At least once in your life you will need a doctor, lawyer, police officer and a preacher. But every day, three times a day, you will need the farming community, and today you are invited to give thanks to the many hands that feed us.
Friends of Agriculture, a member network supporting farmers, will be hosting a virtual Holy Communion worship service this morning from the Free State, which embodies the breadbasket of a hungry nation.
Agricultural leaders, including Grain SA chief executive Jannie de Villiers, will deliver his testimony along with Japie van der Westhuizen from SA Studbook, and Dr Andries Radley from the VKB group. Also on the programme is a Ficksburg farmer, Theunis Pretorius, who is part of the MD Foundation, a community of believers uplifting people through diverse initiatives.
The service commences at 11:00 and can be streamed for free from any device with internet access. It is the initiative of Gerhard Kriel, the founder of Friends of Agriculture which raises public support for the plight of farmers in South Africa.
Kriel says, “We invite everyone – yes, everyone – to have communion with us today. The theme of the service is gratitude. It is such a privilege to be involved in agriculture and an even greater privilege to be dependent on agriculture; the privilege of being able to have food. Every meal comes from agriculture. What a privilege to be able to serve people with this.”
Virtual worshipers can also look forward to praise and worship songs from the Oase congregation in Klerksdorp in North West. The Holy Communion will be served by Dr Pieter van Jaarsveld, moderator of the Free State synod and minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Bothaville in the Free State.
“Lord, bless this land you’ve entrusted me with. May I always know as I tend each crop and animal, You’re the one that helps them grow. Grant me the strength and wisdom. Please protect me from harm, and thank you, Lord, for this precious gift of the blessing of my farm.”
There will also be virtual testimonies from Chris Venter, former Afgri chief executive, as well as Rita Andreas, a Drakenstein councillor who started her career as a seasonal worker picking grapes, and Anso Steyn, a farmer’s wife from Verkeerdevlei in the Free State.