"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday, August 31
On the farm, each season brings new tasks, tastes, sights, smells, and feelings, yet year after year it repeats the same pattern. Even in this, though, every year brings its own unique challenges and surprises. Each year on the farm also brings a new team of staff that works the ground together, gets to know each other, and engages our community together. It was one year ago that Cait Fenello and Seth Brown joined the 5 Loaves Farm team. The two of them together and the attitude and work ethic they have brought to the the farm, exemplify team work…
From day one, through fun and tough ways, we ingrain in all of our staff the value of cooperation over competition. Cooperation is in fact the way 5 Loaves Farm came to be… a family in the community buys some land and shares it to create the farm; they work with a local church that shares additional start-up funds; others give a year or two of their life in service to the farm and community, then other individuals and organizations start to donate equipment, their voice, energy, and expertise to help 5 Loaves Farm become what it is today.
Much of society around us functions from a mindset of scarcity, worried there won’t be enough to go around and striving to make sure they at least get their slice. 5 Loaves Farm got its name from a story in the scriptures that teaches a different mindset… A young boy has five wafers of bread and two small fish packed for his lunch and dinner, but ends up finding himself in the midst of thousands of hungry people. Yet he doesn’t hide, hoard, and defend the small bit of resources he has; he shares them. This miraculous act of generosity in the midst of scarcity sets in motion a whole set of miracles, where in the end the whole crowd ends up having more than enough!
The real miracle wasn’t that there was more than enough for everyone, in God’s Kingdom there is always more than enough, it was that the mindset of generosity won out in the face of overwhelming scarcity. As we look around our world today there are so many situations that make it is easy to feel like that boy in the midst of scarcity… Think of war-torn Syria or water-logged Houston; our urban ghettos or remote rural villages; even a look into our own bank accounts! How can we trust in the Provider that there is more than enough, and respond in generosity?
I’m so grateful for the gifts Cait and Seth have shared with us at 5 Loaves Farm this year and how they’ve helped remind me of this message over and over. Whenever it seemed like there’s not enough of this crop or that crop, or enough time, or enough energy to get a task done, they have stepped up and given whatever was needed, and sure enough, in the end there was enough!
We hope the best for Cait as she explores what’s next, and where she can use and give her gifts. And we are excited that Seth has chosen to stay here and continue to give himself to growing 5 Loaves Farm.
What a team they’ve been, and it is hard to imagine the farm without the both of them here, but we’ll trust that there will be enough for all of us, in whatever comes next!