Monday, October 31, 2005

Barn Devotions

This weekend we had our church youth group out to the farm. We had 16 kids and 6 leaders. Everyone arrived about 9 pm Friday night. They were participating in the "30 Hour Famine". They pledged to fast for 30 hours to raise money for World Vision and began their fast at noon on Friday. When they got to the farm, they were already a hungry bunch of kids!

The youth pastor planned on having them sleep in the barn....true deprivation! No heat, no food! It was cold here that night - about 30 degrees and clear out. Our barn's hayloft is divided into 2 sections - one on each end of the barn. Boys on one end and girls on the other - it was perfect!

As the youth pastor talked with the kids in the barn, the banty hens gathered on a beam overhead. They were fascinated with this invasion of their home. They watched the pastor carefully, and appeared to listen intently. They looked like little ladies lined up on a pew to learn about their Creator! The Jersey cows, Nora Mae and Lizzie, kept peeking in the barn...their ears were up, their eyes were wide and every little bit they made this wonderful sound....a low sweet if they were calling their calf... It was one of those times that I wished I knew what the animals were thinking. Was it like this on the night Christ was born? Were the animals so attentive?

We mowed a maze into the field down by the creek at the bottom of the mountain last weekend in preparation for this night. All the kids and leaders clambered onto the hay wagon and took a hayride down to the field. An intense game of capture the flag ensued. They played for several hours and then returned for a bonfire and hot tea.

Then began the most wonderful sound....a guitar and many young voices singing worship songs to our Creator around the campfire. The kids marveled at the thousands of stars, how clear and close they looked. These are city kids for the most part. Some were quite amazed at what you can see away from city lights. Evening prayers thanking God for this experience, for His creation....praying for their leaders....praying for each other....

After worship it was time to hit the hay....literally! They went to sleep with the banty's making their contented clucking sounds and the occasional low call of the goats and cows.

Early the next morning the roosters made sure the kids were awake. We had a hard frost the night before and kids were cold....more hot tea! After morning devotions and worship in our living room (we wanted the kids to warm up!) they headed out to do service work at the local Abortion Alternative Center. Four hours were spent cleaning toys, sorting clothes and painting an office.

Back at the farm, they were given free time to ride horses, explore the farm and generally daydream about supper. It was a beautiful afternoon - the perfect fall day!

At 6:00 pm the kids broke fast with fruit, pasta, garlic rolls, hot dogs and bar-b-q beans. Pound cake, smores and hot chocolate were served as the bonfire was started again.

We were so blessed by these kids. They were tender and helpful with our younger boys. They were very appreciative of the experience and the meal! I enjoyed getting to talk with different ones throughout the day as they drifted in and out of the kitchen to visit. For the most part, these are kids who are truly seeking to follow God.

I am already looking forward to their next visit.....I hope there are many times that our farm can be used to bless bring a bit of refreshing to city encourage those who are show God's creation in new and wondrous ways....and may we always find time to worship among the animals!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful! Makes me wish I could have been there. Very descriptive.


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