Rebuilding Communities One Farm at a Time

By Nathan Johnson

10/28/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In the summer of 2018, ICC launched a radical new initiative: equip Nigeria’s Christian farming communities with the land and materials necessary to begin rebuilding their lives after persecution. This is ICC’s Nigeria Communal Farms.

The idea was to start a program that would help revive entire communities instead of trying to help each family one at a time. It was a massive undertaking. It took a village to rebuild a village.

The initiative began with the idea to develop 10 communal farms in Nigeria. Each of these farms would serve 75 families that suffered violent attacks and lost family or property to the destruction. We aimed to provide all necessary resources to develop large communal farms where families would share the burden of work and the reward of harvest.

We asked our donors to support us in this idea at that time, and you quickly stepped up and delivered the amount we needed. We supported these 10 farms with land preparation services, seeds, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, water pumps, fuel, and experts to help ensure that the farms would succeed.

Since the beginning in the summer of 2018, we have completed those 10 farms. The Lord has also provided us with several faithful partners who have helped us continue the project. With their help and our faithful donors’ continued support, we have been able to start another nine farms, with three more starting later this year.

Not only have these farms met the physical needs of our beneficiaries, but thanks to one of our partners, the spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters are being met as well. We have been able to distribute Bibles and conduct outreach within two of these communities, and will add three more later this year.

As Christ commanded in Matthew 4, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” We want to follow this command and see our brothers and sisters satisfied both physically and spiritually.

To date, we have developed farms in four states of Nigeria: Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, and Adamawa. We hope in the future to have a presence in all seven states that have suffered from the current Middle Belt crisis.

What does all of this means in terms of numbers? First, we have helped 1,425 families, or approximately 7,000 people, in Nigeria eat.

Not only have they been able to eat from their shares, but many have also begun to pay for schooling and clothing with the income from the farms. As a result of this initiative, hundreds of children are back in school.

We have also helped cultivate 1,350 acres of land that would likely not have been harvested. Our beneficiaries have harvested more than 1.1 million pounds of food over the past three years.

Through this program, hundreds of parents have regained the dignity of working and providing for themselves and their families.

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