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Logo of AdAgrA 2015: Restoring the Waste Places

Agriculture and Evangelism Panel



  • November 14, 2015
    9:00 AM


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You know we live and have busy world. There's so much to do. And I'm excited to see so many people. At this gathering this weekend. Who are not just kind of sort of wanting to see what God can do with their farmer. Or maybe they don't have a farm yet but they're thinking about a farm. But people that are actively pursuing at and rolling away the stone so to speak. So that they can start doing it. You know when God raised Lazarus from the dead. He didn't he didn't send an angel down to roll away the stone. He asked the people to do it. And I think that in our work for him. I think that sometimes the first thing that we have to do is just roll away that stone so that he can actually. Then blast through us. Many many for the sake of worldly advantage for the sake of acquiring scientific knowledge will venture into the pestilential regions and endure hardship and privation. But where are those who are willing to do this for the sake of telling others. Of the Savior. Where the men and women who will move into regions that are in need of the gospel. That they may point those in darkness to the read Deemer. And I think that farming is just such an amazing way to be able to do that because when you grow food for people. You are meeting their most very basic need. And so we have a group of farmers. Some are from institutions. Some are single Some are married. Some are just little tiny family farms some are bigger family farms have got kind of a group of people up here who have all had experiences where God has been able to use them to share their fate. Because of the simple food that they're growing in the soil. And so I'd like to. Introduce them to you now allow them to introduce themselves to you. And we had some a basket. That people put questions in. And so we'd like to go through some of those questions so that you can hear their first hand testimony of how God has used their farm. To be a blessing in the community where they are so what it's like to do. Cases got a series of mikes are so we're good. So why don't we start with you. Shauntay at the end and just. We'll go around and just tell us about your farm how long you've been doing it who you are. And each person will just go around the circle and let each person tell. OK so my name is John TAFE ish or and. I am very happily married to a farmer from Oklahoma. And he he's been farming. All his life comes from generations of farmers. I joined the operation three years ago when I got married to him to move there to Oklahoma. We spend. Bring in summer months. Going dutch doubles and we have a C.S.A. and go to farmer's market do some wholesaling. And then we spend our fall and winter months volunteer ng. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I'm live Prodi and. I don't have much experience in farming but we. The Lord impressive. To start and then go culture. We've been praying for it what we should do from family because I believe if the family project. It's not so much of the parents projects we have three small children and that's been such a blessing to work together with the children. The name of a farm is their real food. GIRL IS far. And we specialize in right now in the winter produce. My name is Timothy Hyde and I thin farming for three years. Three different for farms. Right now I'm president having this economy in Fresno California and. I am twenty one. I my name's Armando Lopez. Workout Hartman Institute. And I've been there for four years working on the farm and training young people getting them to love getting them to love work and using it to reach the community. My name is Jason Forney and I work a Q.B. do a farm. I've been there for twenty three years. And not always as a farmer though. And we're doing commercial level Godall and gardening and other. My name is scarce and connect and. I have grown up on my family's farm. CONSUL blessing farm in middle Tennessee. And I recently got married six months ago and I am blessed to still be living on the farm and involved with the ministry there. I'm Chana person and I'm married to a farmer. And we live in Michigan and our farm is good news farms. And we are right across the road from Great Lakes Avenue security me. So we are used to students as working at the farm. So they can learn. Farm. One thing I'm impressed with listening to all of you is that when you're doing food for people food from the soil because that's where food grows it spans. All continents. All walks of life. It's just such a basic a basic wonderful things I'm going to first. I'd like to first ask a question a very general question. If each one of you could just give us just and it doesn't have to be the best experience but just one little experience of how you felt that God has given you a divine appointment. In talking with somebody. Because of your farm and you can just pop up it doesn't have to be in any in the order how is God used your farm. To give you an opportunity to meet people talk with them and share with them. One experience comes to mind. Through art B.S.A. we've had an opportunity to really develop relationships with our customers which is one of my favorite parts of our farming operation and similar to the farm day that the Smiths were describing yesterday we have a C.S.A. farm tour and dinner every year for our customers. Usually near the end of the season when we had an opportunity to get to know them a little bit. And this past year. We had a nice group out at the farm. And we were actually we've done the farm tour we were sitting down and eating and I was just kind of moving from person to person. Visiting with some of the people that I don't get to see as much as others. And I remember I was sitting there and talking to a couple of ladies. And one of them just out of the blue asked me the question. So tell me about seventy AD minutes what is it that you believe that's different than other Christians. What do you have similar and. What's different. And I was like wow that's that's quite the question. And several other people around. Stop their conversations and turn toward me to see what I would say. So I sent up a quick little prayer and. I answered the question. And we had a very very profitable discussion and you know a lot of these people that we interact with wouldn't. Because of their backgrounds their worldview they would never consider going to a church. But because we've had the opportunity to build these relationships and they have a lot of trust in us because we are we're providing their food and they come