Now a few important things you need to know about Clifford. First and foremost, he is an amazing Christ follower. Secondly, he has been a huge blessing for many people here including Brooke and myself. And a very close third, he has been converted into a loyal Tennessee Vols fan and wears the orange with pride! Brooke and I were blessed to get connected to Clifford while still in the States through our friends who were over here already serving with Living Way and walking the journey beside him. He was working through the initial parts of the agri-academy training and we were actively praying for him in that process. When we got here he was one of the first individuals that we wanted to connect with and put our arms around his neck.
Last week I was blessed with some unique time with Clifford as I was asked to sit in for the final business presentations by the three students. How I got to be in there I am not really sure. I equate it to the typical Tennessee football coaching search in that there had to have been 5 or 6 more glamorous and highly qualified choices which, for whatever reason, couldn’t do it and thus it fell to me. And you know what... I ate every second of it up. I was blown away by what these three students had put together. I wanted to slap myself as I listened to them break down their business plans outlining SWOT analysis, risk assessment and P&L statements. A pig farmer, chicken egg farmer and fruit/vegetable farmer who at the start of this program couldn’t have told you what Excel was if it landed on their face. And now they are mapping out P&L statements with complex formula equations and projecting their supply chain structure two years down the line. The only thing you can say to that is “praise God for He is good!”
So with graduation official, Clifford will soon return to his homeland in Zimbabwe to launch his swine farm and to be reunited with his wife and kids whom he has had to be away from for far too long. He will also become a sure legend and probably future Hall of Famer for swine farming. OK, so a quick Google search didn’t produce any results for a swine farming Hall of Fame, but that just means it has been waiting for Clifford to get started. I, like many others, will be incredibly sad to see him leave, but I will one day make a visit to see his success firsthand. As sad as it will be, it is an incredibly joyous occasion in that we all know Clifford will leave us to travel the road that Christ has laid out for him and to not only make an economic impact in his community but an eternal one as well.
I ask for all who read this to please join in praying for Clifford, Patricia and Itai as they launch into their new businesses. Pray that God will continue to use them in a mighty way for his kingdom. May they not only be an immediate blessing to their communities, but also leave a lasting impact that will be felt for generations to come.