February 01, 2018
“You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.”
Psalm 65:11 ESV
This passage sums up 2017 quite nicely. I am amazed at all we have been blessed with in Kenya for Agriculture, and when I recount what 2017 brought the ministry, I know you’ll see the connection to this passage.
1) Grading and making ditches for drainage, and then welcoming the first ever agriculture- focused team in February.
2) Holding a 2-day workshop on small plot gardening resulting in eight 50-foot vegetable beds under irrigation. This was later expanded to over 100 50-foot vegetable beds, half under irrigation!
3) Building a 200-hen house chicken coup that now produces eggs used for baking bread for the school.
4) The extension of water lines from our water source to holding tanks for the installation of drip irrigation for a 2-acre plot of ground. This led to the production of corn, beans and other crops planted in October which will bring a harvest this year.
5) This harvest includes a bumper crop of zucchini! WOW! What a crop–especially when you consider that the seeds were 3-4 years old, and sat in my basement until we took them to Kenya in Feb of 2017. Who knew? #givesquashachance!
God has certainly crowned our year off with His bounty, and our wagon overflows. What a year 2017 has been!
Farm Manager Hire
This growing focus on agriculture as a means of food independence for the ministry was why we felt a focused position was needed. We’ve had a few setbacks with crop production that made the need more apparent–not for a lack of desire, just from the fact that asking teachers to teach and also manage agriculture was too much. There needed to be someone allocated specifically to it, so we'd like to officially welcome Collins Wanyonyi Mubendo as the REM Farm Manager!
Collins will be able to establish practices for continuous production from our fields so that there is always a yield ready both for the student’s consumption, but also for sales to generate revenue. A pest and disease strategy will be established to help identify any concerns with crops.
We also have a desire to expand beyond crops into working more with animals such as dairy cows, possibly fish, and adding more poultry. Along with that will come the need for vaccinations and dietary supplements to maximize production in balance with expenses.
We have needed someone experienced with all these things, who has the ability to focus specifically on these tasks while also being a follower of Christ and having a heart for the students. We believe that need was answered in Collins.
Collins Wanyonyi Mubendo was born April 5th 1985 In Kanduyi, Bungoma County from a family of 8 siblings. He is married with one daughter and expecting a second born soon. He is a born-again Christian committed to Christian values. From 2006-2010 Collins received a BSC in Agriculture and Biotechnology from Moi University as well as a Certificate in Counseling. He also holds both a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Certificate of Proficiency in Computer Applications from Alphax. He has had similar positions at Sanfay Farm (2015-2017); as an Agriculture Specialist for Usaid Kaves (2013-2015); and Senior Agronomist USAID KHCP Kenya Horticultural and Competitiveness Project (2011-2013). Overall, Collins has strong technical experience in agricultural production, is flexible and quick to pick up new skills, eager to learn from others, hardworking, honest with a strong belief in success, and has good reporting and communication skills. In his free time Collins loves watching pranks, making friends, serving others, travelling and listening to good gospel music.
Mitch Cogswell, Ag Team Leader