Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Heart of Stone?

Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Two weeks ago I was at our TEAM annual conference at Wheaton College, IL. I was able to spend time talking to Dave & Cheryl Jereb, missionaries who just returned from a two year commitment in Zimbabwe. Their vision was to provide sustainable food sources and job training for needy communities through aquaponics, a self-contained system for growing produce and fish. Take a look at a video they produced regarding their work:

 I had challenged them and brainstormed with them last November when I was in Zimbabwe to connect the work they were doing with the gospel more directly-through evangelism & discipleship. How thrilled I was to hear last week that God had given them a breakthrough! This year has been the worst drought in 10 years in Zimbabwe—everyone’s farms are failing. The community surrounding the Jerebs thought that Dave was a crazy old white man trying to grow food in only stones and water. He also had significant health problems so many thought he had been cursed—of course he wouldn’t be able to grow anything! But then the community started hearing about all the food he was producing—so much so that they now regularly have schools coming through the greenhouse to observe and learn about how the crazy, cursed white man grows food with only stones and water! All the leaders have seen the results: juicy tomatoes, tasty tilapia fish, and other leafy greens, all grown much quicker than any other method and using less resources--regardless of rainfall and drought!

Here is the best part: not only do people hear how to grow food in stones and water, but they also hear that God can change our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh with Living Water to produce abundantly! The gospel is clearly proclaimed to dozens of students and adults daily, and now the community is working to replicate this in all of the local schools, with the gospel front and center! Wow!

This project is one example of why we have our Creation Care Initative at TEAM, stewarding creation for God’s glory and the good of people. Our goal is to have the gospel front and center in all that we do.

What a privilege it is to be a part of what God is doing in bringing people to himself around the world!

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