ISSUE 7: September 1983

ERIC & ROSALIND TAYLOR, ZIMBABWE PROJECT


Ameva Farm is situated five miles from Chegutu (formerly Hartley), 70 miles from Harare and 400 miles away from Bulawayo where all the trouble is just now. There are 600 acres of farmland suitable for cropping, of which we have managed to farm 75 with the funds available, and with a lot of help from local farmers. This year we planted 30 acers of maise and 15 acres of cotton. In the two years that we have been there, we have experienced the two worse droughts in most people’s memory which has seriously damaged the economy of Zimbabwe. Because of the drought, the maise has only broken even but the cotton has made respectable profit. Cotton is a fairly drought proof crop. Next year we plan to increase the cotton acreage to 60 acres and the maise to 40 acres. Despite the drought years god has blessed us with rain that other farmers wouldn’t have had. We have a friend in Chegutu who does the books for various farmers in this area. One of them went to her office one morning and complained that the only people to get rain in this place were the bible punching Christians down the road. Most farmers in the last couple of years have had a disastrous time but we have fared rather better. Prise God! We also grow tomatoes on a commercial scale. We started with 1/3acre and now have two acres. Next season we plan to have four acres. The tobacco seed beds are used because they are near the houses and already have irrigation pipes. The water comes from the dam which we share with a neighbouring farmer. African market where the gospel is preached regularly by the students at the Bible School. Selling direct to the customers provides us with ready cash and many contacts with the people, some of whom we have been able to get to know very well. We are also breaking down the barriers of hatred and distrust which have prevailed for so long. Other white farmers don’t go near the market. The poultry unit is doing well. The flock has been increased form 1,300 birds to over 4,000 in the past year. We sell the eggs in the market and outside factory gates. The old laying hens are sold off after a year in the same way, going as far away as Kwe-Kwe to get the best prices. The industry has been hit by egg gluts, petrol shortages and thefts but we have triumphed through them all. Our testimony has been that when other chicken farmers have gone bankrupt through lack of feedstuffs, lack of fuel and ridiculously low prices, we have managed to sell every egg at a responsible price. Our vehicles are all diesel, so the petrol shortage didn’t affect us, and we were able to transport our own feedstuffs, lack of fuel and ridiculously low prices, we have managed to sell every egg at a reasonable price. Our vehicles are all diesel, so the petrol shortage didn’t affect us, we were able to transport our own feedstuffs in Peugeot trucks. To supplement our income our income we have been able to sell old laying birds from other farms at a profit. We can make as much as 90p on a bird, this has been shown to have made more profit in two weeks then in a whole year with the maise. We also sell firewood in the local town; we are making steady progress with this enterprise. There are so many plans afoot to transform Ameva into complex which serves the community. A School, a Conference Centre, a Clinic, a Church have all been designed by the resident architect, Ron White. The money for these has been applied for from the World Council of Churches by the Christian Marching Church. The Heifer Organisation have granted a sum of money to set up a piggery and it is planned to join a scheme to obtain cattle on loan to fatten, any offspring being ours. Derek Spriggs will be in charge of this when grazing becomes available. The purchase of the farm is underway, our part of the deal has been recently signed. It has been a long-protracted affair hampered by the fact that the owner is out of the country. Profits have been used to further the business and to finance the building project.


DAVID & SUE LATHAM, ZIMBAWE PROJECT

John and Celia Valentine – Liverpool

David & Sue Latham – Liverpool

Stan Kearsley – Leigh

Ron & Anna White – Litherland

Derek & Ann Spriggs – Lampeter

Eric & Rosalind Taylor – Bracknell


The Zimbabwe project is a massive project involving a 3,000-acre farm, an extensive is such that building programme and Bible School. The scale of commitment is such that we have come to realise that our intentions and desires for the project will not crystallise overnight. In many areas we are constantly being shaped and moulded into the pattern of that which God intends to do. The farm is divided into three main areas with three farmers each in charge of one area. By all accounts it is amazing that we are still surviving, as surrounding farmers with a lot more capital, experience, and equipment, have either ran into thousands of pounds worth of debt or gone completely bankrupt due to two years of severe drought. The Lord has kept us and allowed us to make a small profit. Often, we have prayed for what seemed to be the impossible and the Lord’s grace has been upon us. The hardships and droughts have only served to eliminate our resources so that we can trust totally in Him. Ron White is responsible for the building programme, many have yet to begin. Six homes have been established, a student accommodation block built, a furniture factory finished and one of the four tobacco barns are down. All has solely accomplished, by the grace of God, at an extremely low cost. When building my own house, for example, we asked the Lord to provide us with a toilet’ French windows and a bath, which was beyond our budget. Three days before we were to start any of these jobs, someone phoned me up to ask us if we could use some French windows, a bath and a toilet that remained from their old house which they had just knocked down! The Bible School is composed of three areas, the school itself, “compound churches” and evangelism. There are many wonderful stories and events that one could tell but suffice it to say that some of the things which have happened this year I had formerly only read about in books. The Lord has been mighty to save, we are thankful to be involved in his purposes. We desire to see people prepared for their Lord and we will be concentrating on the development of a network of bible groups within our local township so please pray for that. The ten students themselves belonging to the Bible School, have been mightily blessed and it has been exciting to see them change as the lord has taken over their lives. Many of them are presently on their vacation and involved in areas of work around the country, attached to various churches. May the Lord mightily use them to reach their nation for him. Keep us all in your hearts as we endeavour to present the gospel in Zimbabwe.

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