Have you ever lost a job? Or do you know a family who has gone through a period of unemployment? It can be devastating to parents and kids on a number of fronts: economic (of course!), but also social, emotional and spiritual. And families under economic stress often have a hard time thinking about eternal issues when facing pressing needs like, “where’s the next meal going to come from” and “how can I provide for my children’s futures?”
In the agricultural region in northeast Brazil, where Jacob’s Well operates, persistent drought over the past several years has wiped out the economic base of these communities. And the effects are cascading – when farmers lose their abilities to grow and sell crops, the local businesses that serve the farmers with supplies and services go out of business as well. And pastors can’t serve their churches because there is little economic support within their congregations.
This is where Jacob’s Well has stepped in, partnering with a local university and community leadership to provide this community hope. New hydroponic systems are being installed in early 2017 for four households as a trial to demonstrate the efficacy of growing high-demand cash crops like cilantro, cherry tomatoes and peppers in the region’s salty water. These cash crops not only bring needed resources to the four families but drive growth in other businesses that support the community. And, once the pilot project shows promise, additional families will be allowed to join the project, driving even more economic growth.
This project has already had a positive effect on the local families involved in the pilot. 2 men recently gave their lives to Christ because they could see that God was providing hope and opportunity to them and their families. And the local church is growing too, with more than 90% of the congregation being comprised of new converts. God works in many ways, often through the hands and feet of His people willing to share their time, talent and treasure with others. Thank you for your interest in and support of these families in Brazil as we work together to build His kingdom.