SLM Agro Com’s inception was in the small village of Hapria in 1993. Hapria, located just outside the city of Alba Iulia, is still the headquarters for the ministry in Romania. The ministry’s main focus at that time was on the Agricultural Program, assisting the local Romanians in working the ground, planting and harvesting crops, obtaining improved seed varieties, and learning superior farming techniques. This focus has helped SLM earn the trust, friendship and assistance of many local Romanians, paving the way for current programs like the Summer Bible Schools, weekly Children’s Bible Studies, Medical Assistance, and the orphan outreach (HOPE). The Agricultural Program is still a notable part of the ministry, but the focus has shifted from the stomach (AG Program) to the soul (Bible Studies and HOPE)!
The Agriculture Program was the original focal point of the ministry in Romania, and while not the focal point it once was, this program continues to build our relationship with the Romanian people.
Improved seed varieties and farming methods that the Romanians are being brought and taught through the Ag program, will help them make the best of their “parcel” of ground. The food most of these people grow is their main source of income; and they must work all spring, summer, and fall for the food to keep them alive throughout the year. By assisting them in working the ground, and planting and harvesting, we seem to be able to cultivate relationships better than many other ways. These relationships are key to what our ultimate goal is; when they trust us, and see how our lives are lived each day, they become open and receptive to the reasons we speak, love, live, and work like we do.
SLM also does an Agriculture Self-help program. Machinery is purchased and placed in villages, then managed by a committee appointed by the local church. These projects remain under the general oversight of the SLM administrator on the field and greatly help in the planting and harvesting of crops; making a way for the Romanians to learn “hands-on” the best way to provide for their families.