayer.
5. Chicken mortality has been low (9 deaths) which is good.
6. Some of the chicken are eating the eggs so their beaks will need to be clipped                                                               

Everything with Beyond Belief is based on Prayer.
a) Prayer: Out of prayer comes relationship.
b) Relationship: It’s not just about the eggs and the tomatoes but people getting to know God. The service is two fold:
c) Service: Technical – fields and chickens and Spiritual – praying for people and getting to know God.
d) Discipleship – what’s it like getting to know God and being a follower of Jesus Christ.
e) Equipped: farmers are equipped with both technical knowhow and spiritual and they will be able to train others.

Every month, 40 farmers will be trained. If each of these 40 farmers has a household of 5 people each, we will impact 200 people and have huge churches.
a) With 40 people, we’ll have a church of 200 people.
b) With 80 people, we’ll have a church of 400 people.
c) With 120 people, we’ll have church of 600 etc

The model farmers will be moving on 1 August 2011. Responsibilities are as follows:
1. Technical side: Mqondisi Moyo
2. Spiritual side: Mkhululi Ncube

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tomatoes by Mkhululi Ncube

Mkhululi training farmers on tomatoes

Tomatoes are a very good crop. They are part of God’s creation and it’s good to work with God in growing tomatoes.

There are many types of tomatoes but the two we will focus on are indeterminate and determinate variety.
Indeterminate is the type which does not stop growing and can give fruits for 2 – 3 years whereas the determinate variety has a very short life span.

Determinate tomato variety: This variety has the advantage in that you get your money back very quickly after it has been sold at the market. You can destroy pests and diseases easily. It is easy and cheap to maintain because you only need to mulch and not tellace. Unlike the indeterminate, you need tellacing whereby you’ll need to buy straining wire, bailing twine and poles.

Farmers tasting tomato products

There are many tomato products that we will see, use and talk about. As tomato farmers, we re not going to grow table top tomatoes but a tomato that is going for processing. The tomato fruit is the most liked fruit in the world. We are part of a big picture when we are growing tomatoes. Let’s get going! Tomato fruit is special especially when it is processed because it can get exported world wide and it takes a while before they rot.

Some Products from Tomatoes:
1. Tomato sauce
2. Tomato paste
3. Tomato puree
4. Tinned fish has tomatoes in it
5. Tomato Crisps
6. Baked beans has tomato in it
7. Peeled tomatoes

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Looking Ahead

1. 40 farmers will be receiving Foundations for Farming training on the 28th - 30th June 2011.

2. There will be a follow up "Compost" training with the farmers at Antelope on the 22nd June 2011.

3. The Model Farmers - soon to be Missionary Field Officers - will be moving to Antelope on 1 August 2011.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Making Compost by Tawanda Moyo pt 3

Tawanda Moyo

Planning of the compost pile:
1. Collecting of material can be done over a number of weeks or months.
2. Keep different materials separate. The season for compost is at the end of summer (March) because there will be an abundance of green material which is difficult to find in large quantities at other times of the year.
3. If adequate quantities of material have been collected, then you are ready to start making your compost.
4. Use a drum to drench material to avoid water wastage.
5. Have your six pegs/poles arranged in the shape of 2 squares adjacent to each other.
Why? So as to turn your compost from one square to the other and back again.

Construction of compost
1. Put dry material where our pile would be built.
2. Do not attempt to make layers of different materials but make a good blend as we build.
3. Make the sides of the pile straight and vertical.
4. Maintain corners so that we can not end up with a pyramid but a cube.
5. Continue building up to the required standards.
6. Put a layer of thatching grass on top of the pile. This is recommended in high rainfall periods so as to avoid excess water from the pile and to prevent premature cooling.

Compost Demo

Indicators of good compost?
1. Smell - Good smell
2. Colour – deep rich brown humus
3. Texture – Crumbs, air passages

Friday, 10 June 2011

Making Compost by Tawanda Moyo pt 2

Tawanda Moyo

Reasons of temperature and its management:
Temperature is the key factor which will allow you to produce good quality compost. The heat is responsible for killing all seeds and pathogens and it helps avoid the re-infecting of the next crop with the same disease. One needs to know when to turn.

When to turn compost?
1. At 60 or 70 degrees centigrade
2. Once every 7 -8 days
3. Remaining in desired temperature zone for at least 3 days

How to turn?
4. Expose new material to the required heat.
5. Move the material that is inside outside and visa versa
6. Allow moisture to be replaced

Why do we turn the compost?
1. Stop the pile from heating.
2. Get a re-supply of oxygen
3. Allow moisture to be added
4. Outside material moved to the centre

Tawanda making compost

Compost making

What would happen if we did not turn the compost?
1. Our compost would overheat and kill the bacteria
2. Our compost would run out of oxygen and go anaerobic.
3. The compost may run out of moisture and cool down too soon.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Making Compost by Tawanda Moyo

Compost is something that most people have heard about, made or used sometime during their life but few know how to make it to a high standard. Compost must be of high quality, free from weed seeds and any pathogens.

