Farming Rescues Muslim-Background Believing Family from Desertion
By Nathan Johnson
12/17/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In 2018, Mwanahamisi Guyato was divorced by her husband and chased out of their family home. He abandoned her when she and their children converted to Christianity. This left Guyato and her two children, Judith and Jeffrey, without help or any way to provide for themselves. The next few months were extremely difficult for Guyato as she tried to navigate her new faith and how to keep her family safe and alive.
With the help of a local pastor and the Christian community in Witu, she was able to buy a plot of land and build a small house. This helped meet one of her main needs: shelter. In order to help provide her family with the other basic needs of water, food, and clothes, Guyato began making and selling candy in her home. These candies were able to provide a small amount of income, but not enough to help her children go to school or buy clothes. When ICC visited her in December 2019, she expressed her interest in farming sesame, which is easy to tend to and cultivate.
Guyato explained, “I am fortunate to have been visited by you (ICC) at a time when I was going through rejection from my husband and family after my children and I left Islam and became believers in Christ. It was a tough year for us because we were not receiving support from my husband. He vowed to not send us any financial help as long as we were Christians. I resorted to selling candy in Witu town to make a little money for food. You gave us hope and changed our lives when you prayed for us and assured us that, though rejected, we belong to the universal body of believers that cares for us.”
Through the help of ICC, Guyato planted her farm in June and harvested in October. She has seen huge returns from the labor on her sesame farm.
She testified, “Despite the erratic season that we had this year, I have been able to harvest four bags of sesame seeds. We worked tirelessly with my children to ensure that we got good returns from the farm. We are threshing the few unharvested stalks that took a long time to dry due to the continuing rainfall. To make sure that we are not late for the next season, we have started planting again. We hope to harvest our next sesame crop in March 2021.”
Sesame farming has become a new cash crop in Lamu after years of failed maize and bean farming. Guyato has also benefited from government agricultural pieces of training on improved sesame farming.
She shared, “I am hopeful that next season I will harvest more. This one was like a trial on my farm and a learning experience at the same time. I have been attending training on how to cultivate sesame well so as to get maximum returns. I see a bright future for me and my children. This has been made possible through the farming assistance I received from ICC.”
The once downtrodden Christian woman, related all of these pains with a huge smile, as her children giggled in the background.
“We are now happy and our faces are shining. Our hearts have been lifted and we would want to help others smile like us. The faith that we have in Christ cannot be hidden. I have been sharing it with other Muslim women and my prayer is that they shall see the light of the Gospel,” Guyato concluded.