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Often God tells us in His word to remember. So, in this our 25th anniversary year 2021, let's remember where it all began and visualize what only God could do "One Step At A Time"

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“Great Things”

Overall video of Sons of Thunder and all the “great things” God has done. The video begins in 2006, 6 months after the arrival of Sal and Renee to “Start a Clinic.” It jumps to 2021 when the music starts, showing most of what has been done up to date. So sit back, enjoy and be blessed.  Our God is amazing!

“Start a Clinic”

The medical clinic started with Sal and Renee (a Paramedic in the USA and Clinical Officer in Zambia and an RN) and Anna (the first Clinical Assistant) in one room. Now it comprises 4 Clinical Officers, 6 RNs, 1 Lab tech, 1 Ultrasound tech, 1 Data Entry Clerk, 14 Clinical Assistants, 2 Drivers, 2 Cooks, 6 Cleaning Staff, 1 Laundry Worker, 2 Gardeners, and 2 Yard Workers, all working in and on the grounds of an outpatient clinic, a freestanding lab, a 6-bed maternity center and a newly constructed 12-bed inpatient facility as well as 10 monthly outreach sites in surrounding communities. Although full service, God definitely focused on the biggest need which was HIV care and maternal child health, thereby combating early death from AIDS and resultant orphans. With over 1100 clients now on medication and living with HIV and safe, in-clinic baby deliveries totaling over 500 per year, we have literally seen an increase in overall life expectancy and no more orphans!

“Raise the Standard”

When given the second directive, “to raise the standard,” we automatically thought God meant the standard of medical care, which indeed has been raised, but God meant so much more. He also meant the standard of living, education, language, skills training, housing, farming practices, entrepreneurship, etc. There are over 80 families residing on the farm. In the beginning, all families lived in grass huts with grass roofs. Now there are 6 families with newly constructed brick homes and all the rest with houses made of mud. All homes have iron sheets for roofing. Some of the houses have electricity and some are powered with solar packages. Most of the homes have their own pit latrines. All of the men and most of the women work at some job on the farm. Educational programs offered at SOT include child care, preschool, primary school, and tutoring especially for exam grades.  There is also a work/study program for grade 8-12 called the Blessed Fund as well as a School Sponsorship Program that extends even to college level.  There are 11 in college and 10 graduating grade 12 this year and 10 from last year awaiting their next step. Most of their parents only completed grade 7 or 9 if that due to lack of finances. English is the national language and is encouraged here at SOT especially with the students. There are 11 drivers on the farm, one electrician, one plumber and a host of builders/bricklayers. There is trained staff to handle conferences in our conference center and trained staff to handle international visitors at the main house….cleaning, cooking, baking, shopping etc.  Leaders have been raised up to be directors, overseeing all aspects of Sons of Thunder including financial responsibilities, and payroll, etc. I would say although an ongoing process, the standard has been raised.

“Feed a Nation.”

Farming God’s Way came to Sons of Thunder in 2009 and after years of training and God confirming, it became our only method of farming. Starting back then with individual vegetable gardens and small fields of maize and overcoming the discouragement of tradition, elephants, fire, frost, and neighbor’s cows, we now have Sons of Thunder vegetable gardens, a citrus orchard, a plantation of bananas and one of moringa and large fields of maize.

2020 started off with a severe drought in Zambia that found people in our neighboring communities facing starvation. When people started coming to the door of Sons of Thunder, it became clear that God wanted us to act. You see, Sons of Thunder had the only harvest (small though it was) in 2019 in what seemed like all of Southern Province. We had yielded a total of 56 (50kg) bags of maize and had it in storage. We had also been led in May of the same year to start fish farming and had started with 5,000 fingerlings in what we called our experimental or learning pond.  Those fish were also ready for harvest.  We had started building a chicken coop but had stopped before roofing because it came out too big and not at all what we expected.  It did not look like a chicken coop and the location was wrong. While walking through the structure and asking God what He wanted, we were led to finish the building as a “Nshima Kitchen” (like a food kitchen back home). After completion of the building, we proceeded to establish a voluntary opportunity of ministry for all of the SOT family here feeding the hungry and ministering the Word. During the course of three months (February to April 2020), before COVID 19 stopped all large gatherings, we had served 3,900 meals to the hungry.  Those meals consisted of nshima, fish and vegetables, (all products home grown on SOT soil and cheerfully offered as “First Fruits” to God in preparation for our future harvests.) When we were forced to close the Nshima Kitchen in May, we gave out the remaining 10kg bags of meal to each of the hungry neighboring families with a couple small bags of side dishes.

We even went to one of our adopted elderly communities to give away the remaining bags of meal and share the Word, giving prayers of encouragement to those who often feel forgotten.

 One month after the Nshima Kitchen closed, we received news that a breakthrough had occurred, one that we had been praying for and that opened up the ability to put in irrigation systems into all our farming areas: drip irrigation into the field at the front gate and also in the back field behind the main house; microjets into the bananas and citrus orchard and overhead sprinklers into another field at the main gate side.  Alex felt led to prepare a massive field at what we call Southern Corner for a rain-fed crop of maize in addition to our past field at the gate side. We were blessed with farm equipment to facilitate our Farming God’s Way: a planter, a ripper and a sheller. We put in 4 new fish ponds in addition to our experimental starter pond. We also started raising village chicken, both layers and meat. Both of these endeavors came with God stories of His provision and even training.

We had 10 and 25 kg mealie meal bags printed for our Sons of Thunder maize to be milled at our brand new commercial maize mill.  We converted what we used to call the "dairy" into a business center consisting of a reception, sales office, maize mill, and stores department. We constructed a new maize storage room and a grain silo. We are now milling our own Sons of Thunder mealie meal in both 10 and 25kg sizes.

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