Goats. We don't think about them too much in the U.S. But in other countries, goats can affect families, the local economy, and even the spiritual outlook of a whole village.
Last year, through a few donations used as Christmas gifts, we were able to purchase about a dozen goats and place them with a couple in a small village in Tanzania. In October, we got to go back and see the progress in building the herd. There were goats everywhere! Most of the she goats had already delivered two or more kids and the herd is growing. The goats were purchased from the local market and their offspring are now being sold back into the market. Most goats give birth twice a year, so the herd grows quickly.
Latest Update! October 20, 2017
Now well over 100 goats, we have purchased and set aside the goats to be sure they are correctly vaccinated and acclimatized. We have finished the training of the recipients and identified groups of women who will work together to keep their new herds. Just this month we received another 18 goats from a goat herder here in the U.S. (Thank you, Gloria!).
Goats in Tanzania
Our partner in Tanzania has been working with local pastors and village leaders to identify families who will benefit from building a goat business. Market 70 provides the goats and the families provide the care. Our partner makes sure the families get the training and support necessary to be successful as goat-herders. The two villages we are working in right now are Ruaha and Tupendani (the latter means "love each other.")
Goats in Uganda
We have been working with a very enterprising youth movement in Busembatia, Uganda called Kingdom Youth Investments. A few years ago, on their own, the youth of a church we work with began a savings group. They all committed to investing a small amount per month and set up a self-managing committee to administer the funds. To date, they have saved enough to start their own goatherd. This year, we added 10 goats to that herd through the kind donation of someone here in Minnesota. This is especially exciting because these youth are already seasoned goat-herders - learning better ways of raising and marketing their animals.
Goats for the the Kingdom
What is the outcome of all this goat activity? We have already seen the quality of life of individual goat-herders and their families increasing. In Uganda, the average monthly wage in dollars is about $90. In Tanzania, it is about $150. Establishing a family in a stable, ongoing business changes not only their economic outlook, but that of the whole village. As the family prospers, they buy more food, clothing and services. The children do better in school. The family gains status as leaders and begin to influence others in establishing businesses beyond subsistence farming.
Even more exciting is the spiritual outcome. Most of the regions Market 70 works in are lacking in any strong, vibrant spiritual influence. Often they are strongly Muslim and/or spiritist with heavy reliance on witch doctors and strict legalism. As we work with families and communities to prosper them financially, they are open and eager to learn more about the hope that we have and that we offer them. Our local churches and partners are in a great position to share the Good News of the Gospel with them.
"Wanna buy a goat?"
We are blessed by the partnerships we have with people who share our approach to Kingdom building and we invite you to participate with us. The Christmas season is a great opportunity to involve yourself and your family and friends. By giving a goat, you not only help a family in need, but you teach the value of giving more than just personal gifts. This year we have already purchased close to 100 goats and look forward to many more. Each goat costs $25. We suggest you give two because it is easier to start a herd from two she goats. (Yes, we understand the biology here. We mate them with local male goats locally.)
You can give by sending a check for $25 per goat to Market 70, 3120 Torchwood Dr, New Brighton, MN 55112. Or you can give by PayPal at the top of this page by donating $26 per goat. (The extra dollar covers the fee PayPal charges to process the donation.) Neither Market 70 nor our partners take any administrative fees. The entire donation goes to purchasing the goats in the local market. Please, give now. We will send a beautiful Christmas card you can give that lets your friend or family member know of your gift. Just be sure you include your address. We will also send notification of your gift for tax purposes. Market 70 is a 501c3 tax exempt organization.