Riverside Farm Institute Bible Workers Training Report: Nov – Dec 2023

Dec 17, 2023 | Reports

Introduction

The training program involved weeks of planning, coordination, and logistics. Despite thorough preparation, some reorganization was necessary to ensure its success. The training resulted in the addition of 35 new Planters from all 10 provinces of Zambia to the Farm Stew program. This training emphasized practical examples and devotions to strengthen the spiritual aspect of Farm Stew’s teachings. The tight schedule, with limited flexibility due to the late arrival of some participants, required trainers to adapt and review all training for latecomers. This report is based on direct input from the two trainers who effectively managed the training and led two groups simultaneously.

Trainers: 

  • Holly Mutale 
  • Daniel Lungu

Report from Trainer, Holly Mutale

The training of Bible workers representing the 10 provinces of Zambia was intense. The training was divided into four (4) sessions:

  1. Devotionals: These were the opening of the day. Timing (07:30 – 08:00 am)
  2. FARM STEW: Recipe for abundant life theories: Timing (08:00 am – 12:00 pm) with 10-minute breaks after 50 minutes of discussion.
  3. Practicals: The theory that was done during the day. In the afternoon, the practicals were done to demonstrate hands-on training. Timing (1:30 pm – 4:45 pm)
  4. Life Application And Devotionals: Timing (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm)

The training began with the introduction of what FARM STEW is and then identifying the problems that FARM STEW focuses on: Hunger, Disease, and Poverty. Then the solutions were thoroughly discussed by going through a recipe for an abundant life manual, starting with Farming and ending with Water. The following are tools that were used to facilitate a two-week training:

  • Bible
  • FARM STEW Manual
  • Flip Chart
  • Projector
  • Practicals

Assessments

At the end of the training, the trainees were assessed. The following were used to assess them:

Presentations

10 minutes were given to an individual to stand in front and present a topic. This part of the assessment carried 40 marks. The 40 marks were divided as follows:

  1. Use of Scripture (10 marks)
  2. Knowledge of the material (10 marks)
  3. Eye Contact/Gestures (10 marks)
  4. Use of Story(s) (10 marks).

Written assessment

Photocopies of almost all the questions from the manual were given to each participant. This assessment of in-depth knowledge of the material carried 60 marks. Presentations and written assessments gave a sum of 100 marks (%).

Results of the Assessment

The pass rate (mark) was set at 50%. All participants scored 50 and above, with the exception of 3 candidates. 2 came late, and 1 had a funeral and left before the assessments.

Interviews

Interviews were conducted to hear from individuals. The following questions were asked to all, individually:

  • Which topic(s) did you not understand fully?
  • Which topic(s) did you understand thoroughly?
  • Do you think the FARM STEW lessons will be beneficial to your community?
  • How many community(s) are you intending to start with?
  • How do you see FARM STEW helping you with your ministry?
  • Do you think the FARM STEW program will be accepted in your community?
  • How many FARM STEW community(s) are you seeing yourself creating in the next 5 years?
  • How do you grade the presentations of FARM STEW trainers on a scale of 1 to 5?
  • What are your personal expectations from FARM STEW?

Feedback

Some feedback from interviews:

Question:

How do you see FARM STEW helping you with your ministry?

Answer: 

“Establishing a FARM STEW community would provide me with a substantial network of individuals upon my return, enabling me to have a significant influence. This would simplify conducting Bible studies, as I could visit their homes directly. Moreover, addressing people’s practical needs would foster receptiveness and provide opportunities for spiritual ministry.”

Question: 

What are your personal expectations from FARM STEW?

Answer: 

  • “Continue support when community(s) are created.”
  • “Regular visitations.”
  • “To provide bicycles.”

Note: The feedback from the interviews was generally positive.

