Faith in the Field

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We are so very blessed by Lynn and her precocious family! I wish Sharon and I could be at this event!!!
Lynn Stoneking

Our dad never wearied in telling the story of this 10 acres we live on, and how it came to be in his care.

How the elderly woman – who owned the run-down, abandoned farm with windows broken out of the house – was living at a local Nursing home. How my dad asked her 1 more time to sell it to him, and God restored her memory long enough to sign the papers saying she agreed to sell…and then her memory was gone again.

How mom + dad worked piece-by-piece to restore it to ‘something’ again.

But the story that will always be first in my heart is when God was speaking to Gene’s heart to sell the place.

Dad said he’d always reply “No God. I put too much work into it! It’s fine; It’s for You!”
But he knew deep down that God was working on him; working on something important.

Finally, dad said he broke down and said he would list it For Sale.

Gene talked about how 5 different times he had offers on it. And all 5 times…the deal fell through.

And then there was that ????moment when he finally understood the teaching: This property had become his idol. Dad’s idol. He took so much pride in what people thought of it and how it looked that he lost the ‘use’ of it.

It was then that Gene + Margaret began to really use it for God’s Purposes: Youth Retreats, Camps, Bible Schools, Concerts, Movie Nights.

When you are a home owner, you understand that opening your home to anyone can be a risk…especially youth + kids. ????
Things broke, but he knew how to fix.
Plans for events were challenged, but mom + dad rebuilt and made it happen.

I saw kids Love Gene!
I saw him be a stern ‘father’ sometimes; but I also saw him make them laugh and play, sing, praise + pray, sit and have a conversation.
I saw kids Trust him.
He made them feel like a somebody.

Tonight, as I walked this field, this pasture once again….
As I prayed over it and through it…those prayers turned to tears.

I stumbled across a public message I sent out almost 1 year ago – August 17, 2019.

“Gene is in Comfort Care in Sioux Falls until
he passes.
God has already gone before to prepare his pasture. We fully trust in His timing.”

God has gone before – to prepare his pasture.

I did not know that 1 year after I lost a man who taught me so much, that I would be working the next Summer to prepare a pasture.
The pasture dad left behind.

And so as we prepare to open this place to you in a few weeks, it is a humbling honor to have you join us.
In God’s pasture.
Though we love to care for this property…it’s a gift to remember that it is His – for whatever purposes He has for it.

#Generations #FaithInTheField

Proverbs 22:6 – MSG
Point your kids in the right direction, and when they are old they won’t be lost.

Thanks mom + dad. ????

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