Whenever we talk about reconciliation, we always think of our good partner in Zimbabwe, Foundations for Farming (FfF). We are honoured to have Brian, their founder, to share with us the power of reconciliation and forgiveness through his journey on founding FfF.
Written by: Brian Oldreive (Founder of Foundations for Farming)
Over the years, we in Foundations for Farming (FfF) have learnt the importance of reconciliation and unity. It all began when I had failed miserably using the world’s conventional farming methods. This caused me to seek the Lord to show me how to farm His way, and He very graciously allowed that farm to prosper until it became one of the largest crop growing operations in Africa.
In 2002 my wife and I lost all our land and nearly all our possessions in a violent takeover of our land and property with no compensation at all, and we were left nearly penniless. However, well before it happened, the Lord had prepared our hearts through reading His Word and meditating and practising what he taught us about unconditional forgiveness, and loving our enemies, and praying for those who persecute us, and by blessing those who curse us. (Romans 12:14-21)
This enabled us to feel no fear, self-pity, animosity, vengeance or bitterness. The Lord gave us grace to bless our persecutors as they attacked us on a number of occasions, and again the Lord gave us grace to further bless them by helping them plant their crops on what had been our land. This gave us great peace and a deep-seated joy in the Lord throughout the ordeal.
Why is reconciliation important? In Jesus’ prayer in John 17, He beseeches His Father three times, that all of His disciples in all generations may be in unity: Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:11 (and again in verses 21 and 23).
The Father sent His Son to reconcile us all back to Himself and to each other, and it is essential that we make reconciliation a very high priority in our lives. Our God rules through love and faith, and longs to unify us into one body of belief in Him. But Satan seeks to divide and rule, so he sows seeds of enmity and division through things like selfishness, envy, and pride.
We see this desperate situation of selfishness, division, and enmity increasing alarmingly in the world, and we have to run to God to ask for His answer to this dilemma. Division and enmity begin with harsh and critical thoughts about anybody, who might have hurt us in some way. These critical thoughts lead to critically unkind words, then to critical and unkind actions, and Satan rubs his hands with glee.
The only antidote to hurts and critical enmity is unconditional forgiveness, which the Lord Jesus demonstrated and proclaimed so magnificently at the cross as He hung in the most intense agony, absolutely exhausted from 18 hours of horrific suffering at the hands of all those who were mercilessly jeering at Him. With infinite love, humility, and unselfishness, He cried out: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
When we unconditionally forgive those who have hurt us, it is the height of Christlikeness, and is one of the most powerful weapons of our warfare that demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4). Immediately after the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus reminds us that if we don’t forgive others, our Father will not forgive us. Unforgiveness allows Satan to continue to divide and rule. Unconditional forgiveness is absolutely essential for reconciliation and unity!
The Lord has blessed our ministry into many nations of the world with very little money of our own and from a nation under the twin sieges of oppression and a broken economy. This blessing has enabled us to have hope for the rebuilding of our nation God’s way, because this attitude of unconditional forgiveness has given us credibility and favour with our national Government, who have asked us to guide and help them rebuild our national agriculture, education, health, police, and prison systems. This credibility and favour is now enabling us to show our Government the Lord’s Isaiah 58 blueprint for rebuilding a nation God’s way, which begins with making a plan for the poor, followed by the Nehemiah process.
Nehemiah managed to lead the faithful remnant to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days by getting them to unify and focus on the task for a season. That essential unity and focus can only be achieved through unconditional forgiveness and reconciliation.
We pray that our experience in FfF can serve towards a discipleship model that can be applied to any family, community, and nation. True reconciliation is a wonderful way to show the love, humility, unselfishness, and faithfulness of Jesus Christ and to advance His kingdom.
Join us to pray for Zimbabwe and FfF:
- Presidential election is approaching in a few months time. Pray that the newly elected president and government could rebuild the nation, address the nation’s poverty issues. We pray the Lord to watch over the whole election period to ensure transparency and fairness.
- FfF is fundraising through planting and selling Moringa overseas to support their finance in paying for farmland rental and resources.
- Besides helping farmers through agricultural training and support, FfF’s Founder Craig and Chief Executive Officer Brian are spreading message of reconciliation in Zimbabwean churches. May the Lord use their life witnesses to touch hearts of brothers and sisters.