I am in a room filled with the neighbors of my grandparents. As I sit here amongst the farmers of today, my heart is traveling back to the Saturdays of my childhood spent in Hamilton, MI on my grandparents’ farm. I can see the fields and barns speckled across the hills. I can almost smell the hay where our hidden forts were built and the barn swing rests. As I ride with my grandpa through Burnips, or Oakland, or Drenthe, or Vriesland – I have a sense that all the fields interlock in a tight patchwork of community. Yes, I know the people in this room, though I only met them a few hours ago.
This room is full of established farmers like Boaz, who are rich in resources yet mindful to not store it all for themselves. I am sensing the unseen presence of others in the corners of this room – the Ruths and Naomis of the world, hoping the edges of abundance realized here will be shared and also feed them. The Ruths and Naomis of the world glean the intentionally left grain and carefully store up the seeds that might allow them to realize their own harvest next year.
The Foods Resource Bank (FRB) envisions a day when all people around the world will have enough to eat and will live in communities with the resources that sustain hopeful, healthy, and productive lives. They work to accomplish this vision by engaging the agricultural sector in the United States through growing projects. They are looking for Boaz farmers who will intentionally dedicate a part of their harvest for the Ruths and Naomis of the developing world. They are linking the owners of the field to those who stand at the margins. World Renew is one of the implementing partners who help FRB achieve their mission.
This week, I joined the FRB board’s strategic planning discussion and heard their sincere longing to have an even greater impact. They desire to increase the number of growing projects and volunteers to support their vision. I think that they have embraced Boaz’s words to his workers, “Let her glean where there’s still plenty of grain on the ground—make it easy for her. Better yet, pull some of the good stuff out and leave it for her to glean.” The FRB members know that the harvest is plenty and more can be done to ensure that all experience the blessing.
This is a space of intentionality. There is a palpable spirit of compassion and a driving hunger to grow lasting solutions. This well-fed group is constantly considering those who desire enough food. The LORD must be smiling from the center of this room – for that is where this community of farmers, funders, field staff, and friends have clearly placed God.
World Renew US