Building churches through pastoral schools of agriculture

January 22, 2014

Among the many places I visited in Burkina Faso, the most impressive one was a Christian Pastoral Training School built by Pastor Jacques Nignan, located about ‘a twenty minutes’ drive south of the capitol city Ouagadougou near Sabtoana.
Pastor Jack, as he was called, spoke very good English. He told me that God had given him a vision that he was supposed to build an agricultural school for the pastors, and he was working to fulfill that vision. He also told me that God would be sending others to help, and he believed I was one of those people.
His farm was very impressive to me. It included managed livestock and breeding in pens, using horses to power farm equipment, storing food to feed livestock during the dry season, beekeeping with honey production and capturing animal waste for multiple uses.
The animal waste was processed through an anaerobic digester which yielded methane gas for cooking and light. The byproduct of that was used to grow maggots to feed chickens, and the byproduct of that was dried out and used as fertilizer on the
Expansion was well under way; under construction was a roofed cow pen as well as large student and faculty housing buildings.
It was by far the most sophisticated farming operation I visited in Burkina Faso, and it was just getting started. When I arrived, the first class to ever go through the school was soon to graduate.
Pastor Jack told me that the pastors in Burkina Faso do not make any money at all just by being a pastor, but rather they become a pastor because God has called them to serve Him. Therefore, it is critical they are able to farm successfully in order to support themselves and help their community prosper.
Thus Pastor Jack started his school which teaches modern farming techniques in conjunction with both pastoral and business training. The combination of the three skills, he told me, was critical to the success of any new church being formed in Burkina Faso.
I felt privileged to spend two full days teaching twenty new pastors all about composting with worms, including building their first vermicomposting system together with them. They invited me to come back the following day for their graduation, and it was a delightful celebration.
Shortly after I returned to the US, I learned that Pastor Jack had passed away from diabetes. Now I feel strongly compelled to help secure Pastor Jack’s legacy by helping to continue building the school he envisioned and began. This project is now the focus of my current and future work in Burkina Faso.
To be continued next week with “Prosperity for all people begins with fertile soil”
Tony Farrell started his current business venture, Farrell Marketing Technology LLC, in April of 2011. Over his lengthy career as an information technology entrepreneur, he has worked on tens of thousands of computers and helped dozens of business to have smooth running, efficient computer infrastructure and great looking web sites that generate more business through search engine optimization. In February 2012, Tony began intensive organic farming on a small scale in his living room, including vermicomposting and aquaponics systems, and he completed Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture program in May 2012. Tony is a graduate of the Milwaukee-based Victory Garden Initiative’s Food Leader and Permaculture Design Certificate Programs and is building a local microgreen production business called Farmer Tony’s Mission Greens. Tony recently returned from a three week agricultural mission trip to Burkina Faso, marking his first foray into international work. This series tells the story of that journey.
Tony welcomes comments and feedback, and he may be contacted through his personal email address