Posts Tagged ‘Will Reed’

Community Development in Nigeria, by Will Reed, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

July 24, 2012

Over the last couple months in Back2Back Nigeria, the “Dry Season Farming” projects that were started in the Kisayhip Village have progressed very well. For quite a while it was a bit boring as we watched waiting for the fruit of the peoples labor to appear.

In Kisayhip ‘A’ (the village is split in two parts Kisayhip ‘A’ and ‘B’) the women have worked very hard to cultivate a large crop of tomatoes. A couple weeks ago the women began to harvest and sell the tomatoes. Today, they have made over $300, a large amount here in Nigeria. They will continue to harvest the tomatoes for a couple more weeks hopefully bringing their total net profit to between $500-$600. We are excited to see how this money will be used in the three categories agreed upon (1/3 goes to the women who worked, 1/3 goes back into the project and 1/3 is set aside for a community development project led by the women).

Kisayhip Youth Developments farming is also starting to pick up. The potatoes they planted have started to come up (at least the plant part that grows out of the ground). They have added fertilizer to help the potatoes grow and continue to work the farm keeping it healthy. They plan to harvest the potatoes sometime in August.

With both of these projects, it wasn’t very exciting until we could start to see the fruit of the labor. Both the tomatoes and potatoes need time to develop and we must wait patiently knowing something is happening even if we can’t see it.

Community Development as a whole is a lot like this process. We plant seeds in peoples lives in the form of character, integrity or love and have to trust that God is doing something even while we can’t physically see it. It takes time for the seed to become a plant growing out of the ground and even more time for the plant to yield fruit that will be beneficial.

In the lives of some of the youth in Kisayhip Youth Development and the women in Kisayhip ‘A’ we are starting to see the plant come out of the ground and we wait in eager expectation for God to produce the harvest of fruit that will benefit their community.

Please pray for the physical harvest of food that will feed and/or provide money for the people in the Kisayhip village, and also pray for the spiritual harvest God is cultivating in the lives of the people here.

Local women contribute to the project by farming

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Humbled, by Will Reed, Back2Back Nigeria

April 3, 2012

In the past couple weeks some of the youth have made comments that have left me completely humbled by their perspective on life. These have reminded me of others said long ago. I want to share a few with you.

At the end of Bible study each week we take “prayer points” as they’re called here. Each week one youth will inevitably ask for prayer to pay school fees. Never in my life have I had to worry about paying school fee’s, especially in middle school or high school. In fact, I’m sure I would have thought it was great if I didn’t have to go to school in middle school, but here there are 18 year olds asking for prayer so they can pay school fee’s to attend our equivalent of 8th grade.

I would have given up.

Another comment I often hear from youth is that they only want to have what they need, which is something I’m sure I’ve said but they prove it. If they get something they almost always share it only taking enough for themselves. There is no doubt great selfishness is in the village, however, these youth seem to have not caught the bug as greatly as I have. One youth was willing to go as far as sell his mattress to help pay a medical bill for another youth they knew. Read that line again and realize he would have been left sleeping on a mud/concrete floor. He wouldn’t have just gone out and bought another, he would have gone without.

I would have thought I had nothing to give.

Just last week I could tell Emmanuel Asiko, Back2Back Staff Member, was having a bad day. He lives in the Kisayhip Village, the same village he is working to develop. I asked him what had happened and he informed me a four-year-old boy had passed away early that morning. I asked more questions about it and inquired on how he was really doing. He assured me he was fine. I then asked if he was able to visit a person he was supposed to visit that morning for work. He answered, “No, I was digging the grave.”

I wouldn’t have known what to do.

I’m humbled by these youth. I’m humbled by not only their thoughts towards life but also how they are seeking to live. I’m humbled by youth who would sell their mattress to pay a medical bill for another while I have two beds in my house. I’m humbled by youth who know how to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

I’m learning to never give up, I always have something to give and there is always something I can do.

Kisayhip Youth Development Update, by Will Reed, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

November 20, 2011

The last few months have been busy for the Kisayhip Youth Development (KYD), a community youth outreach program sponsored by Back2Back.  The KYD has sought the best way to give back to their community.  Our hope is to guide the discussion for their own discovery of how they can best give back. So far these discussions have led to several ideas for the group.

One idea they are working towards is raising chickens. This work can quickly become profitable and is easy for a group to manage. KYD has been looking for ways to make money to begin this project and is currently molding mud blocks to sell with plans to use the profits to benefit the community.

Children in the Kisayhip Youth Development Program volunteer to benefit their community.

The second idea they have is one Back2Back hopes to partner much more with them on. Back2Back and KYD want to use dry season farming in community development. Dry season farming is very profitable here but not done very much do to lack of resources. We hope to provide some of the missing resources so KYD can reap the full benefits of the project. The goal is to help the individual youth in the project eventually be able to break off on their own and farm for a living.

KYD has three things they want to do with the profit of these projects. One third of the profit would go to community development projects such as paying school fees for children, providing food for widows and helping to bring electricity to the village, among others. Another third would be individual sustainability for the youth who work the specific project, so the work not only benefits the community but also the youth by providing jobs. The final third is for project sustainability where money would be used for maintenance and further project development such as increasing the number of chickens or amount of land they farm.

Back2Back realizes as KYD moves forward with these projects the individuals in the group need to progress in their personal development as well. One area of greatest need for development is biblical character and integrity. Because of the rampant corruption that has spilled it’s way into every area of life in Nigeria the youth have very few good examples of character and integrity. To combat this, Back2Back staff member and national, Daniel Asama, is leading weekly talks about biblical character and integrity with KYD. He uses practical examples to call them to a higher standard of living. We hope this higher standard becomes the example and eventual “status quo” in the village.

Please continue to pray for the youth in KYD who are stepping out in faith to bring sustainable change to their village.

Kisayhip Youth Development, by Will Reed, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

August 2, 2011

children from the Kisayhip Village outside Jos, Nigeria

Recently, I was approached by a small group of young men from the Kisayhip Village who told me they wanted to have a meeting with me. I asked them what it was about and they said it was about a group they had put together. We set a time and place and I left excited at the thought of what it might be about.

Last Monday, I was able to meet with this group and hear what they were thinking and what their group was all about. They said they created the group, “Kisayhip Youth Development”, to serve the community. They said James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” They said they wanted us (B2B) to work with them to create ideas and ways to serve the community. I left thinking, “They are getting it!”

The youth are beginning to catch a vision for their community that is bigger than themselves, one that requires they come together to pile ideas and resources to go into their community and serve. This is community development in its very beginning stages. They are starting to catch a vision as a community and start moving toward making it a reality together with Christ as the focus.

I told the young men we would be with them every step of the way. I told them as they start something we would come and stand with them in support. Whether that means physically doing work with them, providing part of a financial need, teaching or praying we will stand with them to serve their community.

Of all that I said this one thing made the biggest impact: people in the United States are praying for you and the work you are beginning. They found great joy in knowing they are not alone, that people whom they’ve never met care enough about them and their community to pray. Our time ended with a few on the interns who were present and myself gathering around the young men to pray for them and their community.

Please join me in praying for the Kisayhip Youth Development and its leaders Joe, Ayuba, Nehemiah, Gideon, Samuel and Marcos.