What is compost?
It is the use of fungi and bacteria in the decomposition of organic material. It is the aerobic decomposition by fungi and bacteria in a mixture of organic material. This means that in the presence of oxygen, the plant material will breakdown by the action of the bacteria and fungi.

Advantages of making compost
1. Easy to produce
2. Reliable quality to all
3. It is cheap

Ingredients Required
1. Green material
2. Dry material
3. Nitrogen
4. Water
5. Oxygen –is the air around us. We need to ensure that conditions in our compost are suitable for air penetration. We do this by not compacting our compost, turning on time, not adding too much water.
6. Micro-organisms: these are bacteria and fungi. Bacteria: primary decomposers, feed on plant sugars, reproduce rapidly, they create heat and they decompose complex carbons.

Making Compost

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Beyond Belief Training

Farmers from Antelope

40 farmers from Antelope came to Ebenezer for three days of training. The focus was on Spiritual and agriculture teaching. Most of the farmers were surprised at how the two interlink.
Stephen Manhanga spoke on the four spiritual principles of Foundations for Farming - on time, to standard, without wastage and with joy. The Missionary Field Officers conducted the practical side of the training by doing demonstrations on compost, land preparation, grading, harvesting and marketing.

Farmers discussing what they have learnt

The training was a life changing experience for many of the farmers, who were exposed to the Spiritual and physical importance of farming to their community, Zimbabwe and the continent for the first time. As an aid to training many games and team building activities were included in the three days. This brought a lot of fun and laughter to the days. New friendships were made and existing ones strengthened. All in all, the farmers had a really good time.

Farmers enjoying a game

Read on for more information on the training of the Beyond Belief farmers..........

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Meet Rosemary Gumbo

Rosemary Gumbo

How do you feel about Beyond Belief Outgrower Project and do you see your life changing in any way?
It’s a good project that will help me as a widow to generate my own income. After this first batch of chickens, I will continue buying the food as these chickens will eventually belong to me. I do see my life changing and as my small business grows, I will see some changes at my home as I buy some assets like a scotch cart. I hope there is going to be a good turn over. I have to work hard to cover school fees for my children and buy food for my family.

I have 389 chickens and the only challenge I faced is swollen eye - a chicken disease.

Monday, 30 May 2011

How will Beyond Belief be worked out?

Ebenezer Graduates now Model Farmers
There will be 6 Model Farmers (Graduates from Ebenezer) who will be Missionary Field Officers – equipped in agriculture. There main focus is to be missionaries and to look after 10 farmers which will increase every month. Hopefully, they will start cells groups and eventually plant churches. They will live in the communities they are serving.

This initiative has already started in the Kezi area. There are farmers in Mablauwuni Village, Magobeni Village and Natisa. The radius spans about 10km from Ebenezer. In these villages, there are 9 chicken outgrowers who have approximately 395 brown layer chickens that are producing 50 – 60 eggs daily. The production of eggs will quickly increase to about 350 - 380 in the next two weeks.

An area called Antelope, near Mapisa has been identified where 40 farmers will receive monthly training and grow tomatoes. Foundations for Farming techniques will be used. This venture is on a commercial scale. The aim is that the small scale farmers will be empowered. The main challenge ahead is the cultural issues/mindsets but, with God, all things are possible.

Friday, 20 May 2011


On the same day that the broiler chicks were placed at Ebenezer, Beyond Belief placed 3551 layer chickens into the wider Natisa community. Nine farmers were selected and each farmer received 395 layers. The farmers had worked extremely hard to be ready in time for the layers. They were an excellent example of what it means to be faithful with little. Where others may have complained that they did not have the right equipment or material to build their chicken houses, these farmers used what they had at their disposal to build some very good coops. As each farmer received their chickens they were prayed with. Beyond Belief will use the chickens to bring the gospel into the community. The farmers will need to attend training once a week, and there will be a very strong spiritual aspect to the training. In addition, Beyond Belief had just employed a Missionary Field Officer, Mxwayisi Dube from Crossroads Community Church, who will meet with farmers daily and make sure that the chickens are doing well and also minster to the farmers.

