Sometimes you fall out of love with what you do. Some days, you wake up and wish you worked on a farm.
When I was a child, I often heard my mother talk about how she dreamed of one of her daughters marrying a farmer someday. Funny thing is, none of my sisters nor I married a farmer. None of us own land or have anything that even resembles a fruit or vegetable garden. As a matter of fact, I do not think I have ever grown anything that survived, except for my two sons! But God somehow saw it fit to provide our Abante team a different route this year. A route that took us all the way to a small farm village in Papakaio, New Zealand. While living at the Dupu family's farmhouse, our team was able to experience what farm life is like, and as a result, we have developed a deeper appreciation for farmers and their work. It does not surprise me that Jesus used many parables and lessons about farmers and farm life in his teachings. If you look at scriptures you find truths about farm life that can apply to our daily lives today, Lessons like:
A) Farmers take care of God's creation (Genesis 1:28-30) and so should we.
B) Farmers are patient. (James 5:7) A fruit of the spirit that we desperately need today.
C) Farmers are knowledgeable about their craft. (Isaiah 28:23) Likewise, we should strive for excellence in all we do!
D) Farmers support other farmers. (2 Chronicles 26:9) They have a "We are all in this together” mentality.
E) Farmers are full of wisdom.(John 15:1-3) Hard work helps us learn and grow in character.
Farm life has given us a glimpse on how the early church functioned; lovingly sharing what they had with each other, and supporting one another in the good times and the bad times. Through this experience, we have learned to be more caring, kind, and compassionate with God’s creation, which includes animals, and the land, as well as humans and vegetation. Farmers often have to do the difficult jobs; the physically strenuous and demanding work that often includes long hours and very little return. Farmer Joe, a local farmer who happens to be a member of the church we served at during our time in New Zealand, once told me when asked about work hours; "we stop when the job is done."