The Farm4Profit team provides you with more details from interviews around the outcome of the Derecho. As you begin to plan for harvest we wanted to make sure you had your questions answered. In this episode you will hear from an Insurance Adjuster, Agronomist, Elevator General Manager, Corn Head Dealer, Fellow Farmer, and a Pastor. Enjoy!
Religion can form a very strong network of support, how can a sense of community help in a situation such as the Derecho?
Religious communities in general - I’m going to say, particularly the Christian church - is unique in all the world. Where else will you find a group of people called to self-sacrificial love, modeled after Christ- Who laid down His very own perfect life for the benefit of sinners… for the benefit of His enemies!
Even if they do this poorly, you won’t find this out in the world!
The writer of Hebrews tells the reader to gather together to stimulate one another to love and good deeds and to encourage one another.
The early church in Acts - in the face of a hostile culture and government - shared everything, even through severe persecution. They were joyful!
We all remember 1 For 13 - the love chapter, love is patient, love is kind, long-suffering, doesn’t boast, etc. But have you considered that 1 Cor 13 follows 1 Cor 12? And what is in 12? Paul is telling the church that EVERYONE has gifts, and they’re all needed like parts of a body. He’s talking to a dysfunctional church, by the way. He’s saying, none is more important than another, but all are needed. So how do you bring this diversity of people together from chapter 12? Love. Chapter 13. If I speak with tongues of men and angels, but don’t have love? I’m just noise. Even if I give away all my possessions, if I don’t have love I don’t gain a thing.
So, to summarize and bring this back around. How can a religious community help? These are the people that will love you and you will love. These are people to serve and be served by.
In hard times, the only thing as powerful as being served… is serving others. And serving one another in view of how Christ served? It’s the ultimate loving community. No room for pride, but there’s room for everyone.
If you haven’t found this to be true, go out and find this community. It’s out there. We’re out here. And we have room for you. These are the people that will pray for you and love you.
o If our listener is feeling pretty bad, down and out, lost, etc….do you have any hope you can provide them?
First off, you don’t hope for something you already have. You only hope when you’re in need. So, hope only exists in need. If you’re in need, then there’s hope!
Hope is so human! Every good story has a crisis in the plot. Then somewhere from the doubt and despair, hope emerges! Hope floats, as they say. The greater the crisis, the greater the hope, the greater the victory.
If hope requires a crisis… if it exists in need, don’t diminish the crisis, don’t downplay the need. Don’t numb or dull the pain. Embrace the crisis.
§ What does it mean to have hope?
Hope is celebrating the trials, knowing that they bring perseverance, which brings proven character, which brings more hope. (Romans 5:3) From a Christian point of view, if God was able to raise Christ from the dead… if His promises of future glory are true, how can hope disappoint? He not only gave the example of Christ persevering, He gave assurance of that reality through resurrection! Death, sickness, my own failure, and certainly not a derecho can stop that kind of hope! What is this life? It’s just a proving ground!
We recognize it’s a mess here. It’s been that way from the beginning. Sometimes it seems unfair (Job). Sometimes it just seems hopeless. Mankind has been in this difficult situation for all his existence, but there’s hope! And it’s beautiful! The wildflowers and crops grow on the cow turds and decaying plants.
§ Any key verses to remember to help power through harvest?
I have two.
My favorite is from Job 5:7. Job has lost everything and he’s sad and angry, sitting in the ashes of his estate full of sores. His terrible friends come to sit with him and make him feel better, but they just keep telling Job he must have done something terrible to deserve all this. And his friend Eliphaz says, “For man is born for trouble as sparks fly upward.” No truer words were ever spoken. Hey, life is hard. As sure as the sparks fly up from a fire, man is born for trouble.
The second came from my senior pastor. Galatians 6:9 - Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Put them together - Life is hard, but don’t lose heart in doing good. We’ll harvest in due time if we don’t grow weary.
o What are some good resources for those in need through the church in general?
The greatest resource I can recommend is just any old friend. Start reaching out. Find a friend. Search #agtwitter and start following people. My friend, Kyle Samp at @mocornfarmer is a great follow. Sow Hope and Hank Wade are others. Seriously, I have found the best little community here on Twitter. Follow me or just send me a message at benjamin austic.
The second, of course, is a local church. If it’s truly doing what the church was put here to do, then it is the community that God has designed to provide for all your needs. I serve in a Southern Baptist Church, but any denomination has resources.
Third, if you’re not interested or you’re hesitant to look here, if it comes to suicidal thoughts, the suicide hotline is (800) 273-8255. Don’t wait. There’s hope, you may not believe it but you can get to the place where you can. Persevere. Keep moving forward. Don’t let suicide be the end of your story.
o What could you say to the person who doesn’t think this is them or doesn’t think the religious community can help?
If the objection is previous hurt:
I’ve said before, and I’ll say again… if all of the people who have been hurt by church, showed up at church on a given Sunday, we couldn’t hold all the people. I understand. But the church of Jesus is a place that is healing, not hurting. Opening up to people makes you vulnerable, but it’s necessary. Don’t lose heart!
Being disconnected from a body leads to death. Cut off your finger and see how long it lives! You’re the same way. You need to be connected in order to maintain a faith. You need the blood that pumps through the rest of the body. They need you, as well.
o What can we do to help others who are battling all forms of stress and anxiety?
Ask people. Don’t be afraid of the weird question- are you doing okay? You’ll be shocked at how many people around you want to be asked that question. Also, don’t be afraid to ask how you can be praying for someone.
Be sensitive. Hurting people can be prickly. They may lash out. Be kind. You don’t have to respond to everything. Love is patient and kind. It doesn’t respond in anger. Be understanding. You’re not a doormat when you do this, you’re showing them a kindness— one that we’ve all been shown.