Think peanut butter is nothing more than something you put on your toast? Think again. One woman from the Central African Republic has been using the humble spread to lift herself out of poverty and rediscover her strength.
Louise, who lives in the small village of Dana-Kobolé, is 70 years old and has 12 children and 23 grandchildren – that’s a lot of mouths to feed! When she was younger she worked alongside her husband cultivating large fields of peanuts, corn, courgette and plantain. They also used to raise chickens, ducks, goats and pigs.
From bad to worse
But after her husband’s death 15 years ago, Louise became physically weak and could no longer work in the fields. She had lost her only source of income.
Things then went from bad to worse. Her village was burned during the conflict in 2012-2013. Groups of armed men stripped the countryside, burning and looting property and assaulting men and women. Thankfully, Louise wasn’t harmed.
Fields became overgrown with weeds as they were unsafe to work in. Many people during this time lost the ability to grow food for themselves and feed their children.
We’re going to need a bigger jar…
Last year, in one project alone, Tearfund distributed vegetable seeds to 17,400 people like Louise, and also distributed tools such as hoes, watering cans and rakes. As a result, Louise and her family were able to harvest a whopping 187kg of peanuts.
She says: ‘I used some of the peanuts to make peanut butter, for the children to eat. I had to grind the peanuts with a pestle and mortar – it took hours, and all of my strength.’
As a widow, Louise was chosen to receive extra support. Tearfund provided Louise with a food mill to make it easier for her to make the peanut butter. Now she can sell the excess produce for profit at market, meaning more money for Louise, her children and her grandchildren.
One of Tearfund’s staff members tried the peanut butter. The verdict? ‘It’s amazing! Thick and crunchy... she boils the nuts before grinding them, so it’s naturally quite sweet and creamy.’
Louise says: ‘Throughout my whole life, I have never been able to afford a food mill to make peanut butter... But now I am overjoyed because Tearfund gave me this food mill. I thank God for this, because he is sending strong hands to an old woman.’
Pray for widows the world over; That God will be their comforter and protector.
Thank God that Louise has found this new lease of life, and pray that she will continue to grow in strength and joy for many more years.
Lift up our staff and partners in the Central African Republic and ask for God’s protection and blessing on their amazing work.
We pray because we're desperate for God - to walk with him... in step with his will for the world.
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