Report from Trainer, Daniel Lungu

Week One

Monday

We arrived at Riverside Farm Institute on Monday, November 27, 2023, at 8:00 am. A brief meeting was held with the pioneers who had arrived the previous day. Training commenced in the afternoon, providing a general overview of FARM STEW and its objectives. Emphasis was placed on the importance of approach in learning and the task of soul-winning as Jesus’ work. Evening devotions were conducted by Dr. Wilbert C. Mwale.

Tuesday – Friday

The first four ingredients were covered: Farming, Attitude, Rest, and Meals.

  • Farming
    Farming sessions consisted of three days of intensive learning and practical exercises, covering various techniques such as raised garden beds, sack gardening, and composting. 
  • Attitude
    Attitude sessions focused on planters’ attitudes and handling different attitudes within communities. 
  • Rest
    The importance of rest for mothers was stressed, addressing questions regarding cultural beliefs.
  • Meals
    In the Meals segment, the rainbow concept of nutrition was explained, along with demonstrations on soy-based foods and fireless cooking techniques.

Week Two

Sunday

December 3, 2023, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, included a short devotion, recap, and discussions on organizing Farmstew communities.

Monday – Thursday

During the second week, from Monday, December 4, 2023, to Thursday, December 7, 2023, training continued with the remaining four ingredients: Sanitation, Temperance, Enterprise, and Water, including practical sessions.

  • Sanitation
    Sanitation covered theories of cleanliness and practical demonstrations of hygiene methods. 
  • Temperance
    Temperance sessions addressed the effects of alcohol and cigarettes on health. 
  • Enterprise
    Enterprise sessions focused on diligence, money management, and setting up a Village Savings and Loan Association. 
  • Water
    Water sessions emphasized the importance of water and practical purification techniques.

Two online training sessions followed on Menstrual Hygiene and KOBO reporting. Public assessments, exams, and interviews were conducted thereafter.

Public assessments involved each trainee presenting a lesson based on specific criteria, with 60% performing well despite language challenges.

Quizzes were administered based on the recipe manual, with fair performance.

Interview Questions

Interviews were conducted one-on-one with trainees to gauge understanding, trainer performance, community plans, expected challenges, and expectations from FARM STEW.

  1. Which topics have you fully understood?
  2. Which topics were not clear?
  3. Kindly rate how the trainers presented the lessons on a scale of 1 to 5.
  4. How do you intend to share the recipe?
  5. How many communities have you planned to organize?
  6. How will this training help you in your ministry?
  7. How will your family benefit from this training?
  8. What challenges do you expect from your village or area in implementing the recipe?
  9. Do you think FARM STEW will make your current work more difficult?
  10. How do you see your village or area in the next 5 years if FARM STEW lessons are consistently taught and implemented?
  11. What are your expectations from FARM STEW?

Responses of one Trainee, Victor Chibinda:

One trainee, Victor Chibinda, highlighted his understanding of certain topics, challenges with others, and expressed expectations regarding community outreach and personal growth.

  1. Farming, Rest, Attitude, and Meals.
  2. Sanitation and Enterprise-VSLA.
  3. Rating is 2. Some words were too scientific.
  4. It’s a plus.
  5. 2 communities.
  6. I was challenged after learning that God was the first farmer. We used to think farming is a curse.
  7. I won’t teach people what I am not doing; it will begin with my household. I will teach my wife as well.
  8. Transport challenge – Villages are scattered.
  9. Not at all. I can’t separate FARM STEW and my work as a Bible Worker.
  10. Constant communication and further training.

Graduation took place on Friday afternoon, and departure was on Sunday morning.

Graduation

35 Riverside Farm bible workers successfully completed the training. Certificates handed to each participant by the Riverside Farm institute director, Craig Harding.

Wilderness Gate and FARM STEW are making steady progress in empowering and uplifting these remote communities in Zambia. If you’d like to join in the efforts, consider making a contribution to our work. All donations are fed directly into our projects and are essential in reaching and supporting the communities we serve.

Projects

Learn about our efforts in various parts of the country.