When Kamala* joined OM’s agricultural farming internship in South Asia in 2016, she left her rural village, family and moved to the capital city to live at OM’s training centre.
She explained: “when I first heard about this programme, I had also just found out that I didn’t pass my school exams and I was confused about what next to do with my life. This internship sounded like a different experience to work hard, learn new things and grow in my personal development.” It took Kamala, who had never done farming, some time to adjust to the practical work and her new environment. However, she found it easy to make new friends and develop a support system that was crucial in helping her adjust to her new life.
Throughout their time of practical and theoretical farming classes, the interns also had some discipleship training and Bible study. “One of the first things I learnt was the importance of submission and discipline. I think this is important to be a good worker and servant of God. I would always complain before when I had a lot of work to do, but now I have a more positive attitude,” expressed Kamala.
During her two years with OM, Kamala noted these statement that really changed her life: “What’s your desired results? What are your goals? Where are you now?" Kamala started setting goals for herself, how she intended to achieve them and what distractions were keeping her from reaching her goals.
As she grew more in faith and biblical knowledge, she began to desire to not just learn more, but to be able to teach it to others. “I really enjoy teaching others what I learnt and encouraging them with the Word of God. My leaders started giving me more responsibilities and opportunities to lead team members which helped me to grow spiritually and personally,” Kamala explained.
Kamala’s journey with OM wasn’t always a smooth road. Shortly after joining the programme, she received calls from home about constant fights taking place between family members. “I remember hearing that my uncle – after regularly drinking too much – would fight with my parents and throw insults at them because my parents were believers and the rest of my family wasn’t,” said Kamala.
She was also sick quite a few times which interfered with her busy and strict work schedule on the farm. “I would cry so much during those times because it was hard to focus on work when your family is having problems and your health isn’t so good,” noted Kamala.
Despite these obstacles, she held onto God's promises as a source of encouragement, and steady support of her co-workers who prayed with her a lot. Through these challenges, God showed her that despite the difficulties you go through, don’t allow it to hinder you from achieving your goals.
After two years of working in OM’s farming programme, Kamala is now the leader of the new interns who come in every year. Looking back at her time, she sees that working on the farm is more than just a job, but a tool to share God’s love with people. “Every time we go out to different rural villages to teach about farming God’s way, it’s an opportunity to share the gospel. The people we serve feel blessed to receive the training that will help them with their work and that makes us happy,” exclaimed Kamala.
Pray for Kamala and the other interns working on OM’s farm, which seeks to develop sustainable means to support the ministry and communities around them. Pray that the interns continue to grow in their faith and effectively teach not just farming God’s way but living God’s way to unbelievers.
*name changed for security