Walking by Faith: Changes, Changes, Changes

Hello long lost readers! It’s been awhile! I apologize for the blog silence over the past few months but we’ve had quite a few changes around here! I guess you could say Jared and I have been going through an adjustment period. Here’s the latest:

 

The (Produce) Farm:

What’s New: Produce… lots and lots of produce

 This year we have expanded our produce operation to include more than just a few tomatoes. We now have watermelons and sweet corn! This is a major change in gears for my row-crop minded husband. We’re learning trial-by-fire style about the ins-and-outs of produce, food safety and marketing.

You can check out more about the U-Pick stand here.

 

The (Row Crop) Farm: 

This planting season has proved to be especially challenging. With cotton prices being so low and peanut prices not being much better, we really struggled with how to plant this year. Do we keep our rotations up? Do we go with the crop that has the greatest profit margin? Do we choose something that is a safe bet? (Is there really a such thing as a safe bet in farming?)

Ultimately, we are in the process of planting nearly all of our row crop land in peanuts. It’s not an ideal situation but neither is below bottom line prices on cotton. Here’s to hoping that commodity prices rebound and the rain holds off enough for us to finish planting before the insurance deadline.

 

The Cattle Outlook:

On the bright side, cattle prices are better than they have been in years! Our cows look great thanks to my mama’s diligent management. She has been a lifesaver this planting season! We look forward to selling off a few calves this summer.

 

 

The Watermelon Smuggler: 

We had a wonderful surprise a few months ago. We’ll have a new little addition in October. (Yes, that’s during peanut harvest. No, we aren’t great planners. But we are thankful that we are finally having one of our own!)

 

Our other love–Haiti: 

After finding out the Beep was on the way (that’s what my niece has nicknamed the baby) I was booted off the Haiti trip by my doctor. Apparently chickengunya virus, which is so prevalent in Haiti, is not especially friendly to pregnant women! Jared was still blessed to go though. He was able to see Mr. Robert and Edelande and help them some with their new house.

Back in the fall, their house was washed away during a storm. Several of our friends and neighbors in the States came together to help fund the building of permanent dwelling. Many people have been asking Robert how he as able to build a house. He keeps replying that God provided and then he shares the gospel with them. What started as an act of compassion has turned into an opportunity for him to share his testimony frequently. Please keep them in your prayers!

Though I am excited about Beep, it has been difficult watching teams come and go to Haiti without being able to go myself. I miss my Haitian family. I miss talking with the boys each day. I miss walking the streets and teaching the children Bible stories. I miss playing ball with the kids in the street. During this time though I have found a book (that I haven’t quite finished reading yet) that has really pricked my heart. It’s called Revolution in World Missions. You can get it FREE here.

In this book, the author speaks primarily about missions in Asia. However the points he brings up have caused me to question how I view (and possible do) missions no matter the country. I won’t rehash the entire book–that’s what book reviews are for–but I will leave you with a few though provoking excerpts from what I’ve read so far:

Quote 1: “We cannot say we love others if we ignore their spiritual needs. Just the same, we cannot say we love others if we ignore their physical needs.”

One of the things that K.P. Yohannan mentions in his book is that so often we go into a country or community with good intentions and try to meet their physical needs first and their spiritual needs last. We end up with people who follow “the god of rice” instead of the God of the Bible.

This has especially hit me and the others from the June team hard. So much so, that when my mom went back with Jared in March she took almost all discipleship material. Of course the team still worked to meet our Haitian family’s physical needs… but there was a MUCH greater emphasis on teaching the Word. Often times, these families do not have a Bible and so they depend church leaders to teach them… which leaves a lot open to the interpretation of the speaker. We are trying to focus more on providing them the Word in their heart language so that they can seek God on their own through the Spirit. While the team was there they focused on teaching Old Testament stories to the children, many who were just hearing them for the first time.

Quote 2: “These villages were called “Christian” only because they had been “converted” by missionaries who used hospitals, material goods and other incentives to attract them to Christianity. But when the material rewards were reduced–or when other competing movements offered similar benefits–these converts reverted to their old cultural ways. In missionary terms, they were “rice Christians.” When “rice” was offered, they changed their names and their religions, responding to the “rice.” But they never understood the true Gospel of the Bible.”

3. “Why do you think God has allowed you to be born in North America or Europe rather than among the poor of Africa or Asia and to be blessed with such material and spiritual abundance?”

There are many days I wonder this. Why is Beep being born to middle class white Americans rather than a poor single mother? Or as the 7th child in a Haitian family? As I’ve hear others say, we were not put here to sit on our blessed assurance…

4. “In light of the superabundance you enjoy here, what do you think is your minimal responsibility to the untold millions of lost and suffering in the Two-Thirds World?”

In the book Radical, David Platt tells about an article in Christian news publication. On one side of the fold was a story about a church that had a just built a multi-million dollar sanctuary. On the other side of the fold was a story about a local church association that had raised a $5,000 to send to Sudanese refugees.

Think about that for a moment…

Where are our priorities?

 

See you on the flip side,

Jillian

 

 

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