A message from Jeremy Rensford, chair, Shepparton Ministers’ Association

RETURNING FROM AFRICA WITH A NEW PERSPECTIVE... Jeremy Rensford, chair, Shepparton Ministers' Association. Photo: The Adviser

I’VE recently returned from Africa, having been part of a team that partners with local leaders in community development work. The trip was outstanding, so exciting to see a positive future emerging for folk I’d consider family, and their wider communities.

RETURNING FROM AFRICA WITH A NEW PERSPECTIVE… Jeremy Rensford, chair, Shepparton Ministers’ Association. Photo: The Adviser

A respected local elder (in his 90’s!) sagely mentioned, “There’s undiscovered treasure in our fields”. He wasn’t referring to hidden gold and jewels, but rather the potential to use the land for much greater returns. Interestingly, local farmers are not realising traditional farming methods were not best practice. Out of a sense of tradition and respect to their forefathers (admirable), they hadn’t changed age old farming methods. As a result, many suffer poverty.

We are working with leaders in this farming community to discover new ways of farming and harnessing the power of unity to increase market opportunities (more on that next month). In the richest of soil, their futures now look bright.

These principles remind me of some of us Aussies. While not as many suffer material poverty, many of us struggle with spiritual poverty. And age-old ways and traditions sometimes don’t help. I wonder what it would look like for those who suffer in this way were to consider new ways of approaching this important part of life. If this is you, I’d encourage you to pick up a bible as the first port of call in discovering your purpose in life.