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“How persecution led us to agric project on mission field”

by Church Times

A Bauchi State-based missionary, Sunday Eriba has narrated how the persecution of new converts led him to create an Indigenous Agriculture Training Initiative.

Eriba, who spoke with Church Times on the telephone, said from his research, he discovered that many northerners face severe economic persecution as soon as they abandon their former faith.

Sunday Eriba ( third right) and some of the disciples on farm



“it was the need to create an alternative economic support base for these new converts that informed the Agriculture initiative. The idea is to able to empower new converts so they won’t have to worry about what becomes of their means of livelihood when they become born again.

He said,  “The major reason many refuse to embrace the gospel is fear of the unknown. Many potential converts are dependent on some people who provide them means of livelihood.

Residential blocks being constructed for the farm


“These people determine their faith and how they live. Some of those who have come to appreciate the gospel and are ready to commit their lives to Christ drawback because of survival. As soon as they give their lives to Christ, they begin to have issues with their benefactors.

“Sometimes they are denied employment. Some are denied their farms and inheritance. There is also the fear of losing their lives. So, before some of them make decisions for Christ, they think of the persecution that follows. But then some don’t mind losing their inheritance.”

Farming option

A portion of the farm for animal husbandry

Eriba said however that the way to mitigate the backlash of their decision to follow Christ is to create something for them to fall back on.

“The idea of the farming initiative is to train them in indigenous ways of agriculture and expose them to basic farming practices that can make them have high yields.

“What we are planning to do with the IAT is to build a community of disciples that will be basically on the farm. We will provide accommodation for them as well as train them on how to farm and make money from farming. With this, we will be able to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of the people we are disciplining.”

He explained further that the farming project is Conservative. “It has to do with improving local farm produce. But while they are farming they are also learning about God and are being grounded in the faith.”

Project support

While calling for support for the project, he disclosed that land had already been acquired and the project had started. “We are already doing the work. But we need well-meaning believers to come to the aid of this project and support it so we can have a base for new converts and be able to support them economically.

He said further that what his team is building is a farm that takes people’s eyes from the four walls of our church setting and activities.

“Rather than the four walls of a church building, which is subject to being attacked, we are building an environment for learning, discipleship, and at the same time empowerment through farming”

For those who may want to support, they can contact Sunday Eriba on 08132863437

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1 comment

Iganga Egena April 29, 2024 - 8:36 pm

I am happy and most grateful to God for this approach. May the Lord grant more wisdom and grace and the intended goal achieved in Jesus name.


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