Ally Perspective: “God changed my heart at the Natoot Farm!” 

Bright Hope is only as strong as its Allies. (An Ally is what we call our faithful supporters.) And our Allies are amazing! 

We want to introduce you to Brian, one of our committed Allies. He joined some of our staff on a trip to Turkana, Kenya, in 2023. And his visit the Natoot Farm changed him for good. As you will read from his words, God used his interactions with the farmers to plant seeds of passion and purpose in his heart.

Ally Experience at the Natoot Farm 

Brian learned about Bright Hope for the first time when one of his pastors invited him on a trip to Kenya. Toward the end of 2023, Brian boarded a plane for Kenya for the first time.  

Bright Hope: What was your impression of the Natoot Farm? What impact has the farm had on the community? 

Brian: When we left on the trip, I only knew the farm existed. I knew my home church had financially supported the Farm. However, no one from my church had visited the farm in several years. After visiting, I genuinely believe the Natoot Village would barely exist if the Farm had not been created. Droughts have devastated this area of Kenya. Yet many of the individuals working at the Farm were full of hope and joy.  

They have a well that provides a means of self-sufficiency for the community. The farm has also created a shift in the local culture. We were told the change from herdsman (pastoralists) to farming was difficult. Many people have experienced failure with previous agricultural ventures. Those residents were also skeptical of the possibility of the farm succeeding. It has taken around ten years to shift the mindset of the local population. Families living in the Natoot Village now grow small gardens at their residences. This further reinforces the change in thinking related to farming. To summarize the Farm’s impact, I would say the Natoot Farm is now the hub of employment and hope for the Natoot Village.  

Meeting the Farmers in Natoot

Bright Hope: Can you describe your interactions with the farmers of Natoot? What made these interactions meaningful to you? 

Brian: The language barrier was present but a minor inconvenience. The individuals who interpreted for us were incredibly talented. Some of them knew three languages or dialects: Swahili, Turkana and the local Turkana dialect. It was fascinating to see people interpreting the three different languages. Truly, the nonverbal communication told the whole story. The smiles, hope in the eyes, the holding of hands, hugging, dancing. They pulled me in different directions to show me their success and improvements. Was it impactful? Honestly, I am crying as I write this.  

Bright Hope: How did visiting the Natoot Farm change your view of the extreme poor?  

Brian: Tracey and I had traveled to India and witnessed people dying in the streets. We saw people and animals starving. We saw the slums of Mumbai. These were all tragic memories. So, my perspective of the extreme poor had a basis in past experiences. The people of the Natoot Village and Farm are also considered extremely poor. Yet, they were eager to work on the farm and learn from the teachers. The ability to become self-sufficient brought joy and excitement. These people may make less than $2 a day, but their spirit is anything but “poor.” 

Bright Hope: How did you see God working in the Natoot Farm community? 

Brian: God’s work could be seen by the joy and hope portrayed by the people in the community. So many of the village residents would praise the Lord for the farm, the well and the people at my church. The first well was dug around 10 years ago for the original 4 ½ acre farm. In 2024, the farm will have the wells to irrigate the 13+ acres they received to expand the farm. It was also amazing to witness God’s perfect plan develop the Farm in this drought-stricken area of Kenya. This was the first time I understood what the church body meant. People from opposite sides of the world served and praised the same God, together.  

Ally Heart Change at the Natoot Farm 

Bright Hope: Why did you become an advocate for Bright Hope Kenya at you home church? 

Brian: One of the nights in Kenya, I was trying to talk to the Bright Hope country director and the Natoot project coordinator. The experience had so broken me. Between tears and gasps for breath, I told them I did not know what I was going to do. How could I go back to my life in America after seeing and experiencing extreme poverty? I had no idea what to do next.  

Truly, my heart has been so burdened. As a result, all I can do is tell the Lord, “I am here and willing to do whatever you ask.” The Lord has transformed me into an advocate for Bright Hope Kenya. Since the trip, I have told everyone who will listen about the Natoot Farm and Village. I am still searching for ways to help and advocate for the brothers and sisters of the Natoot Farm and village. 

Bright Hope: How has God changed your thoughts, feelings and perspectives because of being an Ally of Bright Hope in Kenya? 

Brian: Over the past five to six years the Lord has led me on a journey to truly find Him. At the time of the trip to Kenya, I felt I was on the right path and getting closer to God. I was eager to go and help the people of the Natoot Village. However, what I saw and experienced changed my heart. He revealed the complexities of the issue of extreme poverty. As an American, I wanted to fix things with my own hands. I realized some of the hurdles in providing supplies and helping. God showed me I had to rely solely on his perfect plan so all the glory would go to Him.  

How Can God Use You?

Bright Hope: What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a Bright Hope Ally, giving to the Natoot Farm, or even visiting the farm in person? 

Brian: Lastly, I would say each person should follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in their life. My experience with traveling to the Natoot Farm changed my life. So, take a small step of faith by giving and/or traveling. By helping the least of these, you will be drawn closer to and have a greater understanding of our Lord and Savior.  

In conclusion, you may not be able to hop on a plane and travel with Bright Hope to Kenya. But you can experience God’s transformative work through the Natoot Farm. Watch this powerful video and consider how you can be an Ally to the extreme poor in Kenya and beyond. 

Bright Hope Staff
Bright Hope Staff