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The following article was published in the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper on Oct 31st, 2013 as part of a series written by Farmer Tony which tells about his first trip to Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Discovering my true self in Africa – God sent the Angel I asked Him for
By Tony Farrell
I went to Africa in the first place because God had clearly been calling me there in order to work on eradicating hunger and poverty in the world by teaching agricultural entrepreneurship. As long as there are hungry people, this work is not complete.
Therefore, with such a huge goal to accomplish, I earnestly prayed asking God to send the Holy Spirit and angels to guide and protect me and enable me to do His work. He answered this prayer in huge, unexpected ways that left me weeping with joy.
After visiting Jonas Yogo’s farm in Po, the very next morning I was off to my next stop, a progressive farm in a village named Guie which was north of the capital. Here I felt very isolated at first because nobody spoke English very well, yet this was a blessing because I was able to more clearly see the beauty of all the people without my judgments getting in the way.
The farming included huge fenced in areas, managed livestock, crop rotation in fields, composting, natural windbreak and erosion control hedges, wildlife preserves, electric fences, levees for rainwater catchment, a massive tree and shrub nursery and more. It was very large; we traveled from one area to another via motorcycle. Clearly this was an oasis of abundance in the middle of the dry savannah.
My tour guide Tewende asked me what I wanted to see, and I simply said, “Everything.” After we had seen all the farming operations and the local village stores, he told me, “Now we greet the child.”
We arrived at a circular cluster of buildings which he told me was the orphanage – and there were maybe one hundred children in total, all of whom had no parents. One building in particular was separate from the rest, and there were a premature baby girl who had been found abandoned in a latrine and was being nursed back to health. At about 3 pounds, she was so tiny and fragile, drinking formula from a syringe. My teammate Marilyn named her “Grace.”
While at the orphanage, they got a call to rescue another premature baby that had also been found in a latrine, and we went along to pick her up. This time I was asked to name her, and I gave her the name “Ange,” which is French for “Angel.” She also received the name “Marilyn” after my teammate. Thus her official papers now showed her to be “Ange Marilyn.”
There was my Angel, manifest before me and beholden in my arm. From head to toe her entire body fit between my wrist and elbow. I had never expected God to send me an Angel in such an innocent, dependent, fragile package, but He did… and it was precisely the Angel I needed Him to provide. Last we heard, Ange Marilyn has gained a bunch of weight and is chubby, happy and healthy.
To be continued next week with, “The rapid embracing of Christianity in Burkina Faso”
Tony Farrell started his current business venture, Farrell Marketing Technology LLC, in April of 2011. Over his lengthy career as an information technology entrepreneur, he has worked on tens of thousands of computers and helped dozens of business to have smooth running, efficient computer infrastructure and great looking web sites that generate more business through search engine optimization. In February 2012, Tony began intensive organic farming on a small scale in his living room, including vermicomposting and aquaponics systems, and he completed Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture program in May 2012. Tony is currently enrolled in the Milwaukee-based Victory Garden Initiative’s Food Leader Certificate Program and Permaculture Design Certificate Program and is building a local for-profit microgreen production business called Farmer Tony’s Mission Greens. Tony recently returned from a three week agricultural mission trip to Burkina Faso, marking his first foray into international work. This series tells the story of that journey.
Tony welcomes comments and feedback, and he may be contacted through his personal email address firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was also published on the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper web site here: