I want to share a God moment with you today.
But, first, a bit of background…
Since we started thinking about launching Farming with Friends, a thought has lingered in my mind. I’ve been thinking that it would be great to learn the ropes from a local farm that has already accomplished something similar to what we’re trying to accomplish. I was thinking… It can’t be just any farm. It needs to be a farm that truly understands what we’re trying to accomplish.
Now, watch God work
You may know that Melanie and I recently moved to northeast Medina to be closer to the farm. Within the first few weeks of making the move, I introduced myself to the lead pastor of the closest church to our home. He was warm and friendly, and he asked what brought us to the neighborhood. I told him that we were launching Farming with Friends and his eyes lit up with excitement. He told me that I had to introduce myself to one of my close neighbors. He explained that my neighbor had been an organic farmer for years, that he shared our Christian beliefs, and that he would be interested in learning about what we were trying to accomplish.
So, like any smart person would do, I wrote “go visit the neighbor” on my calendar and then proceeded to put it off for the next few weeks. :) To be transparent, I was a bit scared to go and knock on a stranger’s door.
After a few weeks of kicking around the idea of going to visit my neighbor, I finally committed to doing it on Thursday, August 3 at 4:00 p.m. I drove the short distance to my neighbor’s house, parked in their driveway, and knocked on the door. To my surprise, my neighbors didn’t answer, but another lady did.
I introduced myself to her with something like this, “Uh…I’m uh…stranger…uh…my wife and I moved in across the street a couple of months ago.”
She asked if my neighbors knew me.
I said, “No.”
She said, “Are you just here to introduce yourself?”
I replied, “Well, yes, but also, my wife and I just launched a non-profit that will employ people with disabilities on a farm.”
She said, “Oh! You might be a Godsend.”
From there, I followed her to the back of my neighbor’s house where I found about 10 people sitting around a pool. I introduced myself to my neighbors and quickly found out that my neighbors are former board members of Lamppost Farm in Columbiana, Ohio (about an hour drive from our new home). I also found out that the lady who answered the door and her husband were the Executive Directors of Lamppost Farm. Sixteen years ago, these two quit their jobs working for a parachurch ministry similar to FCA to launch this farm that uses “agriculture and its fruit to build individuals and groups in deeper relationship with themselves, one another, God, and God's creation.” Also, when they made that transition, they had no previous farming experience. Does that sound familiar? Further, they are currently utilizing REGENERATIVE farming methods at Lamppost Farm.
Are you ready for this story to get even weirder?
Not only were the Executive Directors of Lamppost Farm present when I knocked on the door, but they were hosting a Lamppost Farm staff retreat at my neighbor’s house the moment I arrived. Did you hear that? The entire staff for Lamppost Farm, a farm that absolutely understands what we’re trying to accomplish, was at my neighbor’s house when I arrived!
How incredible is God?
I spent the next 30 minutes learning their stories and sharing ours. It was such a life-giving conversation. Beyond the conversation, we now have a neighbor who is well-versed in all things organic farming and a very similar, local regenerative farm from which to learn.
I’m telling you that I couldn’t have orchestrated this if I tried. Trust me. I’ve tried. :) Things just don’t work this way when you try to force them. But when you stop trying to force things to work the way you think they should, loosen your grip, ask God to lead, and then do your best to follow, you’ll find yourself in incredible situations thinking, “Oh my goodness! Thank you, God!”
I hope this story is an encouragement to you today, friend.
Farming with Friends