SIM Workers
Gift Catalog
Creative Gifts
Joseph & Erin Longenecker
Serving in Burkina Faso
From: United States of America

Who we are:

Joseph studied engineering at Messiah College, interned at ECHO learning how to use technologies appropriate to the smallholder farmer, and worked for Case New Holland designing hydraulic systems for commercial agricultural equipment. He first felt a call to work in African agriculture and community development while in college working on a hand pump design project for SIM's handicap center in southeast Burkina Faso.

Erin studied literature at Messiah College and professional writing at Carnegie Mellon University, and she works as a marketing communications writer for HOPE International, a Christ-centered nonprofit providing discipleship and financial services to those living in poverty. She has a passion for communicating the challenges and solutions to poverty in a way that celebrates the dignity of those she's writing about.

Our dear daughter, Lucie, was born on January 4, 2016, and is a great joy to everyone at whom she smiles so charmingly. We look forward to seeing who she will become.

What we do:

We will be working with SIM project Open Door Development to test and implement technologies appropriate for effective community development in southeast Burkina Faso. A big focus is an improved system of farming—a form of conservation agriculture using manual labor developed in Zimbabwe in the 1980s and spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa through ECHO's networking efforts. Improved farming systems are greatly needed to combat hunger and erosion resulting from land overused under traditional bare-soil agriculture.

Joseph will manage a workshop identifying and testing new technologies with the potential to address community needs and create opportunities for business development. Among these are well drilling equipment for shallow boreholes, no-till seeders, custom rice threshing and dehulling operations, and equipment for rural water and electric utilities. Important goals of this work are to involve community people and resources at the earliest stages of each project and to use outside resources such as universities where more technically demanding work is required.

Erin will write and edit newsletters and website content for Open Door Development while managing Lucie, who will be a rambunctious 2-year-old by the time we finish French language school and land in Burkina.

Involved with:

Development and Relief
Media and Arts




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