Volume 17, Issue 5 St. Augustine Evangelical Bible Church, Cor. Agostini & Bellesmythe Sts. Curepe
Editorial | Missions | This Month | Offering Collection | Prayer & Praises | Worship Schedule
Ronald and Heather Yearwood-Changing Continents through Service, Entrepreneurship and Hydroponics
“To take food security into your own individual hands, grow your own food…grow your own food, with a lot of care, in a protective environment as much as possible. It is easier said than done and, in our society, we have moved away from this and designated the job of growing food to farmers. So, growing food is now the farmers’ business, and economics influences how the food is grown. But we decided to grow our own food, and it has grown into a company today.”
These are the words of Ronald and Heather Yearwood, the owners of Oxanic Grow: Fresh Garden Market LTD, a company that grows and sells fresh hydroponic lettuce with zero pesticides. Oxanic Grow: Fresh Garden Market LTD was created in March 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and the company has grown quickly and is currently enjoying high demand for its produce. But although its development might seem sudden, its establishment has been in the making for many years and has been influenced by many factors including the experiences and lives of its founders.
For the past 28 years, the Yearwoods have worked as Christian missionaries in West Africa. There, they have lived in community with others, teaching the Bible, sharing the gospel, and executing various development initiatives. These initiatives include creating literacy programs and helping to provide wells, clean drinking water, and electricity for communities. They have also promoted sustainable living by helping others to preserve their resources and make them sources of income. One of the ways they have done this is by establishing a cosmetic company called Afexan Cosmetics which sources organic shea butter and black soap from women in West Africa and makes products that are sold in Trinidad and Tobago and other countries. Part of these profits goes back into the hands that made the raw products.
Heather Yearwood states that while they have imparted knowledge to people in West Africa, these people have also imparted a lot of knowledge to her and her husband. Living in this part of the world has exposed them to people who “farm to eat”. “Everything they eat, they have planted,” she states. This experience encouraged Ronald Yearwood to also plant his own food, and over the years, he successfully harvested various crops. He states that he graduated with a degree in Chemistry at the University of the West Indies, and has always “liked playing in the dirt and always liked plants”. However, he states that successfully growing his own food in Africa gave him the confidence to grow food in Trinidad.
Unfortunately, his first agricultural venture in Trinidad failed. Ten years ago, during one of the periods when the Yearwood family returned to Trinidad for a few months, Ronald Yearwood started planting pimentos in Cumuto. But the pimentos were attacked by fungus and the crops did not thrive. He was tempted to buy fungicides to solve his problems but decided against this. As a chemist, Yearwood is familiar with the ingredients in the fungicides and does not think they should be consumed.
This experience led Yearwood on a journey of 10 years of research and experimentation. In 2020, he was finally able to develop his hydroponic model which uses water to grow lettuce and fish to provide nutrients to the plants. Yearwood grows these crops in a controlled environment where he ensures that the air and water is purified. As such he does not have to fight off bugs, or deal with fungus, and uses no fungicides, herbicides, or pesticides.
The Yearwoods have plans to expand Oxanic Grow: Fresh Garden Market LTD, in Trinidad, in the rest of the Caribbean, and even in Africa. They hope to not only sell products but also provide people with hydroponic systems which will enable them to grow their own food.
Having been in Trinidad over the past year since the borders are closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ronald and Heather Yearwood plan to return to West Africa in 2021. Ronald Yearwood states,” right now, in our village in Africa, there is no rain. And in another month or so all the water in the rivers will be dried up. So even the ladies who started their little gardens won’t have any water to water them. Hydroponics uses much less water. What we want to do is give them a model that they can set up, which will allow them to have fish and have food so that during the lean months or throughout the year they can plant their herbs, their vegetables, whatever they are growing, and their families will be fed.”
Since they have lived as missionaries for the last 28 years, the Yearwoods are no strangers to service and sacrifice. They have not only provided others with spiritual food but have continuously sought to find ways to help people to meet their physical needs. The creation of their hydroponic model and their willingness to make it accessible to others will make food security a greater reality for people across two continents. The Yearwoods are truly world changers!
Author: Jasmine Benjamin
This article was originally posted on Jasmine's Blog entitled "A Life Well Lived".
Reflections of an ISCF’er
IS/IVCF has a way of consuming you. When I joined the fellowship way back in high school I was happy to fellowship with Christians. Ours was the first group at Bishops High Tobago, but it was not pioneering so to speak. It impacted school almost from the start. In those days university students ( including our own Annette Arthur now Garcia would periodically come over to Tobago visit schools, talk to the principal whom we feared, conduct whole school assemblies which made us sooo proud to have big brothers and sisters at the university boldly proclaiming Christ.
So we too proclaimed Christ. We targeted students to share the gospel. When our friend was crowned the school’s Carnival queen we agreed that she must be saved. Some prayed while one talked and sure enough she accepted Christ until her dying day a couple of months ago. Another one with whom we shared the gospel with now occupies a senior position at UTECH in Jamaica and is still happily serving God with her husband and children.
At University which I couldn’t wait to reach to join this exciting body of believers, there was IVCF from day one. Meetings on Thursdays: was that all? No there were cell groups on the hall, there were the huge prayer meetings, concerts to practice for, actually we the T hall girls conducted a Sunday School in Rm 107 and on Saturdays we would comb Curepe inviting children to Sunday School at 4:00 pm all with the aim of knowing Christ and making Him known.
