In 2012, Pastor Satya travelled to the United States to visit donors and churches that supported the orphan care ministries started by his church in India. Pastor Satya had recently used their donations to purchase land on the edge of their city. His plan was to use the land to house, educate, and feed the dozens of orphan children in the care of his church body. Farming the land had proven more challenging than he had imagined, and even with assistance from local farmers he realized that he needed help to figure out what was going wrong.
Finding Training Through ECHO
While traveling to the U.S., someone recommended that he visit ECHO, and he immediately signed up for an upcoming class in Florida. During that class he learned about several factors in his soil that might be causing their lack of success.
Armed with this knowledge he returned home but was greatly disheartened to learn that his soil was laden with chemicals that would make the land very difficult to feed and train the children. Undeterred, he started implementing some of the underutilized crops that he had learned about at ECHO and found that moringa grew well and was an excellent way to add nutritional value to their diets.
Six years passed and the orphan homes swelled with children. The Bible training center on the farm was training more kids and young adults every year. The need for healthy, affordable food was growing as well, and Pastor Satya’s vision to develop the land into something that would provide for them was still alive.
A Closer Resource
Pastor Satya reached out to ECHO’s Impact Center in Asia, asking them for further training. Pastor Satya and a former-orphan-turned-staff-member named Ravi made the journey to Thailand.
In 2019, they were able to take what they had learned about the land they have, their questions, and their passion, to the new ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center in Chiang Mai. The ECHO Asia staff customized a two-week training program for them where they gained hands-on experience with techniques, plants, and technologies that have the potential to vastly improve their land, and the lives of the orphan children. Today they believe that they are on the cusp of a big change for their small farm.
“After visiting ECHO Asia, I was able to see the solutions — not only to my problems, but also to the problems of other farmers around me. So I am connecting to farmers here to share with them all that I have learned from ECHO Asia,” shares Pastor Satya.
They thank God for providing for the orphans in their care through ECHO’s mission and the donors who make this work possible.
2020 was a year of challenges for many around the world, and the orphanage was no different. But, with the support of the ECHO Asia staff, and hard work by Ravi and Pastor Satya, their gardens are flourishing.
“We started with some of the practices we
learned at ECHO Asia, and by God’s grace we
are getting lots of vegetables,” says Pastor Satya.
“We are putting fruit trees in, and agriculture is
going on very well. We now have a fish pond, six
cows, chickens, ducks, and pigeons integrated
into the farm.”