The Beginning

The very first project that we did in Liberia, long before One Body One Hope was even an organization, was a rice drive. Nicole and Aaron Baart had been home had been home from Africa for less than six weeks when we received a call from our new friend: “The people in my congregation are starving. Can you help?”

We quickly collected enough money to buy a bag of rice and a jug of oil for every member of the church. A month later, we received the same call. And the following month and the following. By the time we had done four rice drives, we realized that we wanted to do more. Buying bags of rice for starving Christians across the world wasn’t a very fulfilling experience for us or them.

The Problem

Sending money to stave off starvation felt insufficient and like the wrong kind of help. If nothing changed, the rice drives would become a cyclical thing while still not solving the problem. We didn't want to simply keep our friends from starving. We wanted to provide the resources and opportunities for them to change their lives. To enable them to solve the root of the problem, so that we didn't fall into the dangerous role of benefactor and victim. We wanted to encourage and empower.

The Project

One Body One Hope was born out of that desire, that longing to connect friend to friend, brother to brother. Even in those early days we wanted to honor and respect the culture, beliefs, and intrinsic humanity in our fellow image-bearers of God. We weren’t always good at it and we learned a lot along the way (some of it the hard way!), but we can honestly say that the deep relationships we have with our Liberian brothers and sisters are loving, mutual, and based on trust and respect that a handout could never engender.

Much of what our Liberian friends do does not need our input. They don't need us to teach them how to best grow rice, cassava, and coffee beans, or how to cultivate churches in their communities, or how to raise their families. They are experienced and able, but there are many things the lack of infrastructure and poverty has simply made unavailable--good medical care, advances in education, construction and farming materials that are scarce or simply nonexistant in the area, and financial resources to replace failing systems and prevent costly shortages. 

The Goal

 
We are trying to plant crops that will be able to help us feed our members and our congregation so that we don’t need to ask people to give up money for food. They can give up money for other things, for ministry expansions, but for food we only need help so that we can expand the work.
— Pastor Emmanuel Bimba

We want to empower Emmanuel and his congregations to feed their own communities. To return to the soil, the land they’ve been given by God himself, and to equip them to provide for their own families and the children of Liberia.

With the help of One Body One Hope and great determination and work from our Liberian friends, the 8-acre farm has grown into a 220-acre land with enormous physical and spiritual opportunities for the people of Liberia and the AVDC church community.

The Farm Today

Number of Acres: 220 acres

THE FUTURE FARM

Our dream for this agricultural project is to grow much food to be able to help the Christian community and to help the children of Liberia.
— Pastor Emmanuel Bimba

 


    Dordt students and the Sioux Center community came alongside One Body One Hope to help build a bridge to connect farmland and communities in Liberia.

    Farm Purchase - 2015

    Rice Mill Project