June 27, 2019

In South Sudan, you saved Baby Ketty and are seen as a “savior”!

Joy Kauffman, MPH

Safely landed, I stepped into a wave of the most intense heat I’ve ever felt.  Surrounded by big planes marked as the property of the United Nations (UN) and the World Food Program, reminders that South Sudan is a war-torn nation where 16,000 UN Peacekeepers patrol and60% of the population are desperate for food. I passed the Ebola screening exam (YIKES!), customs officials checked my visa, and I found my luggage on the airport’s one creaking conveyer belt.

“Momma Doreen” appeared, and suddenly, I was “home” again withFARM STEW family!

Joy and Momma Doreen, Sisters in Christ and FARM STEW Service

Why am I here? Because YOU gave so that we could expand FARM STEW to this struggling nation.  As a result, early this year Doreen Arkangelo, who had been our team leader in the refugee camps, moved back into South Sudan (after fleeing as a refugee several years ago). Together, with four Christian FARM STEW trainers, she got right to work.  

They conducted a baseline survey of 500 households in 10 rural villages in Magwi County, in the Eastern Equatorial District.  The survey results were shocking,92% of the mothers had a child sick with fever and diarrhea during the previous month, and 64% of them had an infant die during the last five years.  

Together, we can radically alter these terrible numbers through our teams in South Sudan and in our other similarly desperate locations.

You might wonder, “How, can my gift make a difference?”

Baby Ketty is one example of a life YOUR gift(s) have saved.

In February, when I was conducting extensive training with the nine new FARM STEW staff, Ceasar, a nurse and new trainer in South Sudan, showed me a picture of Baby Ketty.  I couldn’t bring myself to share it with you before; it was just too heart wrenching!  

Baby Ketty in February 2019 suffering from severe malnutrition.

Ketty Achiro, a 1-year-old, was held by her mother showing her backside.  Where her bottom should be, her skin folded like drapes. I honestly didn’t know if she would make it. I encouraged Ceasar to bring them to the health clinic, in addition to closely monitoring and training the family further in the methods of FARM STEW, especially the “Meals” part.  I prayed and hoped too.

When I saw Ceasar last month, my first question was, “how is Ketty?”

 He and Momma Doreen smiled as they shared how the baby’s mother had taken the FARM STEW training to heart.  Ketty’s mom had gone home and told her husband that the training was the, “most important she had ever received because it was based on the Bible.”  

Together, Ketty’s parents decided to practice what they learned and save their baby!  As a result, Ketty has put on a lot of weight, is doing well, and her parents are so grateful! Your generosity made it possible for Ketty, and many children like her, to be saved!

The Magwi County Hospital malnutrition ward even took notice!

Sadly, most “health” facilities can only give small rations to the patients for a very limited time, but their parents remain painfully ignorant about how to prevent malnutrition at home.  

Benjamin, a FARM STEW trainer, teaching staff and mothers whose children have been admitted into the Malnutrition Ward at Magwi County Hospital

 FARM STEW can change that sad fact! The hospital leader invited our team to train staff and parents.  With your support, our recipe for abundant life can empower parents in South Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe to save their kids’ lives, and learn about Jesus!

You may be as surprised, as I was, to hear that in Ketty’s village and other villages, people now call our FARM STEW team “saviors!”  When I asked “why?” they said that likeJesus, we go out to the people and help them in their need as He did.

The locals see a sharp contrast between FARM STEW’s methods and other organizations.  

First, most of the other organizations have staff that stay at the office in town and wait for the people to come to them.  FARM STEW trainers meet them in their huts and fields and don’t just give away rations, but teach them to grow a variety of foods.  

Secondly, we surprise people by starting every training in the village with Jesus’s words recorded in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly!” Our spiritual focus is unique, as many groups concentrate only on physical needs.

Finally, we work with the local leaders.  FARM STEW partnered with 10 localAfrican chiefs to oversee 13 communal plots where the villagers planted880 pounds of soybeans that you helped us purchase in March.  The harvest from these plots should exceed20,000 pounds and will be distributed for planting starting in August.  Villagers who helped plant the community plots earned 3 pounds of soy seed each, totaling 1,400 pounds, and other vegetable seeds for their own home plots.

Ben, a FARM STEWTrainer, planting soybeans with a group of villagers.  Ropes help make sure the rows are planted straight with proper spacing.

Everything in South Sudan is very expensive because much of the local industry has been destroyed, and imported goods come with a price tag of risk.  In our first 6 months, we’ve needed to spend over $42,000 to recruit, train, equip, and mobilize our team and provide the supplies to launch the work in the 10 villages.

Your good stewardship of your generosity is our goal, and it is growing all over Magwi County, South Sudan and in Uganda and Zimbabwe where our teams are based. With God’s blessing and your continued investment, many more families will be blessed.

So are we “saviors”?  NO, but we know theSavior. The villagers are right; we do come to “save” and our message, like His, is “good news to the poor.” The villagers love it!!

To learn more about what is happening, you can come and see for yourself by joining me for a video call on Thursday, June 27th and/orSunday, June 30th at 6 pm CT?  I can share videos and additional stories to make this letter come to life!  Simply, send me an email at joy@farmstew.orgfor the link!  I can’t wait to show you the signs of life abundant.  

Our ultimate goal in South Sudan is to spread this message throughout churches and communities so that the people can live in peace and the UN airplanes full of food and peacekeepers will eventually not be needed.

AfricanChiefs and Magwi County Hospital staff alike are all asking FARM STEW to train more families. We hear this “Macedonian” cry, “come and help us,” not only in South Sudan but in all of our locations and beyond!   

It will take prayer, time, and money to respond to the cries!  

Will you continue to be a key player on theFARM STEW team by sending a generous gift in the enclosed envelope today? We want to heed the cry, and we need your help to raise $42,000 by the end of July to continue moving forward. Your gift of $74 today would sponsor two village classes.

Here’s why I’m on the FARM STEW team and why I boldly invite you to be a key player!  When the women went to the tomb to care for Jesus’ body, the angels greeted them, saying, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Convinced by the angel that Jesus was alive, the women left the tomb to share the good news! Yet, to the disciples, their words seemed as “idle tales.”   But Peter ran to the grave, “saw the linen cloths lying by themselves, and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened,” Luke 24:12.  

FARM STEW is “seeking the living among the dead.”  Miraculously, we see resurrection happening daily!   I praise God for all He has allowed us to accomplish, and it is my humble prayer that the HolySpirit will prompt you to give generously today!

May you be blessed abundantly. 

Betty, a leader of FARM STEW Uganda, has taken in 7 orphans and supports them with her big garden and FARM STEW wages.  I stay with her when I’m there.  Your generosity makes this FARM STEW family possible!

Joy Kauffman, MPH

Founder and President

FARM STEW International

PS: Your financial gifts are transformed by FARM STEW into life-saving knowledge for parents, fair wages for our trainers, motorcycles, fuel, seeds, AFRIpads, and much more; all of which are dedicated to equipping villagers to thrive.  Will you sow generously,  helping us meet or exceed our goal of $42,000?  Your gift of $74 will sponsor two village classes.

Posted by 
Joy Kauffman, MPH
Joy is the passionate founder of FARM STEW.