Thursday, December 11, 2014
“God works in mysterious ways, at least it seems that way to us.” — Me
We seldom have visitors that we are expecting because the culture here is just to drop in at any time during daylight hours. It’s dangerous to be out at night, and no one is out visiting after dark unless it is for a wedding or a funeral. So, I was not surprised to hear that Dr. Martin Hirt, the famous German missionary was here to see me at four in the afternoon yesterday or that he had a local Bunda man with him. Dr. Hirt established a major charity in Germany many years ago to teach poor Africans about the medicinal and nutritious properties of locally grown plants. His work has taken him to many countries, and we have even had one of his workshops here in Bunda. The last time he was here, he was more excited about the biosand filters we were making because they were sorely needed in the Congo where he was currently working. We sold him a mold, helped him transport it to the Congo, trained a local Bunda man to travel with him and start making biosand filters in the Congo. He came yesterday for two purposes, one to thank us for helping create the first biosand filter in the Congo which is in a botanical garden at the moment and working well. He also wanted to meet with the man in Musoma who has been building our molds because he needed someone who has had previous experience to help him make more molds for the Congo. Rebels in the Congo frequently pollute water sources as a terror tactic but the filters counteract that making them very important. We were able to give him all he needed, but then he noticed our orange sweet potato farm and wanted to know more about it. We showed him what Karen had done from just two orange sweet potatoes, and he was considerably impressed. White sweet potatoes are common here but have no nutritional value whatsoever, so orange ones are far preferable as they have high nutritional value and are just as tasty. You can see from the picture at the right what just two potatoes can produce if you know what you are doing. If you check our Facebook entry today you can see that they are beginning to flower, so now we need bees. Anyway, the man from Bunda who was with him is an expert in agronomy and begged for some cuttings which we freely gave. Those two cuttings are just the first shots fired in our battle to bring not only nutrition back to this area, but cash crops that will support families as well. So, more people in the Congo will soon be having clean, save water to drink, and soon, orange sweet potatoes should be showing up in local markets. Thank you God, for surprising us once again.