Newspaper Page Text
■lO-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 27, 2003
Children Harvest Seeds Of Truth, Hope Planted On The Farm
MICHELLE KUNJAPPU Spirit ...
MLU; , With this in mind ’ for the P ast
NEW HOLLAND (Lancaster severa [ y ears Donough has been
r 0) “?K .° nOU r 8 eCSa gathering volunteers, funding,
farm as the best place for scrip- ad 4 ors for the ‘-Spiritual
tural truth to take root and yield ~ r
fruit in the hearts of homeless
children and adults. s,nce June 2002 - Donough and
Donough, a welder for Case three farm family volunteers in-
New Holland said the Bible is re- vhe two inner city children to a
plete with references to agricul- f arm f° r monthly visits,
ture vineyards, shepherds and At the farm, the children not
sheep, good or locky soil, sowing only come into contact with agri
and reaping, and the fruit of the culture but also meet and build
yl/vr? _x \AC-s r/j/nj on p hpyvnk -f M*
cpQkUhC Wf’ -me /rv>n f-,<n>
vr CA^ ; v&* ■f'jfrrfh ir,r->
t> hqnt -to <-
JuV n;<c * hor~>p- /■ /?#'£<*> <£ kOtf/P'
'\Nc tioj-fo r?fL a ths.no/fni tjtt Xp nc tx'nu*
Pa h JzhWrftfjcrrj c x?h<? nccn /w/»*
, r> ;<jii tC I&.X t/Oft c >ft Z: I'lO <• 4/fy
\/\rcr py Mve a honso ha,Kz fo
ftp on heni 5 -tcoit fhlhk <pu for Th<//%
\/]C‘ f'! n/\frhi A /
Donough has many letters from the children who have
enjoyed their weekend of learning at the farm.
relationships with caring adults.
The children play games, read,
milk cows, ride horses, muck out
stalls and barns, or go fishing
during the weekend.
On the farm, Donough teaches
object lessons in a unique way.
For instance the children help
with sowing and harvesting, pre
paring the meal in the kitchen,
and tending the animals.
“The kids get to see how a
healthy family functions,” Do
nough said. This contrasts sharp
ly with the harsh environment
experienced by many homeless
In addition to watching a fami
ly unit, the students leam from
several “object lesson stations”
planned during the weekend.
Robert enjoys reeling in
his first fish.
After milking a cow, students discuss principles from
Hebrews 5 about growing from “milk” to “solid food” in
Waking the children at 4 a.m.
to help milk is a valuable experi
ence, explained Donough.
“It’s grafted on their hearts
forever it’s “udderly” impossi
ble for them to forget,” he said.
After milking the cows, Do
nough, the volunteers, and chil
dren spend time reading and dis
cussing a passage to connect
scripture with an experience.
“Later, when children buy
milk at the store, what’s going to
pop into their heads? Donough
He believes the on-farm experi
ence and the scripture connection
or at least the principle will be re
Another object lesson station
includes a fishing trip. For
8-year-old Robert, catching a few
fish caused an adrenaline rush he
will never forget, Donough said.
The tugging on the end of Rob
ert’s fishing line also resulted in
“plowing” his heart,” or prepar
ing him to be receptive to the
Spiritual Fruit Farm’s teaching.
Donough sits down with the
kids to explain that “Jesus said,
‘Follow Me, and 1 will make you
fishers of men,' and I help them
work through what that means,”
The ministry vision, which Do
nough began working on in 1999,
came as a result of study of the
Bible, rather than agricultural
Through study Donough
began to see how agriculture il
lustrated spiritual realities, and
that through farming he could
“take that which is physical to
teach that which is spiritual,” he
“Our heart needs to be plowed
with praise and fertile with pray
er,” said Donough, who cites nu
merous scriptures dealing with
cultivating the earth.
In I Cor. 3:9 the Bible states
that “you are God’s field,” which
is one of the foundations for Do
nough’s idea to integrate the
Bible and agriculture.
“Our hearts are that field and
need to be powered with praise
and fertile with prayer to accept
the seed, that’s the philsophy.
Galatians 5:22 lists the fruits of
the Spirit. I’m a spiritual fruit
farmer and interested in cultivat
ing that in the heart of children
in a dynamic way,” he said.
As he was studying and begin
ning to correlate agriculture and
scripture, Donough was involved
with children’s ministry at Water
Street Rescue Mission, and “in
that room with 20 kids, some
with behavioral problems, is what
I’d call rocky soil,” he said.
“My goal is to take them from
that environment and put them
in an environment where the soil
is fertile,” he said.
No behavior problems have
been reported when the children
are onl the farm.
“Everything is new and differ
ent and there are only two kids at
a time,” Donough said. “With
just two children, I know where
they’re at psychologically and
spiritually and can adapt the cur
Although the ministry reaches
only a small number of people, it
is worth his time, Donough said.
“1 believe this way is better
than food stamps,” he said.
For more information about
the ministry and the planned
phases, the website address is
call Donough at (717) 392-2421.
Even the compost heap yields object lessons. Here Do
nough explains how “mistakes” can become the most
fertile soil for future growth.
Gary learns to ride a horse with Mary Stoltzfoos’ help.
The Stoltzfoos family sits down to dinner with Spiritual
Fruit Farm volunteers and students.
Jared, left, and Robert discuss becoming “fishers of
men” with Donough.