You will have been saddened to learn recently of the unacceptable behaviour in the past of a few of Oxfam’s employees. As I expect you know, Operation Agri supports the work of overseas partners who are Christians – most of them are nationals working in their own countries, and living at home or returning to their families every few weeks. A few are expatriates – Christian missionaries called to serve Christ overseas under the auspices of their own societies.
On occasions the trustees of Operation Agri or others visit projects on the charity’s behalf for activities such as filming and reporting the progress of the project. Whenever that happens we take care to ensure that they do not act inappropriately.
I can assure you that the officers of Operation Agri have no knowledge of inappropriate behaviour by those working with any of our overseas partners, past or present. Please pray with us for God’s protection over all those working in any way with Operation Agri.
Russell Ashley-Smith, Chairman, Operation Agri
Dai Morgan will be running the London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April – and raising sponsorship for Operation Agri while he’s at it.
He says: “I’ve always enjoyed sport. Anyone who has run for fun will know that keeping motivated is sometimes the biggest challenge, so following a 10k run in 2017 I looked for a new objective. Whilst considering a marathon I was approached by a friend at our Baptist Church who asked me to run the London Marathon for Operation Agri in 2018.
“He reminded me about the work of OA and its commitment to development work to alleviate the causes of poverty amongst some of the most disadvantaged people in the world. Supporting OA will make my training schedule worthwhile – even through the Welsh winter! I have no idea how long it will take me to complete the 26.2 miles, but I can promise you that I’ll do the best I can.
“Your donations, whatever you chose to give, will give fresh reasons for hope to people who may never have heard of the London Marathon but will be encouraged by your generosity. My Just Giving webpage for donations is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dai-morgan.”
Good running, Dai!
Michael Putnam became the first secretary of Operation Agri in 1961, when the Baptist Men’s Movement took on the responsibility for supporting the Baptist agricultural missionaries of the BMS. Michael recently retired from his role of an OA trustee, and his long service was recognised and appreciated. Chairman Russell Ashley-Smith interviewed Michael, who tells stories of the early days of Operation Agri in this video.
Monsoon season is affecting communities living in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North Provinces of Sri Lanka, including our project area. According to reports from the Met Department rains will continue to affect these areas in the following weeks.
Some families have already been displaced due to floods, or moved to safer locations due to the threat of landslides in areas including LEADS project sites of Haldola, Marapana and Devalegama. Please pray for the people of Sri Lanka and those involved in helping them survive this extreme weather.
Paul Kyalimpa, our partner in Kyenjojo, Uganda, reports that market prices for the foods his farmers are growing have noticeably increased in recent months. This is largely because there are serious shortages of food in other parts of Uganda and in neighbouring countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan. This has several knock-on effects locally.
- Farmers feel encouraged to grow more and more food to meet the increased demand.
- Farmers are tempted to oversell their produce leading to shortages for their families.
- Lorries from far and wide flood the market looking for food to take away.
- Theft of farm produce such as maize, beans, chickens and pigs is increasing.
All this has an unfortunate effect on those without land who find it difficult to afford the higher prices, leading to malnutrition in the family. However, in the longer term, the sustainable agriculture being taught by Paul is encouraging innovation amongst farmers, increasing food supply and enabling them to combat the worrying effects of climate change in the region.