Sunday, November 15, 2009

Five Kernels of Corn

Thanksgiving. What a wonderful word! It’s a wonder I haven’t thought about the word before; it’s a wonder I haven’t pondered the joining of two such interdependent ideas into one great holiday. I know quite a lot about the history of Thanksgiving, but I am only now marveling at the ingenious behind the word itself!

We are thankful for what we have been given, and we give as an outflow of our thanks. We don’t have to be given much in order to be thankful—one only needs to study the history of Thanksgiving to know that. If a suffering community of pilgrims can thank God for five small kernels of corn, clearly thankfulness is not given according to the quantity of gifts received. Rather, thankfulness is given out of the unquantifiable undeserved-ness (how’s that for a word?!) in our hearts.

Five kernels of corn. The pilgrims gave from abundance, but they also gave from a position of frightening need. We at Enterprise Farm have been thinking and discussing about how we can grow to a place of abundance. Clearly, the more we have, the more we have to give. But how do we express thankfulness when the rains stop at inopportune times? And how do we give when, as we look across the fields, all we see are a sprinkling of half-formed maize ears? How do we give from our position of need?

Recently, those of our workers who have been with us faithfully for at least 1,000 days received a 25-kilo sack of posho (maize flour). These men and women are paid anything but abundantly. Among our 26 workers, there are 91 children, and 21 spouses, so the little money they receive must feed quite a few little mouths. They know the saying, “money is tight.” And they were thankful for their sack of posho. But we didn’t stop there! We challenged them to give 2 or 3 kilos to someone in need. Someone in greater need, that is.

As we try to teach our workers about giving from thanks, we too are learning to thank God for every kernel we receive, even if it’s only five. Every drop of rain that falls is literally a drop of grace. We have planted, but it is God who brings the harvest! Praise God. We are growing in our faithfulness with little, and we have great hopes that soon (and very soon) God will allow us to prove our faithfulness with much.

The very core of Enterprise Farm’s purpose is to give. We give to the schools in the form of maize. We give to the ministry in the form of financial income (at least that is the goal). We give to the community in the forms of jobs and agricultural education.

Just as we challenged our workers to give out of their thanks, we challenge you to do the same. Would you join with us and enable us to celebrate this season not by increasing our thanks (for our thanks runs as deep as our unending undeserved-ness) but by increasing our ability to give? Your gift to us is truly a gift that keeps on giving!

The following is a summary of what would enable us to give at a whole new level:

Europard (Perkins Engine) FT824-4wd Tractor $ 26,400

Irrigation Project: $ 3,000/acre x 5 acres $15,000 (50-Jet =1 acre)

Seed-for-the-Future Tree Project $ 7,600 (hardwoods, eucalyptus, and pine trees)

Milk Program $ 18,600

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