Soymilk versus Civil War

Joseph Malish is a church elder, a trainer, and one of a million refugees from South Sudan living in Uganda. He has another name, too: “Malish Leben.” His new name means milk, and in a country with one of the world’s worst refugee crises, it represents hope for peace.

Malish’s mission is to teach refugees how to transform soybeans into milk. It’s his response to the violence among the country’s tribes, often triggered by disputes over access to pastureland and water for their dairy cattle. Ethnic militias sweep down on unprotected villages, killing people and stealing livestock. Joseph Malish believes soymilk could help end fighting that has caused thousands of deaths and driven millions from their homes.

Malish is one of twenty-five African trainers in the FARM STEW organization, founded with the hope of equipping vulnerable families with skills to prevent hunger, disease, and poverty. FARM STEW is an acronym, standing for eight ingredients required for abundant living: Farming, Attitude, Rest, Meals, Sanitation, Temperance, Enterprise, and Water. In early 2019, FARM STEW launched a new team in South Sudan at the invitation of local churches.

In FARM STEW trainings, as many as forty-two tribes come together, including Nuer and Dinka, two tribes that both prize cattle and milk highly and so have become bitter enemies. At a recent training, Malish (who is multilingual) asked a Nuer to translate for a Dinka. During the eight-hour training, the group worked together preparing local foods. At the end of class, they sat together eating from common pots and drinking soymilk. Many participants said they wanted to come back for more. Joseph Malish predicts that the capacity of refugees to make their own milk could be a key to healing for his nation.

Call to Action

What is God calling you to do?

"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen" (Matthew 28:18-20).

Will you ask God today how you can share Jesus with others and be willing to do whatever He asks you to do?

Joy Kauffman

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