Dreaming of sundried tomatoes…

Yvonne needs help to expand her rural ministry so she can disciple more people in the farming community in Ghana, where she serves

Yvonne Mildred has a heart to see people in northern Ghana worship God daily and earn incomes that lift them out of poverty.

‘Together we can make it,’ or ‘Zurugaluu Jaab Kan Be’ is set up to do just that – helping particularly widows and young unemployed women, so they don’t head south with dreams of riches that often don’t happen, leaving them instead in deeper hardship and shame.

In Builsa land, where SIM UK’s Yvonne Mildred lives, in the north of Ghana, families use hand tools to grow their food.

If ‘Zuru’ buys locally-grown crops at fair prices, employing women to make food products from the crops, many farming families will be helped, as well as the women and discipling can happen as relationships grow. 

But there is more, says Yvonne.   

“The leaders of Zuru aim to run the business in ways that worship God, being missional, economically sustainable, and loving and caring for both people and the environment. 

“In some ways this is easy and joyful; in others, there are huge challenges as you may imagine. The weather is severe: very hot dusty months when desert winds blow sand south from the Sahara, and rainy seasons that can cause floods which destroy crops, homes and sometimes take people’s lives too.” 

Zuru is building a food processing centre to keep out the desert dust and provide a clean place for the women to produce the food products.

“We’re about 75% through with the construction, but we need about £10,000 to complete the buildings,” says Yvonne. 

“We have cost estimates for putting in the doors and windows, for plastering the main food processing building, and the shower and toilet block, for completing the plumbing and electrical needs, for painting and tiling, and for providing the cement ‘apron’ around the buildings that protects them from the dampness of heavy rains. 

“The pastor, who is the building contractor and well known locally for his excellent standards of work, tells me everything can be finished in one month if £10,000 is available, (but will, of course take longer, should the funds come in slowly).

“We dream of, and have trialled, producing sundried tomatoes, plus making other tomato-based products. A business mentor analyses the cost data so we can select the ‘front-runner’ product to make and sell first, but until the buildings are finished and signed off by the Food and Drugs Agency, we don’t have a clean place to produce food commercially.

“Can you come and help us, or do you know someone who can?” asks Yvonne. “We need an organic farmer who loves to disciple and train others, and we need a chef who also loves to disciple and train people, can get products out the door on time, and keep financial accounts of food production.”

Weeding peanuts

Meanwhile, Yvonne and the team continue to work seasonally on the organic farm, demonstrating ‘Farming God’s Way’ and producing food crops, including tomatoes, and growing peanuts that fix nitrogen in the land.

“As we work, the surrounding community watches, deciding whether they want to copy us, changing their ways of farming,” she says.

SIM Zimbabwe Director, Rev Caiphas Ngarivhume

DONATE – Please go to if you would like to support Yvonne’s rural ministry, and mark your gift Project 94023.

GO – If you’re an organic farmer or chef, please email[email protected] mentioning Yvonne Mildred and the Zuru project.

  • For the Lord to provide the £10,000 needed to complete the buildings.
  • For God to send an organic farmer and chef.
  • Give thanks that Zuru uses missional business to make a kingdom impact.

This was posted on 18 April 2024 in Business and media and Ministry stories and Relief and development and Training and equipping.

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