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Serving Through Agriculture

Many Pioneers teams need people with skills in agriculture to open doors and meet the needs of unreached people groups around the world.

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February 10, 2021

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Do you love making things grow or advocating for sustainable practices? Perhaps you grew up harvesting wheat or raising corn in America’s heartland; FFA or 4-H projects were the highlights of your childhood. Or maybe you just have a vision for community development. You know something about agriculture or see the potential in it. You want to meet practical needs, come alongside people and empower them to steward local natural resources wisely.

Could it be that God wants to use those passions? Even as He wants to use you to help plant churches and grow disciples?

Use your agricultural passion and knowledge overseas while sharing the gospel.

“Small-scale farmers in developing countries have the ability, work ethic and smarts to run a successful, productive farm,” explains a Pioneers worker.

“Often they just don’t have access to the information, research or resources that they need to make it happen. Or they don’t have the margin to risk changing things because their families’ lives are on the line.”

Hear Steven’s story

Members of a Pioneers team purchased land in Southeast Asia and ended up starting a farm to engage with more people in their area.

“It wasn’t producing very well, and the previous owner operated it like nearly all of the farmers in our area, relying on pesticides and herbicides,” says Steven, who was part of the team. “My background and training are in organic small-scale farming. Jungle farming and growing coffee are very different from what I was trained in. Some of the bigger projects I’ve tackled are composing, adding cover crops, grafting onto healthy rootstocks, terracing and diversifying crops.”

At first, neighboring farmers mocked them because what they were doing was so different. “But when we began selling our coffee for more than double what everyone else was getting, our neighbors started to listen to us and see value in how we were doing things,” says Steven. “Now, we have a real opportunity to work together with these farmers and help them transition to more sustainable models.”

Find opportunities in agriculture

If you are looking for ways to serve through agriculture, mariculture, ecotourism or ecological preservation, Pioneers may have a place for you.

  • Tish and Alan teach sustainable cultivation techniques while managing an organic farm.
  • Seth and Heather’s chicken farm provides jobs to people in their community and meets a need for good sources of protein.
  • Chris manages an orchard that helps develop relationships between Christian workers and unreached people in their area. “We have a vision to holistically impact local communities here while facilitating long-term presence."

These Pioneers and others are serving their communities while building pathways for evangelism or creating contexts for discipleship. Often, they work shoulder-to-shoulder with local believers, living out the gospel in places where it has been little seen.

  • Some build on years of experience in related careers.
  • Others learn as they go, working with business advisors and local partners, especially in newer fields like aquaculture or ecological preservation.
  • Many could use help to develop markets, manage the books or keep track of inventory.
  • Some also welcome short-term workers—from subject-matter experts who can provide training seminars to interns who want to work alongside them.

As you might expect, it helps if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. “We’re looking for adventurous spirits excited to travel in the rain and wind, sleep on the floor and eat whatever we’re given,” says a team partnering with believers in Southeast Asia.

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Take the Next Step

Looking for opportunities to use your business skills? Explore Building Bridges Through Business: Opportunities for Entrepreneurs.

Look at opportunities to serve using your training in health care and other professional skills.

In this episode of Relentless Pursuit Podcast, we talk to Dave about the integration of making disciples and sustainable agriculture in the jungles of South America.