Thursday, June 25, 2015

We Bought a Farm: 28 pairs of Jesus' hands

Vertigo Youth Group from Zeeland, Michigan finished their work today on our farm. They were supposed to work on Friday as well, but they worked SO hard for four days and did so much more than we could ever dreamed or imagined, that the leaders decided to do something fun with them tomorrow as a huge thank you for all they did. We couldn't agree more!

In the course of 4 days, these 24 students and 4 leaders took down somewhere around 5,000 cedar trees on our farm. (We actually think the number could be as high as 10,000, but we just aren't completely sure.) 

The temperatures were in the mid 90's, and these were northerners not accustomed to the heat of the south. And yet, without complaining, they arrived each morning at 8:30am sharp and headed to the hills with axes and machetes, and chainsaws, and shovels, and a TON of heart.

And not only did they work hard, but they were kind and polite and respectful. Not one time did I hear someone mutter an inappropriate word. Not at one moment did I worry about their influence on the lives of my very young children. These were my children in ten years. And I can only pray that my children want to spend their money to go help serve someone else. And then that they do it with this much class. They fought ticks and poison ivy and blisters and even two sets of stitches (good job JB!) without anything more than a little wince.

As I write these words right now, I have goosebumps because I can honestly say that this group will forever represent something huge for our family. We bought this farm knowing the Lord was calling us to purchase land. What exactly he wants us to do with it is still a bit vague. We know He wants to use it. We can see ourselves educating missionaries in the practices of permacutlure. We are also hopeful it will serve as a place of respite and relaxation for those doing the Lord's work. 

But we have had NO idea how to get from a very grainy, hazy vision to the place the Lord wants us.

The arrival of Vertigo Youth Group on our farm on a scorching hot week in June of 2015 reminded us that we don't have to know how to do it. We only have to know that the Lord can do it. 
If I ever, ever, ever, wonder if God has a plan and if He is watching out for us or if He wants this farm to succeed, I will remember these 24 teenagers showing up to help us cut down cedar trees. They paid money to go on this mission trip. They worked to earn the $600 per person it would cost for them to travel and serve

There is so much to do on our farm. There truly is no way we can get to the finish line without a LOT of help. And out of the clear blue sky, I get word that a group is coming and looking for service projects and I say, "Well I have a farm that needs a lot of help," and their youth pastor calls us and asks, "Could you use two dozen people for a week?" Oh gosh could we. 

And then, here they were! Two dozen angels
We are simply in AWE of the majesty of our Heavenly Father. He DOES do miracles. He did one this week -- sending a youth group to remove trees that would destroy our pasture knowing we did NOT have the ability to do this of our effort.



Unknown said...

Praise the Lord indeed! What a wonderful testimony of our God's practical help. Young people serving like this: WOW!

Anonymous said...

I am from Grand Rapids, MI. It is so nice to hear you say such positive things about kids that are only 30 minutes from where I live. I'm glad to hear they did such a great job!