to the farm they see exactly where it's growing. And they know that we care about them. It really breaks down those barriers and it's given us an opportunity to reach out to the hearts of people that we otherwise would not be able to reach out to a man. One of the first example so I could think of was back when I was that. Sunny's on a farm. And I was working in the seating area of the salad house where we grow the my programs and. My friend. Julian. And I were speeding and singing songs as he worked and. For those of you who don't know that funny don't know they have non Adventist employees. And we're singing along and. This really tough lady who was one of cold out first and you could tell she's been through a lot in her life working in the salad house. And as you started singing I could kind of sense that she was getting a little bit emotional and. It was just. Amazing to me that. Here I am just doing my work and. I'm witnessing to someone without even really realizing it. And later. Probably that week or around that time. Another lady in a solid house. Was her name was more euro. And she was just working and. We were kind of talking in every would be in the same area of the house. And she said you know. I think there's more in common with my believe as a no Christian. And what you guys. You know you happen to believe and you know I recently left my church because they were doing all you know. Caught up in speaking in tongues and. Just the discussion we were able to have about you know the Bible being the basis of faith. And without it being a evangelist experience or a Bible study. We were still able to discuss. God and truth. One of the experiences we had over there is so. One time we had two chefs from one of the high end restaurants in Washington D.C. or about an hour and a half south of Washington D.C. They actually wanted to come and have like a farm experience. So they came in that actually for two days. They worked with us there on the farm. And they were just impressed with all the work that goes into making food. Happen. They actually they actually wish they could bring their whole cook staff. So that they could see how how much work goes into producing food and they thought maybe they wouldn't be so wasteful with it. But we were able to share with them throughout throughout the. The two days that they spent with us there on the farm and. You know because they start realizing that it's. It's more than just farming it's more than just food. It's a lifestyle and we started getting into health. We started getting into religion. And we just were able to share with them and in different levels one of them. They were actually both European one of them was from England in the old one was from Romania. But they were both chefs and. It was a great experience sharing with them throughout those two days. People you would have never had a chance to because you probably don't eat in the kind of restaurants that they cook can. We farmers don't usually eat in those restaurants. So you would never have a chance to meet them otherwise if it wasn't through your farm. Wonderful. Which it started when to say say as always I think the challenge to start a new business so we've been praying for they define Aves how to market. Our new business. So I believe the Lord provided those G.M. will. For him. That's what sponsored by the City that. I happen to go to. And in the end. I had opportunity to speak about the dangers of G.M.O. in to put a little at a time a fall farm. That we don't we also tried to grow beginning. Without any animal products. So all right after the meeting. A couple came to me and that was so excited about that we actually want to do it. The man's took the cash right out of his hands with that hears all the money that you need to start a business that says no no and that's right now. He was so excited. And then they said we'll always be on your list we coming. So they gave all the contact information then when I contact them this outreach allowed us to have the see it's a pick up at our church. A local church. Thought that police were going to meet and some savages charge would you need to direction. And she emailed me that I even don't know anything about them to be on a discharge and don't even know it exists. So we gave directions and for the first time in her life. They came to our church to pick up. Employees the LLOYD Now they've been volved. We have cooking class. That's was sponsored by a church that they signed up. So not a comment a cooking class to want to learn. I think the Lord use us as a arm to reach out to this particular family to by God's grace. They can. Learn more and more. But God with her. Amen and shouldn't we be the ones that would have the recipes and the ideas for how people can use the wonderful food that we know how to grow that's so wonderful. We went with our farm we had reporter come to do a story a feature article for. The cherry and Beacon restaurant that's in Michigan state of Michigan. They go all over Michigan. And he came in he was two for EXCITED IT'S reporter and he was just like he came in he was like Africa to know what to think of our operation. And it's you know we toured around and I we explained. You know what we were doing and how we did in all that he just got to prick side and he's like I'm going to go back to my office and tell everybody what it is I want our office. To become our news he was worth a newspaper. And he's I want our news paper to become drop point location for your farm boxes and I want all our all my coworkers to sign up for farm boxes. And it was just really neat to see that he got to prototype. As you know he was there for the two hours. So excited and passionate about he's like I'm a mediator I'll never quit eating meat but I I would love to have all this stuff to add to my to add to my focus. He is he was a foodie he loved to cook and he just really excited about the potential and the opportunity to be able to be far Marx's with fit with him and I I just thought it was really cool to see that you know either way we want to seem able to connect with him otherwise. I always tell people that a farm. When you're a farmer. It's like having a year round lifestyle center for people because you're not just bringing people to your lifestyle center for a week or two weeks or three weeks you're impacting their life for a whole year. Or many years hopefully. As has already been mentioned the farm gives you an opportunity to interact with people that you wouldn't normally interact with your church circles and. We've been farming for about eighteen years. And our customers have really become our family and. This spring I got married. And I really got married on the farm and I really