As we head into 2018 and celebrate ten years of ministry, we would like to highlight some of the changes and growth that have taken place throughout the past decade. This month we would like to go back to the beginning and re-tell a little of the story about how God lead us to the farm in Whitehall.
Many of you have followed the journey of Harvest Home Farm from the concept in 2000. When we finally sensed that the Lord was leading us to take a step of faith and actually leave Camp Forest Springs, we officially started the search for a farm to establish the ministry in 2005.
In the days to come, we spent many hours driving many miles to look at many farms... approximately 50 in person and more than a hundred online. During that time, we pursued five properties: Fairchild, Westby, Lewis, Ettrick and Blair. Each time God allowed us to start the process but then closed the door. We grew accustomed to the sound of a closing door. It didn’t feel very good but we knew God was good and that He had something different in store. We trusted Him to choose the property.
In the summer of 2007, while speaking at a retreat up in Canada, God connected my in-laws, Larry and Lois Guthrie, with a realtor who was from the Black River Falls, WI, area. After sharing with the realtor about the vision that God had put on our heart, Larry asked if he would forward any listings that might fit what we were looking for. The story gets even more complex and interesting, but for the sake of space, I will get to the exciting part. After returning home from the retreat, the realtor sent us information on a farm in the Whitehall area that he thought might fit the criteria that we and our board had established. Attached to the email were two pictures of the farm. Looking at the pictures, both Becky and I knew that this could be the place!
As we drove up the driveway to the farm, we saw firsthand the beauty of the farm and the setting. After meeting the owners, they then took us on a tour of the house. I chose to connect with the realtor and thank him for bringing this place to our attention. It was while I was talking with the realtor that I noticed Becky standing on the landing to where we were talking. From the look in her eyes, I can tell that she either been crying or was about to. I excused myself and went to talk with her. I asked if she was all right. She said that this was beyond everything she envisioned over the past five years. We then ventured out to see the buildings and then walked the property. The more we walked and saw, the more we realized that this place had everything we were looking for and more!
During the visit, we were on the deck talking with the realtor and the owners. I noticed that the realtor was somewhat distracted and kept looking at my shirt, then something beyond where I was standing. After sometime, he said, “Have you ever noticed how much the logo (the HHF logo) on your shirt looks like what I am seeing behind you?” He was referring to the barn and silo. We turned to look and realized that the logo that I created using Microsoft clipart years before, looked just like the barn! Here is what he was referring to…