09 Jun Laura: Our afternoon with young men of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children
West central Oklahoma – As you’ve read the All Aboard Wheat Harvest blog, you have likely noticed the listing of some of our contributing sponsors in the side bar of the site page. One new to the line-up is this one:
“What is this challenge and who are they?” you may ask. Well, I had to enlighten myself as well, so let me share with you what I discovered. The 10-Acre Challenge is a call for those in agriculture to donate ten acres of their crop to the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and challenge their friends to do the same.
“Wait Laura, back up. Who is the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children organization?” you’re now thinking. I’m so glad you asked! Since I’m not an Oklahoma native, I had to do some more homework! Their website states they have been “providing hope to children and their families since 1903,” and their mission is “to demonstrate God’s love by providing hope through empowering children and their families to follow Christ.” This non-profit organization provides a home for those who are currently unable to live at their family home for a whole host of different reasons. Enrichment and education are provided both on and off of their campuses. Children live in cottages with up to eight other young people and their host parents in a traditional-style family setting. They also offer support through transitional housing for young adults who graduate from their program and are entering post secondary education and/or careers. They provide maternity services as well as support to single mothers and their children. Check out the link above to learn more details, as I could spend several posts writing on all their services!
On Sunday we had the privilege of welcoming three young men from the Boys Ranch Town in Edmond to High Plains Harvesting. Mike, organizer of the 10-Acre Challenge, and I have been trying to coordinate a visit since my drive down to Texas; and until last week, he heard a lot of, “It rained today. Try back in a few days,” or “We’re switching fields a lot and its going fast. It will probably be tough to coordinate.” Then, “Sorry, Michael, more rain in the forecast, I think next week may be right!” As one might expect when trying to coordinate with a harvester, it was probably like herding cats for the poor man! Finally late last week, we decided Sunday would be the day to shoot for. Everything aligned, and we were able to make it happen.
Initially, I was concerned since we weren’t able to cut that day. I was afraid the boys would be disappointed. As it turned out, it was a blessing in disguise. The boys were able to have the undivided attention of the crew and ended up learning and experiencing more this way than they would have by just taking a ride a few times around the field.
This may embarrass my crew to no end, as they’re a humble bunch, but I must say how impressed and proud I was with their teaching skills. They had very little notice once we determined Sunday would work, and they completely stepped up and gave the young men a thorough tour of the trucks and machines. Their enthusiasm for and knowledge of their work was evident, and the boys felt comfortable enough to ask a million questions (really-great ones too!), which was fun. After watching them interact, I think some of the crew could and should become educators in the off-season!
We made sure to take plenty of pictures of the boys’ time with us. One neat thing Mike told us is they make sure the children work on their scrapbooks once a month. It is important to the organization that the children have a physical history of their childhood through photo memories.
So back to the organization and challenge… They are a non-profit and are dependent on churches and individuals. If you feel called to give to the 10-acre challenge, the link to their site is here. Even if you’re not in a position to commit 10-acres at this time, donations of any size are welcome, as are gifts of time and talent. You need not be Baptist to participate.
As I said above, it was a privilege to meet and work with the three young men from the Boys Ranch Town and Mike last Sunday. We hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did and learned a little something too! Below are some pictures of our time together.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.