Audio recordings from the Grovestead Gathering are now available — click here for details.
It was last Monday night that I sat down with the list of registrations from the Grovestead Gathering and decided to tally up the ages of the kids who were coming. The tally list grew and grew: 11 toddlers. 18 preschoolers. 23 elementary ages. In the end, there were 60 kids under the age of 12. Sixty!
Before I even had a moment to have any sort of opinion on this number I felt it very clearly impressed upon me: “they are the whole point.” All sixty of them. The gathering of these families, talking about productive households and family economies, is solely to help cast a vision for their future. Even the one-year-olds.
On Friday they all came, along with their moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas. In total we had 23 families from 3 states join us that weekend. Some camped right on our farm. Others stayed at hotels nearby. We flew in author and pastor C. R. Wiley to share, and Rory and I each spoke as well. The sessions were thought-provoking, and inspiration and vision were all around.
Interestingly, all of these families were walking right into our own family economy. Rory and I and our kids worked as a team in every way, preparing every nook and cranny of our farm for their arrival, planning the schedule, the food, the childcare rotations, our own talks. Similar to when we ran Farm Camp, we wore the hats of a whole camp staff. And it felt fun and inspired and stretching.
The truth is, there is nothing I would rather spend my life championing. Families are chosen by God to work together, to grow in faith and fellowship, all as a means to pass a living faith in Jesus on to the next generation.
What made this event so exciting was that all of the families who came this weekend were kindred friends. They were wanting the same thing—faithful children, capable children, who can raise self-sufficient, hard-working, faithful families of their own. So we listened and asked questions and ate and played together for two days. And our hearts are full.
Rory told me that after he dropped Pastor Wiley off at the airport he felt suddenly sad, like saying goodbye to a good friend. He also said he missed the exit to the airport because they were so deep in conversation. That made me laugh.
At the same time I was saying goodbye to the last families leaving our farm, and felt the same ache.
I grew up hearing the kingdom of God is both now and not yet. This weekend was a taste of the now. The Kingdom was here. And it was pointing us all towards the Kingdom to come. What a fellowship, what a joy divine!
Looks like it was a great time! I would love to bring my family and visit. Are you going to do this again in the future?
Yes! Isaac, you guys would love this. And yes, we are so hopeful to do this again and again. It really felt rich and good. We will keep you in the loop for future gatherings so we can get you up here! What fun! Joyfully, Becca
Thank you for opening up your homestead to all of us. We feel so full and grateful for the time of learning and fellowship.
Your hospitality and thoughtfulness in all the details was so evident. Can’t wait to spend time with you all and all the new friends we made again soon!
– The Rohdes
I agree! I feel like we made a whole lot of new friends and now I can’t wait for more time together as well. So good to have you here, so good to get to know you. And now we’ll look forward to having you back! 🙂 Joyfully, Becca
Rory, Becca, and Sweet Family,
This brought tears to my eyes to see this special event and all the people who attended. You could see the longing in their eyes to want to do the same. It is amazing what you have accomplished and how the farm has grown in such a short time.
I’m heading your way soon and hope to take a little visit while I am there.
Lots of love and abundant blessings from the God above.
Aunt Jeanette Groves Sapp
I love pictures! It actually looks like a heart-felt fellowship. Surely the Lord is well-pleased! You’re playing your part in the awakening in all your activities and visions that come to fruition.