Just prior to Christmas, I had the joy and privilege to visit the Project 44 Farm. Many of you know about Project 44 which began as a ministry to refurbish donated cars and give them to those in need. That wonderful ministry continues to grow. Not content to rest on one ministry outreach, the folks at Project 44 have expanded to new fields of ministry (subtle pun intended). They have begun a farm to feed those struggling to find food!
The Farm sits on a 50 acre piece of land in Granbury, Texas. Project-44.org has currently cultivated 2.5 acres of outdoor crop space on this property for planting and has erected a 4500 square foot greenhouse on the property for year-round planting. It was cold day when I went, but the enthusiasm and commitment warmed my heart. Over the past year the Project 44 Farm folks estimate that they have produced over 15,000 pounds of produce with countless volunteer support to provide food for hungry families all over Hood County. They are partnering with 4 local non-profit organizations to distribute food throughout Hood County including Rancho Brazos, an extension mission ministry of Acton UMC, as well as local charity Rose’s Place and Christian Service Center. They believe the land they currently have cultivated for use could potentially produce over 30,000 pounds of produce under the right conditions and with adequate volunteer support. They do need more volunteers. If interested, contact Kyle Roberson, Administrative Director of Project-44, at 214.215.0033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
They showed me a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house on the property they have been given permission to use. I shared my vision of starting a “new abbey” here in the Central Texas Conference in line with the emerging new monasticism movement. I can imagine an appointed pastor in some multi-assignment capacity (maybe tent-making or a combination of part-time assignments) as well some seminarians in an internship capacity. The establishment of an Abbey would facilitate not only a place of work and worship but also a place where worship, prayer, and labor could come together as a manifestation of a faith community.
I realize all of this is a distant vision but I am also convinced that we need to “attempt great things for God and expect great things from God” (William Carey). We need to dream dreams and see visions (Joel 2:28 & Acts 2:17). Who knows where the Lord will lead us.