« Previous   |   Main   |   Next »

Dairy Farming in North Africa

By David,* recently returned RMM intern to North Africa

This year has brought some exciting new opportunities! I was raised on a dairy farm (I loved it!), and this year I’ve gotten some opportunities to use those skills in projects here in North Africa. Through friends, I met some people who are starting a small dairy cooperative. They asked me to come and look at things and give any ideas I had. We were able to start a few simple but practical projects in their barn. One was a simple water trough system in the barn that made water easily accessible for the cows. It was a simple and fun project that will improve milk output and cut down on work. Water is constantly available now, and there’s no need to take all the cows to the river a couple of times a day. I am excited to go back soon and see how it is working! Other small projects include natural, easy treatments for mastitis problems, and also some ideas for mats to put under the cows. It has been exciting and rewarding for me, and I am thankful for the opportunities there! I am also asking the Lord for guidance as to whether this is a potential platform for future time here.

I also recently got the opportunity to spend three weeks trekking in the mountains. One of my goals with coming back was to revisit people we had met through trekking with REACH teams in the past three years. I was very happy to have the company of (current REACHER’s) Asher* for ten days and Ike* for nine. We went with the hope of connecting roads, trails, and dots in a way that would allow us to spend the majority of our time with old friends, but also making new friends along the way! As usual, nothing went exactly as planned, but everything worked out—another usual thing with trekking!

One of my favorite encounters was completely unexpected at the outset of the trek. Two years ago, a man we met had carried packs for a friend and me on his donkey, as we walked along the trail. We had only a small interaction with him then, but that didn't seem to be the case when he saw us walking through town. We had come searching for another old friend—the thought of meeting this man hadn’t even crossed our minds. The town was quiet until suddenly my name was being yelled from up on the mountain. The man summoned us with an exuberant wave and insisted that we stay with him for the day! We had a wonderful time, and were very thankful for that interaction. That day reminded me of Proverbs 16:9: “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.” Returning to the same places time after time has brought depth in relationship with our friends. With that comes more willingness to listen to what we have to say about Jesus and why we love him. Please continue to ask for chances to speak of him and for truth to come to our friends.

Spending time with friends here in the city has been another priority and joy. I am continually amazed at how much the game of soccer opens doors. Whether playing with friends or watching it at a café while drinking tea, soccer is a great way to connect. When watching soccer with friends at the café, we celebrate the times when the right team wins, yell a lot, cheer for nice goals, and shake our heads and grumble when the wrong team wins. These times have brought some real depth to relationships and chances to have deep conversation, and also just a lot of fun!

The rest of my time here has been spent studying language. I’ve been studying the language that is spoken in the mountains. It’s very different from the language spoken in the city, which I had been focused on other years. Once again I am finding that language study can be both very difficult and very rewarding. Having been in the mountains, I have seen how much people appreciate even the effort to speak their mother tongue. Every day is a chance to learn more culture and more language. I want to continue to see such things with Kingdom value!

Please continue to lift up this place in prayer. Being here again has reminded me of a couple things. First, this is a great place, full of truly kind, hospitable, and loving people. They have given me life in a way, when I think of life on the trail. They have given me food when I was hungry, directions when I was lost, places to stay when it was cold, a helping hand if I ever needed it, and a new purpose and joy in living for the kingdom. And yet there is a veil over their eyes, a lack of truth; there is darkness, deception, lies, fear and a huge need for our savior and king Jesus. The Lord is working here. Please continue to lift this place up and ask the Lord to continue his great work here, so that all may know him. Thank you so much for reading and for your thoughts and prayers! HE is good.

*Names changed for security