We pray for God’s provision and protection over the farmers and their chickens.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Beyond Belief's core culture and values

1. Prayerfulness
2. Good stewardship
3. Excellence
4. Creativity
5. Initiative
6. Respect
7. Humility
8. Fruitfulness
9. Joy
10. Service

This is expressed through
Daily Questions:
1. Am I being faithful with what God has given me to look after?
2. Do I invite the creator God to inspire my decisions?
3. Do I honour God in all I do and say and think?
4. How can I put others before myself?
5. Do I do things on time, to high standard, without waste and with joy?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Objectives and prayer pointers

Please pray for Beyond Belief

1. To be self sustaining and fruitful by December 2012
2. For all staff to be fluent in Ndebele by March 2012
3. To impact the community of Matabeleland South by training and partnering with 50 Outlayers by, January 2012, 100 by December of 2012 and 120 by June 2013
4. To impact the community of Antelope, Valley and Ebenezer by training and partnering with 200+ farmers by January 2012 and 2000 + farmers by Dec 2014.
5. To establish a robust and effective training programme for Major Tom outgrowers by 26 April in readiness for the first training event on 26,27,28 May 2011.
6. To meet the supply targets of Major Tom (60 tons of tomatoes per day by June 2012)
7. To plan for and implement rotational crop strategies (including market analysis) for Major Tom outgrowers by February 2012
8. To explore other potential industries such as honey, peanut butter, biodiesel, renewable energy sources (bulrushes and ethanol production), grain trading with Operation Trumpet Call farmers etc.
9. Identify clear and specific development and investment opportunities to be presented to potential investors/stewards in a businessmen’s meeting in South Africa in the second half of 2011.
10. To establish an intercessors network in Zimbabwe, South Africa and aboard coordinated by Grant Prinsloo to pray specifically and strategically into Zimbabwe and Africa.

This is the plan and God can bring things to fruition......

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Beyond Belief's Core Functions and Aims

Core Functions
1. Meeting the physical as well as the spiritual needs of rural communities.
2. Developing out grower initiatives with small scale farmers.
3. Linking small scale farmers to markets
4. Identifying areas of opportunity for investment, development and/or trading.
5. Supporting investment by others (local or abroad) in areas of opportunity and acting as advisors to these investors.

 To serve the poor through poverty alleviation and holistic community development
 To demonstrate the Kingdom principles of good stewardship, fruitfulness and generosity
 To serve the churches in the communities through prayer, training in farming techniques, community development projects, theological training and foundations for family initiatives.
 To pray with and meet the physical as well as the spiritual needs of the small scale farmers as well as the communities within which they live.
 To empower small scale farmers with selling power by linking them to markets that they would otherwise not have had.
 To encourage standards of excellence in production with the small scale farmers
 To prayerfully and wisely sow into areas of need within the New Life Trust and the region.
 To seek new opportunities of investment that may unlock hidden potential in areas and communities.
 To encourage others (local and abroad to invest in Zimbabwe). This may be in areas of farming, trading, processing, tourism and service industries.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The biggest cause of poverty

One of the biggest causes of poverty is the lack of markets. Beyond Belief will link farmers to markets and this will be the biggest way to break poverty. Farmers will grow vegetables and chickens.

1. Vegetables: They will work with Major Tom (See Major Tom blog) the limiting factor will be the farmer’s efficiency. Before they looked at 5 tonnes but now they can look at 100 tonnes per farmer per season together with rotational crops like soya which is very good for nitrogen fixing. The tomatoes will be alternated with grains.
2. Chickens: These will be broiler and layer chickens. The farmers will be linked to markets in Bulawayo. Approximately 150,000 eggs can be sold a day in Bulawayo in the Western suburbs. The Market is quite big.
The vegetables and chickens are tools to meet the spiritual needs of the farmers. The Luke 2 principles will be used where Jesus sent the 72 disciples out 2 by 2. Something happened that broke the spiritual power. How?
a) Enter the house and proclaim peace
b) Fellowship
c) Meet needs
d) Heal the sick
e) Proclaim the gospel by going into the community.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

What is Beyond Belief all about?

Beyond Belief is not just about getting people to reach their potential but to get saved and walk in the Kingdom of God. With God all things are possible – Beyond what we can imagine.

What do we mean when we say fruitfulness? Look at a tomato plant for example, ideally, we can get 70 tomatoes and each tomato has 400 – 600 seeds. This is God’s idea of fruitfulness.
Beyond Belief is about breaking poverty in Africa physically and spiritually.
Physically – through small scale businesses
Spiritually – walking in the fruit of the spirit

70% of the land in Africa is made up of small scale farmers and they produce 80% of all food. But, 80% of small scale farmers live below the poverty line which is below USD 1,00 per day. To break the poverty in Africa we need to work with the small scale farmers and bring them from below subsistence to commercial.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Beyond Belief's Vision and Mission Statement

Unlocking Africa’s Fruitfulness

To be an example of God’s abundant love by serving and partnering with small scale farmers through holistic and efficient business models in order to create fruitfulness, encourage generosity and strengthen communities – all to God’s Glory