wanted. The wedding and evangelise. And so we opened it at all our customers are farmer's market friends and C.S.A. members. And it was on my wedding day. All of the people come. Our farmers market manager the man who runs our food came a cell of farmers came one of the fellow farmers. He's not a Christian she told me a few weeks before my wedding you know I really would like to help you. And she offered to do all the flowers for my wedding. And it gives you opportunities to touch people's life that you wouldn't otherwise have and so on my wedding day I looked out on all the people that had come quite a large wedding in the field. And on our farm. And you know going down the aisle and seeing all the people that I would see a farmer's market. And so many not even Christians. And the impact that that had on for the whole summer after that people would come up to me and tell me what a blessing it was coming to to my wedding and we really wanted it to be evangelists so we shared how the Lord had led in our lives in broad gather and. There were moments where I was wondering you know how are these people going to take this. And you know because we're very over about God leading us together and his providences and. We really made it a call to people to surrender their lives. To the Lord as well. Give themselves to Christ. And I wondered how it would be but it was just it was so amazing to see the response from these people and so it opens up opportunities to to be a part of lies that you would never otherwise be able to be a part of so it is a huge blessing and so when those people become part of your life become part of your family. You invite them to. We've had them. We've had customers for Christmas holidays. And you know come out for meals and then mazing opportunity to share and your life is a witness. A man in Africa is novel idea that you eat from the land. It's pretty much what people do there. But there's a community of people who are very difficult to read and that in the foreign commercial farmer. Community. They are there doing their big time farm. And they have no time for missionaries or for religion or. You know it's kind of a very difficult to enter community and. I've noticed a huge change. Just as we entered the commercial farming element there. That there's only the interest I have farmers visiting us. I have over an invitation Come visit us. And I do. It's like there's hundreds of thousands of people that God wants to save. And you know we don't go there with books in our hands or something. We go there to be friends. To learn from them they are and from. This opportunity came about. Just because of farming. I think it's God's way to reach their hearts Amen. You know one of the questions that came in was as a farmer. Do you feel hot. Do you feel that it's hard to gain people trust and respect. So that you can. Minister to them. And I'm sure getting the impression that I don't even need to ask that question because it sure sounds to me like all of you are having expect. God is just giving you the experiences you're not even needing to seek them out or prove that you have. You don't have to show your degree to prove that you've got something to something better to give people. I have a question for. Probably more towards you ladies. About your children and the farm. And probably in particular to these two at this and about growing up on a farm. So you would you to it that and would have it. From your experiences of. Why you think the farm is going to help your children be Minissha missionaries. Has the Farm Help your children be a missionary already. And then of course Jenny you have children to cure certain you don't but you grew up on a farm. So what if any of you like to say anything about that how the farm is giving your children an automatic if experience to minister or how you as a little child. Were able to be a little missionary. Because of just growing up on the farm. We have three children and. It's just that of weapon to have small children they small to girl off on the farm. I talk to so many people that. It's a little bit harder when you leave a sit in your child is about twenty years old to actually give them a volatile Maggart called her. But we have a such an advantage in an ocean Tasia very small they go off and farm. They love it. For example my nine year old. He loves the world of what he does he actually started a fugue own little business so did he actually likes to propagate plants. He loves to open his big save Bookham propagations you read how to start from different plan to the trees everything and think you put them in the oil and. Aloe plants and he shares with his friends who have a family in the church. How does he reached out to play. He gives them to people and he actually in beta Creek not have to go and stand. And she called us Rubin. Nursery. I really do believe that people love it. To come to his nursery because Hugh small. So at his stand his friends. They have all alledged me to book. This guy wages Christ object lessons and they give them out right there. And it's passionate the energy for children to give out books because usually nobody says no. Usually people do take them in minute times they do read them. Also for my little ones to go only six. I've been through the property advises us to have a little plot saw children that they can plan their own cities. And they can watch them grow. And it does make huge difference I do encourage everyone was children to actually give them their own Liam because they feel the ownership. And they have lots of species and they grow they own and watch them grow and we have character. I developed stories from that how Christ wants us to go in him. And then we share we put their food in the basket for Al customers too and we do lead our people know that children grow food value. And that's brings joy to people know that little hands have grown veggies for them and a little child shall lead them. While growing up on a farm with the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It was such a huge blessing. And I think as a young child is the effect it had I was kind of to conscious. But where is the who would be our family I think. A family that does something countercultural. And that goes back to the land and. That does something very radical. That has an influence and effect on people if you don't even know. But for me now. I feel like. Looking back the farm has definitely. Given me a real heart for people that I may not have had otherwise you're going to farmers markets dealing with T.S.A. customers. Every week of my life practically. Your mere meeting with people like R.D. said she wouldn't otherwise be meeting with your You're meeting with people who are