“Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thess 4:10-12
G.A.R.L.I.C.: Gospel Advance Requires Limitless Income Creativity. Something every missionary knows only too well is the financial viability of reaching unreached people with the good news of the gospel is utterly dependent on God’s provision of financial sustainability. The Moyo family’s response, GARLIC, shows perhaps less common knowledge of how God provides creative solutions to resourcing mission.
The Moyo family work in Zimbabwe, seeking to connect local Christians with a passion for sharing the gospel with the unreached, through ACTS 13. Mobilising local Zimbabweans for mission with neighbouring unreached communities is an exciting opportunity for the Moyos to see God call a new generation of cross-cultural mission workers. The vision is to see an incredible 10,000 mission workers sent out from Zimbabwe into neighbouring countries by 2029!
But mobilising mission workers in African cultures presents unique challenges and opportunities for growth. Cultural differences have highlighted the need for current cross-cultural workers to raise awareness within the existing Church of the lostness of the world outside Zimbabwean borders.
Amanda writes, “though people seem to be very touched when we talk about other countries and people groups who need to have the gospel represented, there is very little interaction about it after the service… African people really need to have a personal experience to start to understand what missions is really about.”
As such, the Moyos are partnering with a local charity in Zambia to encourage personal cross-cultural encounters and lay a foundation for a personal call into mission for local people.
“Cultural differences have highlighted the need for current cross-cultural workers to raise awareness within the existing Church of the lostness of the world outside Zimbabwean borders.”
Many cross-cultural workers sent out from western cultures are well-supported financially by friends and family in their sending churches. The challenge in mobilising Africans to mission is that the financial backing of missions is still low in many African contexts. So would-be missionaries must seek God’s provision elsewhere to ensure the financial sustainability of their ministry. This is where GARLIC and GOATS play a role.
When they first moved to Zimbabwe in 2016, the words of 1 Thessalonians 4 encouraged Amanda and Sipho to a practical ministry. They were strongly convicted of the importance of hard work or, as Amanda describes, “using whatever is in your hand, or what the environment of the people group supports best, [which can] flourish, generate profit and give credibility to those going out.” G.A.R.L.I.C uses the practical provision of crops to farm in a sustainable way, generating income to train and support local missionaries.
The Moyos are still developing their garlic and goat farm, but are already seeing God providing through the project. Having harvested their first garlic crop, they hope to develop the profitability of the farm by building a strong export platform. This means that a church or missionary could invest in a portion of the Moyo garlic, enabling a local missionary to get 60% of the annual profit from the garlic gifted to him by the supporting church.
The creativity exhibited in using God-given resources to develop sustainable long-term mission for African cross-cultural workers also carries into training opportunities at the farm. The Moyos are passionate about mentoring people to lead a 1 Thessalonians-inspired life: they want to mobilise African cross-cultural workers into a ministry of hard work and using their hands to build financially sustainable ministries.
“The Moyos are passionate about mentoring people into leading a 1 Thessalonians-inspired life: they want to mobilise African cross-cultural workers into a ministry of hard work and using their hands to build financially sustainable ministries.”
This simple concept of committing to hard work as a means of quietly living out the gospel is already having a powerful effect as testimony for those going out into rural areas. ACTS 13 in Ghana connected the Moyos with Excellent Youth Outreach, sending three college-age men on a short-term mission trip to help with the first garlic crop. The Moyos were incredibly blessed by this team of servant-hearted Ghanaians, as they saw God begin to use their farm as a means of building cross-cultural networks beyond the borders of Zimbabwe. God is beginning to use the farm not just as financial support for mobilization, but also to expose Zimbabweans to missions work amongst other people groups.
GARLIC and GOATS may not seem like the most obvious gateway into mission, but, as Amanda writes, “Plenty of people in unreached areas of the world are voracious GARLIC and GOAT eaters, and farming or marketing these are sure ways to connect with people who love food and business.”
So let’s prayerfully commit to G.A.R.L.I.C. initiatives; to seeing God provide a literal and spiritual harvest on the mission field in Zimbabwe, and look ahead to the mobilisation of 10,000 Zimbabweans crossing into neighbouring cultures with the gospel by 2029.
Pray for the sustainability of GARLIC farming in Zimbabwe to continue. There has been some initial interest in the profitability of the first crop of garlic, but the farm is being significantly impacted by the Zimbabwe economy.
Pray for interest from those at home to invest in the farm to support individual missionaries, so that local Zimbabweans can enter a cross-cultural ministry with sustainable prospects.
Rejoice in God’s provision of a bountiful first crop of garlic! Pray that he would provide wise and faithful local people to help Sipho Moyo develop the business further.
Pray that God would use the farm to build more cross-cultural encounters between local Zimbabweans and other African missionaries, and that these experiences will be shared in local churches.
Pray for more opportunities for the Moyos to lead Zimbabwean teams into other African cultures so “they can see firsthand that people have little chance to hear the gospel unless we Go, Send, and Give towards missions.”