As we made our way out of the ever-expanding city of Cairo, the noise, crowds, cars, and buildings were soon replaced with sand . . . sand as far as you can see, and the occasional tree. We passed through the village where Mary and Joseph were said to have fled during the time of King Herod and continued out into the Egyptian countryside.
I must be honest, as I had not yet visited God’s Widows Farm, I wondered how this successful farm I have been hearing so much about could be out here – in the middle of the desert. Then, turning onto an unmarked dirt road, the farm soon came into view. What a sight! On ten acres in the middle of the desert, God has provided an ideal place to grow a remarkable amount of food. Mohammed, Mustafa, and Teta, along with Hassim and other local volunteers have learned to work this land in such a way as to provide food for more than 1500 widows and their families.
God’s Widows Farm is not merely a place to grow a few vegetables. This is a full, self-sufficient food production facility, producing not only the traditional grapes and mangoes of the area but so much more. A variety of vegetables are grown throughout the rows, with eggplants, squash, peppers, garlic, onions, cabbages, broccoli, and tomatoes in different stages of growth or recently harvested. Along with the grapes and mangoes, papaya, guava, orange, and lemon trees are in various stages of maturity. Corn and wheat are grown, processed, and ground on-site to make flour for bread or feed for the five or so cows and a herd of about 20 sheep that are currently being raised on the farm.
Even alfalfa is grown on-site to provide fresh feed for the animals. Nothing is wasted and everything has a purpose. In addition to all this wonderful food, the farm also grows and produces its own seed for the next plantings and its own compost to nourish the soil without using any chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
After my visit to the farm, I was invited to take part in harvesting and butchering one of the cows. While I have raised lambs and participated in harvesting them at my small family homestead, a cow is a whole different story. Mohammed picked me up that morning and took me to his family house in the Giza neighborhood of Cairo. Once there, everyone in the family participated in harvesting and butchering this gift from God.
All three of Mohammed’s adult children, all their children, his wife, cousins, nieces, and nephews were all there to be part of this event. It was truly an amazing experience. Everyone had a job, from the oldest to the youngest in the group. We had over 200 pounds of fresh, farm-raised beef when we finished. That evening, the meat was distributed to 150 widows’ families.
God’s Widows Farm is truly a miracle! It is a diverse food oasis that not only provides for almost 2000 families but also cares for the earth that God has given us, making it a better place while giving back to God for all He provides. Each season, the farm is thriving, adding rows of crops, more animals, more vegetables, and fruits, and feeding more people while God continues to make it grow.