Well here’s the update we’ve been anticipating sharing for two years. It’s finally happened! We have some exciting news to share… Our dream of having a farm in here looks like it will become a reality very soon!! Here’s what’s unfolded the last few days.
On March 8 we went to the International Sunday meeting as we do once a month. My intern, David, introduced me to Benjamin because in course of conversation, Benjamin told David he had a farm nearby that wasn’t being used and we could see it. So David introduced us, we hit it off, we told him our vision of wanting to help girls, we all went to lunch, we showed him our office, and we went to see his farm the next day.
In short, the land is about an hour outside of our city. It’s 100 acres that currently has peach trees on it, a 3 story dorm building with 24 rooms, a kitchen/cafeteria, a restaurant, well water, a river with fishing, a trail, hundreds of chicken/goose coops (used to be a goose farm), pig sties, beehives, and lots of wooded land. And there is a caretaker who is hard working and honest whom we met – he’s been there 11 years (he is the one wearing a red hat above).
Financially, Benjamin has paid off the farm for the next 30 years and offered it to us for free if we fix it up the things we use with our own funds. We plan to sign a 5-year lease in a few days. Since the farm has been vacant for two years, there are many needed repairs. People have stolen wires out of the walls, burned things for their ancestors inside the dorm, broken windows and doors, etc. In addition to these expenses to clean up and repair the dorms, we know there will also be expenses setting up the kitchen, and preparing the land to farm. Now with the end of the business setup in sight, we also plan to get a van immediately so we can drive back and forth.
Since being in country, we have been offered 3 other farms, but this is the only one we felt like we should even visit. We feel really good about this on our end, and Benjamin has tried to rent it out to different people but it hasn’t worked for one reason or another. So it just feels like the right fit, and in a lot of ways even better than we anticipated.
So a few things we still need to work out is for our work visa to be completed in the next few weeks. And there a lot of decisions to make now in terms of timing to receive girls knowing we plan to come back to the US for several weeks in December and January. We have extended offers to some others to join us and have one intern who has committed for next year.
And we also obviously need thousands of dollars to fix the place up to make it livable before we can start receiving any girls. So the speed of our process will be determined in part by how quickly we can renovate, which all of you are welcome to come help us with. 🙂
Seriously, if you want to come visit, see the farm, help us clean it up, etc, PLEASE let us know! We have lots of things you can do and we’d enjoy the company. 🙂 You’re all welcome anytime.
Finally, our lease is finished in our current home in April next year, so our plan is to move then. That will give us one more year to work on our business in the city, prepare the farm, and eventually begin looking for an apartment closer to the farm. There isn’t a good place for our family to live on the farm, but there are many great neighborhoods nearby.
Thanks, team, for living our dream with us. This is really happening.
Here’s a link to some more pictures so you can get a good sense of the farm. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28648582@N02/sets/72157648929038363/