The “granary of the cross” was the theme of the morning devotion on the first day of the official opening of the food security conference. The 4 day conference titled, Growing the Harvest and Food Security takes place at the Jumuia conference centre in Limuru.

Pastor Edward Buri states that the modern day church has several roles to play as it should be a holistic liberator that endeavours to liberate people from all forms of insecurities; food insecurity.

“God supplied His creation with food from the onset. Food supplying is therefore a key responsibility for the church. When there is shortage of food, there tends to be a number of related conflicts and the church must therefore include food as part of its key areas of mission. The conflict currently happening in Tana River – Kenya  –  is largely seen as one that has been occasioned by food related issues as the pastoralists and the farmers are on each others necks. The issues about River Nile and how the waters are supposed to be utilised by the various countries has led to many conferences that aim to ensure that all is well. The church should therefore endeavour to participate in the “spiritics” [politics] of food and develop the necessary technical capacities,” stated Pastor Buri.

“The book of Acts talks of the apostles as not being able to serve tables, and therefore for them to concentrate on prayer and preaching, they elected qualified deacons to “serve tables.”  The church must today develop “deacon posts” – whose work is to serve tables. The deacons were not merely meant to distribute food but rather to acquire and distribute it and food mission should be thought of as a critical issue,” he added.

Pastor Buri proposes that in the agenda for food mission, there should be four types of churches:

The Sowing church, the Sharing church, the Storing church and the Selling church.

The Sowing church should in his view be a hands-on church whose symbols on the letter head are “seed and plough.” The fact that God sowed the first seeds and took responsibility to provide Adam and Eve with food means that even the land that He gave implied that there is grace in production. “A possible name for website analysis report
such a church that should be “The Church of Jesus Christ – the Sower,” states Pastor Buri.

He however, states that the challenge with such a church is that the urbanization has relegated farming to the back seat as it is not viewed as one of the popular things to do. The sowing church he states should be able to distribute quality seeds and endeavour to form partnerships with seed companies and even research institutions and universities. He stated that they should also support producers through field officers as well as directly engaging the farmers in order for the society to appreciate its presence. He cited some Catholic retreat centres that grow their own food and urged other churches to follow suit.

The sharing church on the other hand is one that should position itself as a people’s feeder and should be motivated by the scriptures like “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, the story of manna – why keep it and rot?, the accounts of feeding the multitudes,” he states.

Pastor Buri notes that the sharing church engages in three levels; Charity by reaching out to the needy in society. Generosity by spreading abundance and neighbourliness which encourages a giving culture.

The storing church on the other hand sees itself as a one that plays the role of the “food watchman.” “Joseph was raised as a storage strategist, the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes where they ate and even had baskets to spare are example. Due to its reputation for storage and to make it distinct from other storage facilities, the people in the neighbourhood would most likely call it: The Granary of the Cross,” stated pastor Buri.

That this kind of church is most likely to seek a storage license from the government to erect silos and it is also one that would most likely partner with other faith-based organizations to support the community to build domestic granaries.

“These churches would be concerned with the moderation of consumption of food and they would probably host a big billboard saying “do not burn, barn” or “why burn it if you can barn it?” They should ensure that they insulate the communities against hunger during harsh weather conditions and low harvest and ensuring that there is food supply from season to season,”he states.

The selling church on the other hand should engage directly with the food business. This is a church that is most likely to lend a term to the market where the least price is noted as a “church price.”  He states that it should be able to supply food to non-producers, endeavour to supplement church income as well as influencing prices

“A Mrs. Wanjau opened a retreat centre and the players in the field projected that all customers would shift to the Wanjau’s because they would give their facility “nearly for free,” stated Pastor Buri.

The pastor stated that the church has a big role in ensuring that it takes up one of the mentioned roles to enhance the harvest and improve on the food security in the Sub-Saharan region.

“Will you be the sowing church, the sharing church, the storing church or the selling church,” concluded Pastor Buri.

Fiona Imbali,

OAIC Communications.


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