Missouri Mission's Update #1

July 4, 2017 | Kathy Smarrella

It’s the end of our first full day at Harvest Home in Holden, Missouri. Our bus trip was long and hot (the air in the bus wasn’t able to quite keep up with us), but when we got here around 7 pm last night, we were greeted with love, gratitude, and amazing enthusiasm! Harvest Home is a 370-acre working farm, housing women, and girls who have been sexually trafficked or abused. It’s a place where they can meet God in powerful ways, both through what they call “God encounters” and through hard work on the farm. This place is anointed by God, that is obvious, even just 24 hours later.

This morning (Tuesday), a few team members got up bright and early – some to cook breakfast (along with some staff from Harvest Home) and some to go check out and do some work at the horse program here. After a great breakfast, the rest of us divided up into teams to go about our work for the day.

About 15 of our team went to the Refuge, the building we hope to finish while we are here. This building will house many of the broken women and girls who are on the waiting list to come to Harvest Home. Part of the large task in the Refuge is grouting about 3,000 square feet of tile and this team was amazing today. They got more done than we ever could have imagined and many of them spent all day on their hands and knees. The team was also able to put up more than 10 doors and frames, tile the walls of one of the bathrooms, do some electrical work, and many more things.

The rest of our team took to the gardens. We weeded—under the orchard trees, and then giant mounds of weeds that covered up the beautiful dirt of compost piles. We tackled at least 5-6 of these weed mounds—it was dirty work, but I’m telling you, it was pretty fun! We even found a little snake! We also picked peaches—which we will be making into peach cobbler tomorrow. For me, the best part was that we were able to work side-by-side with many of the young women who are residents here at Harvest Home. Being covered in dirt and checking each other for ticks bonds a group of women pretty quickly! Actually, these young women and the staff here at Harvest Home have been praying for our team by name for three weeks. Truly, that is what breaks down barriers. That, and our amazing God. Some of these young girls shared their personal journeys with us—which is a huge deal and we know it—and were vulnerable about both their difficult path and about how God is making them new again. God’s redemption, grace, and love have been so utterly apparent in their stories. It is humbling and beautiful to see and hear.

Finally, tonight, after a great dinner, we took everyone—our team, the residents here and some of the staff—out of ice cream. It was our Independence Day celebration! Our team came back to share stories of the day and pray for one another.

We anticipate great things tomorrow. And we are incredibly grateful for your prayers on our behalf!



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