not Christians. You know. Some are. But the majority of the circles that you know organic agriculture speak to you aren't Christians. And so you really see the need out there. Very very much in your face and people share things and. So just that burden of old. I think is what the farm has given me a real burden to reach those people for Christ. I just want to say quickly our children are still quite young. Our oldest was eighteen months old and we're training him in. He's got a long way to go but he loves the healthy. This summer he particularly loved helping at the farmer's market managing the cash box and handing you know the change back to people except he would keep on handing out money until the cash box was empty if we didn't wash and we think was really fun. But one thing that I noticed was that our customers really had an affection for us already before we had children but once we had Hudson. And now we've had in Riyadh they just. It has increased exponentially it's like they all feel like we're their little farm family and they would do anything they could for us. And so I'm looking forward to incorporating our children into ministering to others as they continue to grow up on the farm. I was raised on a farm which I think was really great. I think it taught me a lot of things like work ethic and a sense of family working together to get the produce harvested. And now if I had my own children. Just seeing them. The greenhouse and. I literally have to stop them because they'll go in and they'll just start picking leaves of kale and eating it and I have to like stuff because I mean we have to sell that right. You know they'll just go along and they'll just pick tomatoes off the vine a certain tomatoes and so it's really great to see that. You know my children is such a young age. Our love eating fresh produce. You know and just a lot of eating salad they love eating all that fresh stuff which I think it's really great. And you know working together as a family on a farm I think is just wonderful. Such a good experience for us and for them and such a foundation for children. You know we're talking about missionary work. To the world but our first missionary place. Is our family. And the hope of the gospel. In this generation is in giving young people a true. Moral taste in love of work. And how better to do that than to have them growing up on a farm and touching their palate with eating good food. I mean you know when you grow the food yourself. Eating that little leaf of Kaylor that fresh tomato off the vine or whatever it is taste so much better when you and mommy and daddy grew it together. And you know we're living in a in a society where everything is going to be against us raising our kids and getting our kids to have a love for the simple things in life. And a farm truly does do that for your children. But I'm preaching to the choir I know that. Moving ahead so now we've talked about the missionary emphasis for young children how young children can help with that looking outward and how it's also a blessing for the children themselves. What about. Armando and Jason. And I guess Timothy two Yeah you. All three are at institutions. Talk about the impact of the evangelism opportunities for the for the the farm. On the student. It's. I have definitely seen its effectiveness. You know when you're doing something together with someone else. It creates like a bond. Link. It helped open the door to their hearts and. I have seen in the time I've worked that work in two different institutions in the institution I was that previously. I actually got to work with some students who were. You know how to really deep issues with drug addictions. And seeing how working on the farm really helped them and gave them an avenue to focus their mind in their energy and get away from all those other their past life. I've seen its effectiveness and. Providentially Lord open up doors where we could work with an actual a drug rehab place in the city and eventually we even had some of the young people that were there in that drug rehab after they finished their nine months. One of them actually came and stayed. Ended up staying at the school for a whole year and he had been you know he had been really. In some bad situations you know living on the streets and. And it was just. He was just there in agriculture and. You can definitely see how the influence of nature. You know. God was working on their hearts and then you have an opportunity that as you're there working with them. You can share and you can help uplift their minds to heaven in help them when they're when they're struggles. Kicked in a man. And Jenny feel free to jump into because you're at a school as well built. The past year. We took our students. Into a. Couple of villages. And they presented a whole week of. Core classes in the village. Hoping the villagers with their culture. In the evenings but all day long they worked in people's gardens and fields. Just helping them. Especially the the older people who had a hard time keeping up with their workload. And what we notice our students is that they started to value more the things they're learning enterprises as they were presenting it to others. It's like it reinforced that this valuable and so it was. And they all came home with our desire with testimonies of people being how and how it touched. Lives and. I think it touched them. Being able to use a recorder to giving them a taste. You know and you mentioned in the interview earlier that a lot of your students are kids that have failed in school prior to coming there. So now for them to have the privilege and. The satisfaction of seeing that they now have a skill they can share with others. And that's so critical for young people for anybody to feel like they have a skill because then it helps you just feel more secure in every way so I think being a primary school failure. Weighs on them in their self confidence. And coming through a program and seeing success you know we don't fail anybody. Because we teach them to succeed. And they come out successful and they come out as small young leaders in their own communities. Oh that's awesome. From my limited experience. I would say that the most teachable moment for young people are not in the classroom. And when I would bring or when the students would come out to the farm. I would emphasize to them that they have a clean slate. I don't know how their grades are. I don't know if they act up in the classroom. And they are proving to me. Who they are. I'm not going off of what. And you know anyone else the thing about them and. There were students that. You know grew up in an inner city. They had never worked. One of them. Followed the puddles on