Barnabas serves as a pastor, as well as a teacher at a Bible school located in the West African village of Poundou, about 5 hours from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Like his colleagues, Barnabas does not receive a salary. He and his family live on the agricultural production of the two hectares they cultivate.
In January of 2017, Barnabas was invited to participate in an ECHO training where he learned techniques to improve his farming. Upon his return, Barnabas involved his wife and four children in the implementation of these ECHO techniques. The resulting harvest was an incredible 28 bags per hectare, close to double his previous yield. The increase in production allows Barnabas to grow enough food to sustain his family with surplus to sell at market. By the end of a second year of applying ECHO training, Barnabas reported that with the proceeds he was able to build a new house, educate his four children without any outside assistance, and set aside some savings.
Pastor Barnabas is also actively passing on the agricultural skills and knowledge he has learned to pastors-in-training, who, in turn, take this knowledge throughout the country as they are sent out to their assigned villages. In just two years, Barnabas trained 94 pastoral students. Pastor Barnabas’s fields have also become an example to his community of how ECHO’s agricultural techniques can increase production. He is always ready to explain how these techniques work to curious neighbors. Recently he began training nearby communities on these techniques, using agriculture as a conduit to share the gospel.
Pastor Barnabas is a success story — a remarkable testimony of what is possible when people put ECHO training into practice. His story inspires the ECHO West Africa team to continue organizing targeted trainings for pastors in the region with the goal of equipping them to become tools for physical and spiritual change in their communities.