I read this excerpt from a book today and wanted to share it with you.
I looked out over the vast crowds gathered in King’s Park Rugby Stadium, and I knew I had their full attention.
“To hell with the drought warnings and the fear and the worry! We are not listening to the lies of the devil. We are listening to the promises of God!”
My audience looked at me in stunned silence. They had come to Durban in September 1997 for the Peace Gathering hosted by Shalom Ministries, and they knew weather as only farmers can: they knew it could make or break them.
El Niño comes around every three to seven years. A warm current of water in the Eastern Pacific triggers unusual weather conditions around the world, bringing torrential rain in some places and extended periods of drought in others – Southern Africa in particular. That year all the signs were that El Niño was the strongest for 50 years, and the drought would be correspondingly worse. The newspapers, TV and radio seemed to talk about nothing else. Even the Agricultural Union had succumbed to the current fears.
“Don’t plant expensive crops,” they advised. “Keep your outlay to a minimum. Plant only the crops you know will grow. This is going to be a drought year, so it’s a year to consolidate.”
The audience in front of me knew that. They knew I was a farmer, too, so they could hardly believe that I was serious.
“This year we are going to plant potatoes! We are going back and we’re going to plant all our lands – every square inch of ground – with mealies and dry beans and potatoes. We are going to trust God for our needs!”
That night as I drove home I wondered if I was being rash. “Me and my big mouth,” I thought. “If this isn’t really God’s will, I’m in real trouble this time.” If I was wrong, it could mean the loss of my entire farm. I prayed earnestly: “Guide me, Lord. I need a specific direction from you now.”
Sure enough, the conviction came into my heart: I was to plant ten hectares of potatoes. “OK, Lord, I’ll do it,” I said. “Ten hectares it shall be.” I was filled with determination to believe God whatever the cost. It was all or nothing.
[From Faith Like Potatoes, by Angus Buchan]