the driveway as the you know went down the hill. Like a young child would do. Because they had never seen that before and. But I really was amazed at how much they could change in a short amount of time. Sometimes they had an attitude. They had disrespect. They had no work ethic and. I should say. Oftentimes they had that. And. The opportunities that are working with them on the farm. Provided to test their character and to train them. Is pretty remarkable. A man. I think. To just being the to sing the students come they start out being like why do I have to do this why I have to work with the door and get thirty. I don't want to get thirty. And you know and then seeing that influence. Change how they get so excited. You know over the period of time. There you know you have them coming. You know the beginning the school year not wanting to come and not being excited and then at the end of the school year they are excited and they want to do their. They want to be there. And then we have to part of the positive peer pressure two of the kids who want to be there. And they influence. The kids who don't want to be there for for good that they you know. Get them excited. And so we have a lot of the students who want to be there. You know we have them as being team leaders. And then we also have the ones that are excited and then they influence other choice and other parts of the school and we have kids coming in saying Hey my friend who works at the farm. Said that it's really cool to work at the farm I want to work there because it's really cool. And so it's really exciting to see that changing to have bad attitudes and who have maybe bad grades coming in and just getting excited and their behavior changes really need to see them grow and develop from working. You know from working on the farm. And some of the teachers I understand have that that some of their grades have improved. They've improved just by working at the farm you know being in touch with the toiling getting excited about. And being passionate about something which is really great you know as a as a farmer and a leader that's really exciting to see the growth in the students in every way. That's awesome. Shauntay when I asked you last night if you would do it. I said Would you be involved in an evangelist. Panel talking about how your farm has been able to be evangelistic for your community. The first words out of your mouth after you said yes we're. And for our employees. Tell me about that. All right. So let me back up a little bit a couple years ago we were spending our fall winter months in Africa. And my husband and I were talking. You know when you. When you run a pharmacy essay. You can get soul buried in the work you just you know are surviving. For a few months out of the year. And can hardly think about having extra time to do anything. You know that's kind of between April and July for us. We put in really long hours we work very hard at it it's difficult to conceptualize. Having time to incorporate other things into our life but we really felt a burden that we wanted not to get buried in our farm work. Because you know it's a very it's a very good wholesome life but we wanted to really have at the our ministry as well and not just save our ministry for the months of the year that we spent in Africa. And so we began to really pray and ask God the sibly to bring its opportunities bring its people that year. Into our lives that we could minister to even as we were involved in our farm work. And God has really answered that prayer. Incredible ways. Especially through the. The employees you know we have to hire because of our. We have a an asparagus production that's fairly heavy two months out of the year and we have to hire some extra labor for that and. And so we've had a lot of local people working for us. And oftentimes we kind of employees that we find locally who are available to work on the farm or the type that don't have regular jobs in the reason they don't have regular jobs because they're not that great of employees. And so we've really had an opportunity to work with people to be patient with people and develop relationships with them and I I have one person in mind specifically who we've developed a relationship with him. And with his partner over the last couple of years. God. Given that's incredible opportunities to reach out to him but we've learned so much. I've realized that in order to make farming and evangelism work. Evangelism really has to be part of your life. Part of the way you live. You can't have it be something that you prepare for in your spare time because you just don't have to or time. It has to be part of what you do every single day. So for instance. Just really practically speaking. You know these people. They're working with our vegetables but they never even eat their vegetables they don't know even has a pair of vegetables. And so we've had them to our table eating around our table with us. I used to be the type that if I had a non-vegetarian eating meal with us I just I felt like I had to really prepare. Really think through what I made. Not make anything that was too weird or to offenses to their taste buds. But you know when you. When you go about evangelism in ministry in that mindset then it becomes a big deal. And you can't have people over very often unless you have enough time to prepare the special meal. So got a call to my heart. No you need to. You need to be willing to have them come and experience for life just the way you live it. And so we've gotten to the place where you know if. If one of our employees. Is there over lunch and all they brought for lunch was a soda pop. I'm willing to say. Come join us. You know I didn't make anything special just what we're eating just put an extra plate on the table. And we've many times. Had people eat with us that are not used to eating. This way and I'm OK with saying you know what if you don't like it that's OK Just eat it anyway you got to retrain those taste buds. And not be offended by. You know then picking at their food. But it has had such an impact on on these people to enter into our lives to sit down and have family worship with us. Even come to church with us. And they do so because they really believe that we care about them. And they've been able by God's grace to see Jesus. Living in our lives every day because we've allowed them to get close to us we've gotten close to them and invested in their lives. And you know there's ups and downs. Sometimes you're really hopeful of the changes you see people making other times it's hard to see them backsliding. But by God's grace we continue to persevere knowing that as we so those seeds. Someday there will be a harvest. And and