Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! We are looking forward to what this coming year holds. 2017 was a difficult year in many ways. We can look back at all of the moves, miles traveled, increased expenses, illnesses and sadness, and see that this year did not go as planned. But when we get our eyes off of the pain from this year, we can see plenty of wonderful things did happen.
David and Phoebe Have Been a Blessing
When we started this year, we thought we would have to shut everything down in China. But in a last minute change, God provided David and Phoebe to run all of the activities at the farm. They felt a calling to help orphans and had a love for what we had started. From the first week at the farm, their desire was cemented to making the vision of Josiah’s Covenant work.
Since they moved to the farm, they have had groups coming for as short as day trips and as long as three months. They have held trainings, company retreats, and furloughs for workers all over China. From the pictures we have seen, I would estimate at least a couple hundred people have come through to get encouraged, be trained, and find rest.
Our Farm Has Been Busy
Our goal is to create a family for teenage orphan girls. In order to have a family to offer these girls, we believe we are to practice being a family to those who intersect our lives. David and Phoebe have been doing just that.
There was a group of 13 young people who spent three months at the farm being trained in how to serve other people and preparing for a career of giving to others. Several people who came to the farm made a decision to believe they were created for a reason and willing to embrace a life of giving family to other people. There have been countless games, campfires, and shared meals. Memories have been made, and we believe lives have been made better.
Even in the midst of sickness, good things have been seen. David’s father has enjoyed living at the farm, but he looked with skepticism at David and Phoebe’s openness, giving, and care to the many visitors that came through. However, when he got diagnosed with stomach cancer, many of those same visitors returned the love they received from David and Phoebe toward him. He received prayers, money, acts of service, etc. from them. The initial skepticism has thawed, and he is grateful for the “family” he has experienced by working for us.
Before we sign off on this update, we want to thank you for your partnership with Josiah’s Covenant. Your giving and prayers have made more happen than you may realize. We would not have continued without you.
In the last update, we mentioned a couple things that we desired your input and prayer: a job for Kevin and more staff at the farm. We have seen progress in both of these. Kevin is being flown out to Colorado for a third set of interviews, and two people have expressed interest in joining David and Phoebe. Neither of these has been completed, but we are encouraged and appreciate your help and prayers for them.
Here’s to a great 2018!
How to Give to Josiah’s Covenant