Bring in the teens! This stage we begin to bring kids to the farm on a regular basis. Our goal is to have the barn open multiple days throughout the week. This allows teens who are doing online school to have a place to come and have reliable internet, people to tutor them, people to hold them accountable in their education, and be able to provide them at least one meal a day.
Currently, Ross runs a teen outreach every Thursday night at Emmanuel Church in Flint that is a big group/open gym style event that has a 15 minute gospel message each week. We will look to expand on this concept. The farm will be a place to develop these relationships and offer deeper, more frequent, and consistent discipleship and invest in these teens. We will be using a ministry model created by Dr. Rebecca Welsh to identify where these teens are in life and how to help them develop mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. It only takes one strong connection to make all the difference.
Bring in the animals. While the farm will continue to grow crops in the short term, our desire is to see most, if not all, of the farm be converted into the care and raising of animals. We would like to use the animals to help teens develop a sense of responsibility, accomplishment, and life skills. We will be intentional in all our programs, continually bringing the truths of the Bible and the hope and healing Jesus offers us through work with animals and other aspects of the farm. Jesus often taught through parables and word pictures, and we will do the same through our programs. In the future, these animals will also be used in animal assisted therapy (AAT) as we train volunteers and staff.