JB and I prepared for bed tonight feeling underserving. Through what I can only call God's hands, we had a youth group from Michigan show up at our farm today to work for FIVE days. While they will help us with various tasks, the biggest thing we were in need of was the removal of cedar trees from our pastures.
This whole thing got started about a month ago when a woman on the new homeschool co-op I have joined reached out to members. A youth pastor in Michigan had contacted her. He was bringing a large group of kids down to the area. They were staying at a youth camp near our farm. They had secured a variety of service projects but were looking for one more thing they could help with for the week.
I raised my hand eagerly and told her we had a farm that needed help.
The youth pastor contacted me and said, "We'll see you in a few weeks."
On Sunday, JB and I tried a new church in town. Imagine our great surprise when two big buses of kids drove up. I asked one of them where they were from. Michigan! It was our youth workers and we were attending church together -- a church neither of us regularly attended.
Anyways, they showed up today to help, primarily, with the removal of trees from the pastures. JB did a video discussing why the Eastern red cedars are so bad for the land. You can watch it here: Episode 5.
And today he did a video showing what this group of teenagers accomplished in just ONE afternoon. You can watch that video here: Episode 20.
See all those trees in one of our pastures? Check it out just a few hours later!
So what did this day look like for us?
Around 8:30am a big bus pulled up and a 24 teenagers climbed out. They were the nicest kids and even better -- these were Dutchman! These boys were tall, strong looking men! JB took some time to talk to them about everything we were doing on the farm and shared some of our vision regarding educating missionaries on permaculture and providing a place where pastors and missionaries can retreat. Then he took them out into the field and showed them how to take down a cedar tree.
JB's Dad looking on. Not sure what we would do without this guy helping us run this farm right now!
We weren't sure how Scrubs would react to dozens of newbies on the farm -- but he was instantly best friends with everyone.
Time for the work to begin.
Yes, those are hacksaws and machetes. Thankfully, we got through the day with JB only stitching one boy's leg. But he did tend to a WHOLE lot of blisters.
These kids worked SO hard -- even as the temperatures reached into the mid 90's.
Honestly, JB and his Dad weren't sure how much these kids could do. We would have been happy if they cleared one field in the five days combined. But at this rate, it is very possible they could conquer the entire farm in five days. JB is estimating that they are saving him upwards of 50 days worth of work -- time that just didn't actually exist.
Isn't God so cool?