that is the key. And of all the people in the world we farmers. Should realize that it is just about the seeds we're not going to see it today necessarily. And it might even be that it might be a very long time but the seeds are being sown and. And then with the continual contact like you're saying watering them and just continuing to care for them. Thank you so that's about employees Timothy I know for a fact that you've had some employees experiences to share something. Yeah I mentioned those two. But. We're part of my time at Sunny's on a where I had the most involvement with other employees. I was a team leader and. I had a group of about five people working with me. And a couple of them were non advantaged. Two of them in particular were really close to the a Southern Baptist young people. They were brother and sister and they would go with us. You know rock climbing on the weekends and they often came to worship in the morning. And just to develop a root friendship in a relationship with them over the course of our time there. Open the door for deeper conversations about spiritual things. And them asking us questions as to why we did what we did. And you know why do you not go to the store on the Sabbath and you know. Why don't you go to movies or things like that and just that friendship that we cultivated over extended period of time in that way they saw. In our work. I mean that's who you are on a daily basis. And it's not like you're showing someone. The ministry side. At one time of your life. It's just your lifestyle. And I would also say. You know oftentimes we hear. Ministry. We think of a pastor or a revivalist. But ministry is so much broader than that and we think of Christ example. And his methods of teaching the people from object lesson from nature. I've been reading. Christ object lessons recently and it just really inspires me. How simple the truths that he taught were. But how profound they were. And. It might seem like a humble thing. But really the seeds were planted can reap some pundit harvest. Amen. And the dailiness of working. Like Shauntay was saying when your daily. Meeting those people every day and you were saying it to Timothy. You know. In evangelism. We often think that well we've got to have this evangelistic series and I'm not downplaying it that's so important. But that's like one touch point that two weeks or three weeks out of a year but when you're going to a farmer's market or or working every day with your with your team members fellow team members that work. That's three hundred sixty five days a year evangelism. So that's a real golden opportunity and responsibility for us. Question came in and in the little basket. And it says what is the biggest challenge that you have faced in conversations with people to the anybody have a thought on that. I think for us police. The lack of knowledge when you go out and talk to you like our farm our customers. You know they'll be legal How do I prepare this or you know it's something simple like Kaylor you know. But it's very simple. But yet so then they still have that knowledge. And so for us in the lack of knowledge in how to do you know how you prepare certain things or even how how how farm work. The lack of knowledge. But that's such an opportunity then because then you have the information yes. So yes that's it that's like citing parts and we can share with them like how how how to do certain things and how to prepare certain dishes. But it's just exposing people to that. That's been our challenge. But what a blessing to be able to help them with those needs anybody else. One of the things that I think this morning. Was mentioned murders last night. Just. There's a group of people that are into like New Age and those types of things more of the Oriental religions. You know that's becoming more popular. And sometimes you can talk about God and they're like yeah god. But their idea of God is so different from yours and so the like there's this. Even though you're talking about a lot of the same things in the resignation. With your lifestyle and with with agriculture and eating healthy. But their ideas of God are different. And so I found it hard how do you. You know how do you give them the right idea without just you know getting into an argument with them or. You know and just telling them no you're your ideas of God are wrong that. That's been a challenge because really the that type of religion or belief system has is is in many ways ahead of us in where they're at with with farming and meeting people to meet. So to. I get what you're saying. I second that I was going to say as I was thinking about our customers we have some. You know really well to do progressive customers who love our produce and love our family. But have a totally different worldview than we do a worldview that I can't even relate to. Like I don't even understand a lot of where they're coming from. But one thing that is done for me is that is it is really. Put me on my knee. Because you know God knows. The avenues into each person's heart. Way better than we ever could we could talk to people for years non-stop and not find that entering wedge. But God can lead us to that entering wedge if we're really. If we're really in tune with him. If we're really it's rendered him and if we're looking for those opportunities. And so you know listen I've spent time praying praying for our customers praying for our interactions with them and asking God to help us to recognize what those openings are. And as we're sensitive to spirit he answers those prayers and it's really exciting to see. Conversations happen that you know. We're divinely ordained. It wasn't it wasn't you who created it and. And how inspiring to be used by God to to reach a persons with a mindset. That would never go to a church would never open a Bible in a man. I had a interesting situation where a commercial of a car a girl was visiting to see what I was doing. And he we went to the field together and. I have four thousand holes. Prepared and we sign it holds a heap of rocks. GRAHAM it. And he says what are all those rocks in your field for because we don't have rock on our place. So we had obviously brought thousands of rocks into our field. And this is the Ellen White. Tree planting method. So. I came to a little explanation there. And he said well I'll keep that in secret. But he's watching he comes. Several times a year and he's really checking out the city was going to happen with the he's. So you know I think it's a it's a witness somehow there. Absolutely and that that's another example of the slow growth of the seed and the plant that will be in time impressing him in a different know one of the challenges we faced in