Peter Goosen

August 31st, 2007

Made the trip across to Mukinbudin last night as they had Peter Goosen speaking. Peter is a Zimbabween farmer who is making a huge difference in his country by his farming methods and by the “tentmaking” ministry he is involved with.

A few of things really struck me about Peter and what he shared…

1. He was an ordinary guy – sometimes I think from a distance we can get caught up thinking that the people who make a big impact in their countries are superman. Peter was a very humble man who just used his gifts to serve God.

2. He was just trying to help people – one of the things I liked was that he just wanted to relieve suffering and help people get out of the poverty cycle. They do this by teaching people to raise crops, cattle and give them the skills they need to live self sufficiently. It was the old saying old “give a man a fish and he will eat, but teach him how to fish and…” in action.

3. Multi-skilled Pastors – one of the key elements of what they do is multi-skilling the Pastors. A Pastor’s training includes baking bread, planting and raising crops and managing cattle/poultry. This way when a Pastor goes into a town, he is one of the key people in turning things around. The people learn his farming methods and then they are able to give spiritual input too.

4. The church is the centre of help – they are in the process of building a number of churches in their region. During the week the church functions as the school to provide education, but it is also a medical clinic too. People naturally come to the church building for help and support and the Pastor is always their to offer spiritual guidance. On Sunday the buidling operates as a church.

5. Farming God’s way – The program they run is farming God’s way. They work with the soil and the conditions to bring on the crops. Instead of turning the soil over each year, they simply aerate it and try to protect the micro-organisms and natural fertilisers contained within it. After they seed they put a layer of mulch in the form of grasses over it to keep the moisture in. This is something that is not done in Australia. If it worked it might go along way to helping the water shortage.

All in all, it was well worth the trip accross to “Muka”. I was inspired and encouraged at what God is doing in and through this “ordinary” man who is just committed to serving God to the best of his abilities.

The thought of being a multi-skilled Pastor made me think too. What skills do I already have that can engage the community and how can be part of the solution to the problem areas of our community?