DLS Consulting

So That Millions May Not Labor in Vain  

In May of 2005, I was part of a contingent of business people who visited Morocco to promote understanding between Muslims and Christians.  It was a stressful but very meaningful time as we engaged in discussion groups and shared together about common areas of interest.  One of the people I met from our group was Paul Larsen from Naples, Florida, who was also a financial advisor and he was often talking about raising soy beans on farms in the Ukraine.  Having confessed last week that I have sworn off most of my devotion to farming, this project really caught my attention because of what it was doing for the poor farmers in that part of the world.  Paul and his friends, Jes and Roger were part of a team that were seeing incredible work being done thru agriculture.

It's hard for you to understand this without a little history.  Ukrainian agriculture was placed under the same system for collectivized farms as the rest of Russia, and although the systems were inefficient, the farms were so fertile they still produced the lion's share of the food and grain for the communist world for many decades.  After the fall of communism, these farms were split into many small farms and thru land reform, many of the laborers ended up with 10 to 20 acres of land.  They could all grow the most wonderful vegetables in the world, but they fell far short of reaching critical mass to farm the land in a traditional way.  Along comes the seminarian, Jes, and the master farmer from Illionois, Roger, and they believed that they could put many little farms together to make one big farm and bring credibility back to these people.  AgManagement was born more than 10 years ago and they are working on their fourth farm.  The first farm was dubbed "freedom farm" and it has been sold back to Ukranian interests while farms two, three, and four are still growing and gaining momentum.

When this process takes place, the new farms created total between 5,000 and 10,000 acres as many little farms are pulled together to make one large farm.  The new farm LEASES the land from all the small land owners and pays them rent to participate and also in many cases hires many of these people to help run the farms.  The intent is to bring dignity back to people who have been overlooked by the industrial cities of the country and have not been able to do the work of farming because their small farms lacked critical mass.  We have found some of the most incredibly competent mechanics to work on the machinery and help make the farms run smoothly.  As we help these people to fish again, it is our hope that this model will work in other parts of the world where this same malady exists.  It is our desire to also plant a church on every one of these farms.

When you read this, I will be in Simferopol, Ukraine or in Bryansk, Russia visiting that part of the world with my friend and mission partner, Joe Sanson to see if the Ukrainian model might work in Russia.  We are praying that the other work we have started in Russia might continue in an even bigger way if the farming project could be feasible.  We ask your prayers for our safe travel as we open dialogue with many partners to see if God can work in new ways to allow our partners in the world to see Jesus thru our efforts to help them.

For hundreds of years, millions of people in the Ukraine and Russia labored under dictatorial rulers.  Today many live simple impoverished lives because the new rules have given them land but no real choice in how to make a living off of it.  Most of all, we hope that they some day they will relate to:

Matthew 11: 28-30   "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  This is Jesus making an appeal to those who have not started to follow Him yet.  This is the message we wish to carry share with all those who find themselves in harms way in this world.


Sent September 2 , 2007

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