Fresno. Has been the gradual transition of the mindset of the parents and teachers. To understand the importance of agriculture and. It's as you heard from Eric it's a process. But I'm encouraged scene where it's going and that the parents that are excited. It's encouraging to see them. Influencing their children and their. You know their their friends. Other parents to see the importance of what we're doing there. And we mustn't forget that it is a ministry to the parents too because it could be new new light and new knowledge for them. Many times we think as outreach for our friends and customers. But I think one of the hardest people to each is own family members. And they don't want to hear from House many times. I come from Russia. And I grew up in the Muslim family. So I'm not going to tell my whole life story but it was a time when I was young and I saw the movie Jesus. Sponsor begins in Russia for first time I had to hide the Bible that. They gave to me after the movie I had to hide in the closet. And after I got married to a Christian. They found the Bible. But they knew it up beside the point and after that my parents. I mean because I married. Christians it was a. There's a lot of my husband. I think that's what you know changed the whole attitude of my Muslim parents to work Christianity. But I believe. Inspiration set of all right that the health messages but entering wedge into the hearts of many people about otherwise we cannot do each and praise the Lord health message is one hundred percent enjoined wedge into my family. Because my brother used to be an alcoholic. Used to smoke. So heavily and it's just the grace of God that change his heart he's not a Christian. But he's watching all family. Just like you mentioned there earlier people are watching and it's a seed now he he doesn't want to meet his tasks once a week. He has not been all Mond's and raisins for his meals this is just amazing and my mother came here just dropped off at a Dallas airport and she lived without for two months and she said. I want to carry the message of your god into my country the way you. Fed me here for two months with fresh produce. I want to do it over there. And I want to share a little secret with you but please pray for my mother she says if the airplane will go down in the ocean. Letter the baptism of my. So Jesus. Amen and. What an opportunity your farm has given you. How wonderful. Anybody else on that question are can I go to the next one. OK. I'm going to go to the next one. And I think many of you have already kind of sort of answered it. This will give us a chance to really be more honed in on it. How boldly evangelistic Is it appropriate to be with your farmer's market. Your C.S.A. or whatever it is you're doing with your customers. Can you go too far. Is what someone is asking. So in your opinion. How bold Have you felt comfortable being. I'm of the opinion that you can be too bold negatively impacting your evangelism. I remember a couple years ago now. We had a lady visiting and. We gave her some books and it totally offended her. She was not ready for that and. If it caused us my wife and I to back up and look at things like. We really need to win people's confidence. On a deeper level. Before we push our religion. And what we want to push our religion it's. It's our Christianity. That will win them not pushing anything too quickly and so what I've discovered is. People are watching very closely every move we make. And they ask questions when they're ready. And they lead on. Axon you know the common ground that they're coming to us for is healthy. Produce and organic. You know sustainably grown food and. I mean everyone needs to eat and so as they're coming to us as a customer. They may not be expecting a spiritual under told or overtone. But really to develop a relationship with them first I think is the most important thing because they're coming out of a need as we need that need to be more open to other things as well. I would say that different people are in different places. And you know that is you interact with people. Some of them are ready for you to be more bold and sharing and others are just not and as you mature in tune with the Holy Spirit God can. God can direct us to know when people are ready for more. For instance we just started. The essay for AIDS. Jewish synagogue that synagogue with last year they actually approached us and asked us if we would come and do a C.S.A. for their synagogue and we've had an incredible experience with them over the summer. They were so excited that they came to up and said Please please do a fall C.S.A. and we were going to do one we just had our own personal fall garden but we've decided to go ahead and run the C.S.A. from our personal garden for them this fall. But you know if we were just just starting to develop relationships with those people and if we go into the synagogue and start trying to preach Jesus to them. We're really going to shut those doors very quickly. But we have other customers who we've developed relationships with over over a long term who are Christians maybe we don't have such a a difference in our in our belief systems. Who like Jason said you know they. They've given indication that they're ready for by the questions that they ask. By their willingness to associate with in more spiritual ways and. And so we're able to be more bold in sharing with them. I just I feel like. Generally speaking. We're usually more shy about sharing than we should be. We really err on the side of not being bold enough. And maybe some of us have a weakness in the area of being too bold but I know that for myself. I usually wait way longer than I even need to to begin. Opening up spiritually to a person. And so may God. May God give us the sensitivity and then the courage to share as those doors open. Yeah I think about him and broke of Proverbs says. A wise man when. And so it really just takes that person your personal connection with God. Prayer and waiting for those those moments. Those opportunities and. And as was said you know a lot of times it's there are questions that promise you that give you the the. The green light and say OK he's ready. You can start bringing in some some. You can be bold and start bringing in some more deeper spiritual truth. Amen but what I'm hearing from all of you is really that foundation. Is that relationship and trust that being built with the people. And then it's giving those natural opportunities. Versus just coming in and dumping it on people. Yes shock. Can I share a quote that maybe might be familiar to many of us here comes from the Ministry of healing and says Christ not that alone will give success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men. As