An Oasis of Life in a Wilderness of Drought

An Oasis of Life in a Wilderness of Drought

Gary Wilkerson – August 1, 2016

A Cambodian village sees life-giving fruit in a barren time

The rural village of Srah Keo is a rarity in Cambodia: It’s thriving in the midst of drought. Most homes in this historically poor village boast a bountiful vegetable garden. They’re also ringed by mango trees bearing luscious fruit. And the children, once malnourished, are healthier and happier than ever.

It wasn’t always this way. Not long ago the families of Srah Keo were starving. Changes in weather patterns shortened the monsoon season, and rice harvests yielded fewer crops. Food was scarce, and alarmed parents saw their children’s growth stunted. One by one, despairing families left Srah Keo. “We were so sad and hopeless,” says Pong, a local resident.

A Loving God’s Concern

Then a team from World Poverty Solutions (WPS) met with villagers to learn how hope might be restored. Village leaders described their food plight, the scorching heat, and the high winds that ravaged their homes during the monsoons. As they finished, WPS workers introduced a new concept to the villagers: There is a God who cares about every aspect of their lives. In fact, his loving provision addresses their every concern, from food to health to education to family life.

The villagers wanted to know more—and that’s when things took a dramatic turn in Srah Keo. WPS trainers offered techniques in agricultural and animal husbandry suitable to the climate.

Villagers learned improved methods for raising chickens and producing natural fertilizer from waste products. They were also given seeds to grow vegetables to supplement their diet and even produce income. Today Pong says, “We use our vegetables for cooking, and some we sell in the market to support our family.”

A Twofold Solution

But there was another problem to face: Deforestation had left homes dangerously exposed to summer heat and monsoon winds. Together, villagers and WPS trainers devised a plan to plant mango trees with a twofold purpose: to provide shade and a shield from high winds, and to produce vitamin-rich food. Much, a 46-year-old resident, says the trees and training are “a blessing for all of us.”

Now other fruit is growing in Srah Keo. Villagers are eager to know more about Jesus, and they gather regularly for Bible studies. Your generosity helps to make this oasis-in-the-wilderness possible. Thank you for your continued giving. If you’d like to help please use our secure donation form. We’re grateful you’ve chosen to partner with us in the good works Christ has called us to do!