Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Putting "The Earth is the Lord's" Into Practice

By Sara:

While we were in Mogotio, Kenya, I had the opportunity to start going through "The Earth is the Lord's: Bible Studies on Creation and Agriculture" with the women I've been meeting with there while Anthony does TLT.  We had a small group, but it was very conducive to discussion.  And those who were there enjoyed it enough that we will probably start at the beginning again next time we're in Mogotio, so other ladies can learn too.

For those of you reading who know Swahili, have mercy on me for what I wrote - I'm still a learner!  But here's an example of the truths we learned from one of the studies, on Genesis 1:26-31.   I loved hearing from the women in the group about what they learned from these different passages.  For example, in this one, they mentioned how God had a plan in creation - he made plants before he made the animals and people to eat them.  So we should also have a plan in place before we do things, like having children or keeping animals in order to be ready to take care of them well.

In another passage, I liked the comment that someone made about how the thorns that are part of the punishment for Adam and Eve's sin also hurt our relationship with the earth - we can't just walk around barefoot anymore without maybe stepping on thorns (all the more relevant because on this very trip, Anthony stepped on a serious acacia thorn that poked all the way through his shoe and into his foot).

Here are some other interesting points from our time studying together:
-One lady told her husband that these were the best Bible studies she had ever done.
-Another said that she used to just read the Bible and then go off and get back to daily life.  But now, she understands that she can study the Bible as she reads and look for what God is teaching her in an active way.  She said she was going to practice at home the next day.
-They all liked the part in Genesis 1 where it talks about God creating plants that are pleasing to the eye and good for food.  Everyone said she was going to go back home to plant some trees and flowers that are pleasing to the eye, not just plants for food.
-One lady said she saw the importance of studying multiple translations or languages in Bible study because the different versions bring out different things from the text.

Some of them are now convinced that my Swahili comprehension is amazing because they learned new Swahili words from me (agriculture words that no one would be using in everyday conversation).  But to be fair, I only learned them from listening to Brett's seminar in Tanzania.  Still, I am enjoying getting better at Swahili because it allows me to develop relationships with people who I would struggle to communicate with if we had to talk through a translator.

We talked about agriculture and the importance of taking care of our soil.  I brought some jackbean and mucuna seeds which women who are interested can try planting in order to improve their soil or feed to animals.  

Anthony mentioned that I had the opportunity to introduce this Bible study method at Chris's church in Nairobi as well.  There aren't any pictures of us doing the Bible studies in Baringo, so here's a picture of me leading the people who were at church before the service started through a quick Bible study on Psalm 24:1-2. 


  1. Sara,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Its so wonderful that you were able to help the ladies better understand how to study scripture. And I loved the chance to see your notes in Swahili, not that I understood, but this might be the first time I've seen Swahili written.

  2. This is awesome Sara! You are not only teaching others how to shepherd God's creation by growing things, you are also teaching them how to accurately handle the Word of God. Well done on your Swahili practice too!