one who desired their good. He showed his sympathy for them. Minister to their needs and won their confidence. Then he paid them follow me. Amen. And when you grow food for people. You are ministering to their very basic basic need anybody else on that question. I just want to share one with the vision of a long white I don't know how many rather how many people read this vision by that's when there were picking berries and L. was stayed by the wagon. And she would speak in the berry. And most people just gather they were where in the field and they could not find their God destroys the went to eat lunch to have fun. And she kept on picking. And some beer is were very green. Some people were all ripe and the fell on the ground. But she would speak and won by want. And I agree was trying to with some people are just Greenberry. They will write. We just need to give them time. We still need to mingle and develop trust in the relationship with those people but they will write. We can't be impatient. You know there's. I can think of so many friends we've developed over the years with our farm and. And that is what you're saying is so true it's just allowing that friendship and those opportunities to continue to develop and. You can't force a full you can't force a rose to open. You can't force that green bean to grow on the planet or the barrier whatever it is still another question. I'm looking at our time we have. I think we just have time for one more question and this is the one Have any of you had experiences where your connection. The context the connection Jews made at because of your farm have actually led to Bible studies. We have had that experience. And it's a beautiful one and we've done he Daniel and Revelation with customers and kind of going back to the last question. You know people are getting bold. And they're asking us questions. And we need to be ready to answer those. And just recently just this summer. One of our associates a customer did actually a Methodist minister came and started asking questions about the Sabbath and actually asked to study to buy with us. So people are coming to us and asking and endorse their being open for that a man. When we have had that experience as well and it started off with impromptu Bible studies. Out in the garden as we're just hoping together with our with our employees. You know they start asking you the Bible questions and then your challenge with how well do you know your Bible can you give a Bible study off the top of your head. On any subject and. You know it's really helpful to have our phones that we can pull out of a pocket and look at the reference to the verses that we're thinking of. But we've had many many Bible studies like that and then we've had the opportunity to to bring our arm ploys to have more formal Bible studies together. That our church is actually sponsoring and. You know I feel like. What's important that we need to be in the words so much ourselves. That when those opportunities come up you may not have a lot of preparation time you may not be able to sit down for an hour going to your bible and planning your mind what you're going to tell people. But they're going to be lots of opportunities in real life to share God's word. We need to be ready for it. The man says Well you know we have different programs going on at our place so in the agriculture school you know we have several baptisms a year. But. The harder. Community is the one out there. And what I have seen is that we have had opportunity to give away. D.V.D.'s. Were people have actually requested something so. Yes I think it does lead to that man. When we're seeing I was going to say that. Sometimes it's not really going and giving a Bible study proceed where you're sitting down and reading Tech. A lot of times in our experience. My husband interact a lot with this. And I think you have a couple sixty LATER two became very close with my husband she cultivated that friendship with Sam. And when the one in particular you know she was really struggling with school really struggling with behavior issues and. She was itching your senior and. During his time there were here at the farm his behavior totally changed and it really helped him. You know having that relationship and friendship with my husband. You know the talks you know they talked about the files talked about different things. And it really helped him. She changed. She want to have to close to her knowledge was God and he did it down and study the Bible per se. It was all in conversation. And so I think there's you know there's having that Bible study which is good which is very important but then also having a conversation that friendship which is what we've talked about. Which can really help that person you want to go into into the Bible for themselves and study for themselves as to. To develop a closer relationship with God to state if they're since they already have they already have it. And being a Christian family because so many of the students. Don't have strong family backgrounds and coming to your family worship. Yeah and you know we've you know these two particular I'm thinking of in particular they come over on the weekends and want to spend time with us and want to come over in the evenings and have dinner with us a few know sometimes and so just having setting that example of what a Christian family looks like you know. Christian family. I think it's also important because you know. You may be the only viable someone ever read. And so they might not want to sit down and have a Bible study per se but if you talk. You know if you have a good close friendship with them that really helped them develop a close friendship with Scott. Close relationship with God and a man. Well our time is up. And I would ask that you would pray for these farmers. Pray for yourself too and for anybody that you know who may be considering to start a farmer kind of step out in faith on that bench or. Let our heads for prayer. Father God I want to thank you for the lesson that you give us from the soil I want to thank you that the same laws that govern the growth of seeds in the soil. Are the same laws that govern the growth of these in our life. And in the lives of the people we may go with and that we touch. Thank you Lord please bless the start of this Sabbath. And thank you for dying on the cross for us in Jesus' name amen. This media was brought to you by audiotape. A Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through Fring sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about body over or you would like to listen to more service. We visit. W W W dot Audiovox dot org.


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