After graduating, I would tell everyone I would do anything but teach. Where did God send me? To teach. Back to school where I didn’t want to go and there sure enough was an ISCF group. I ended up being a sponsor of another group of enthusiastic teenagers, many of whom are serving God till today one is now a senior pastor in Tobago. Married to an IVCFer, I returned to Trinidad, and early in the game I was quietly asked by my Principal to put some structure to a group of young Christians there. I became an ISCF sponsor there again.
Serving God is always rewarding especially when you can look back and say look what the Lord has done!! Hundreds of lives have been impacted by this organisation I am only one. Retired, IS/IVCF is still consuming me. The many friends I have made form my community in which I operate. Now on the Board, I am exposed to friends and fellow workers all over the world from Europe to Australia with one purpose: reaching students to impact their communities. Get on board. Some student at school or on campus is waiting to meet Christ through you.
Marcelle Mapp, Board Chair ISIVCFTT
We are happy to welcome two new members of AEBC staff and to take this opportunity to introduce them before they visit us on the last Sunday in May.
AEBC Administrator (Pastor Harold George Theophilus Boxill) wants to mobilize the churches of the AEBC by finding ways to bring them together to edify and benefit the whole body. Harold was Assistant Pastor at Chaguanas EBC from January 2013 to December 2020 but in his early years, he attended St. Augustine EBC. There he was Theo (for Theophilus – Lover of God), a part of the youth group, Bible study, and worship service in SAEBC’s early days. As another of the QRC students drawn to SAEBC through ISCF, he also brought the maturity and discipline of a cadet officer. After graduating from QRC he worked for a while with Shell until they wrapped up local operations and relocated outside T&T.
After Shell, Harold spent a year as an ISCF staff worker and this led to his attending the URBANA Missions Conference and making the decision to pursue Bible School training in the USA. He left for Moody Bible Institute in July 1987, the same day he got married to Marcia Tappin who he had met through ISCF. Harold and Marcia spent 14 years in the USA studying Counseling Psychology (Marcia) and Christian Education (Harold) while raising a family of 3 girls (Rachel, Danielle, and Joanna). Harold also completed an MBA and a Master's in Accounting. They worked in the USA for a while before returning to T&T in November 2000. Back in T&T, Harold began working with Unilever while the family lived in Point Lisas and attended Chaguanas EBC. They became involved in Church and AEBC life with Harold taking on the roles of Assistant Pastor at Chaguanas as well as AEBC Treasurer. At the end of 2020 he retired from Chaguanas’s employ to take up the vacant post of AEBC Administrator so as to address the needs and develop the potential he had seen in the AEBC. He brings to the job experiences gained working as Accounting Supervisor with the Baptist General Conference in the USA. He is raising funds to help cover his AEBC salary and is confident that God will provide just as He did in the past. He also brings to the job an awareness of the need for leaders to balance their roles as church workers, husbands, and parents.
AEBC Youth Worker (Daylon Haye) will be working with youth workers and leaders among the AEBC churches in order to create a strong youth program and leaders for the future. Daylon married his wife Tammy 11 years ago and they have two daughters (Avyanna and Sage) and a son (Elias) who fits neatly between the two girls. Daylon and Tammy grew up together in the Youth Group at Trincity Evangelical Bible Church and moved into leadership roles as they matured. Daylon is a nephew of Chris Hewitt and has had the benefit of his encouragement as well as mentorship from missionaries Brian Jones and Vishal Sookhai who worked with Trincity. After working at Point Lisas for 11 years, in 2016 Daylon accepted a full-time post with his home church as Administrator/Youth Worker under the guidance of Pastor Earl Lee. In November 2020 he was hired to fill the post of AEBC Youth Worker and it is his goal to show youths that Christ is the way and that they can stand on God’s Word whatever life may bring their way.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We will continue to facilitate deposits at the church office and online. Deposits can be made at the church office Monday–Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Those wishing to transfer funds online please note that we cannot verify the receipt of funds until our bank statement is received. Our account information is as follows:
NAME: ST AUGUSTINE EVANGELICAL BIBLE CHURCH (Use Capitals without punctuation marks and enter as many characters as the field allows)
NUMBER: 100081011847061 (15 digits are required by RBC. If your app does not accept 15 digits, omit some of the leading digits i.e. 1000)
ACCOUNT TYPE: Chequing
Please notify us of the Date / Sum / Purpose or Distribution of your transfer and let us know of any needed adjustments to the above instructions.
Each local bank has its own online transfer app/system and we have been advised of problems affecting transfers from other (Non-RBC) banks.
Prayer & Praises
Let's pray without ceasing for:
Pastor Kelvin Mapp's full recovery
A reduction in the spread of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago
The restoration of St.Vincent and the Grenadines in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption
The missionaries whom we support in various parts of the world
Students who are preparing to sit primary, secondary and tertiary examinations
Let's give thanks for:
The spread of the gospel through the work of our missionary partners
God's continued provision for our membership in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
Recent discoveries of arms, ammunition, and contraband by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
Reports of God's healing by our membership
God's continued protection over the church staff and the compound
Speaking & Worship Schedule
Pastor Francis Warner
Pastor Francis Warner
The Fall, Genesis 3-5
Deaconess Ebi Sonron
The Flood, Genesis 6-10
Pastor Theo Boxhill
Elder Joe Caterson
Junior Sunday School
Adult Sunday School
Friday SAYBOB Young People's
Wednesday Prayer Meeting