Bob Sefrit is part of the Fairfax MO Growing Project. He was invited to give a testimony at the 2014 Annual Gathering in August. Below are the words he shared about his involvement in FRB.
My involvement with FRB began in 2007 when 12 members of our Fairfax United Methodist men stepped forward and said they would support a Foods Resource Bank Project. I volunteered 10 acres along Hwy 46 East of Fairfax. We planned to keep the project small so that we could control it. God had other plans as more farmers added acres and others donated animals. Some of you have heard my story of feeling God’s presence as I planted the 10 acres that first year. Then in August a 75-80 mph wind flattened several thousand acres of corn in Atchison County. The 10 FRB acres stood tall even though the corn on 3 sides lay flat on the ground.
None of this would have happened if we had not stepped out. When Joshua and the priests were told to carry the Ark of the Covenant into the swollen Jordan River, God did not stop the water first. They had had to take the first step in to the water. In the Old Testament people had to take the first step in anything God was involved in. This is why it is called Faith. Faith without action is not faith at all. The yields on those 10 acres have increased each year.
That land is the best farm ground that I have. I strongly believe in giving your best to God. It is also very important to me that each spring our FRB projects are dedicated. What we do for ourselves dies with us what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
All of us associated with FRB cannot lose sight of the real story. Thinking about the number of people in the world who are hungry tends to be over whelming. People in Africa call statistics on hunger, numbers without tears. Hunger is actually the worst weapon of mass destruction. It claims millions of victims each year. For many diseases, medicine must be taken on a full stomach and you cannot educate a population with empty stomachs. In the book Ending World Hunger this fact is given: Every 5 seconds a child dies of hunger or malnutrition. That is like filling 20 jumbo jets with children and crashing them every day.
“So don’t fail to do something, just because you can’t do everything. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called”.
Richard Stearns President of World Vision wrote the following: “Sometimes I would like to ask God why he allows poverty, suffering and injustice when he could do something about it. Well, why don’t I ask him …because I am afraid he would ask me the same question.” There is an African saying “ If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito.”
All through the Bible we are told to feed the hungry – it is not a choice, it is a mandate. In Luke 3 the crowd asked John the Baptist “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”
I belong to a Men’s Bible Study that meets every Wednesday morning at 6:00a.m. We had been watching a DVD about the Exodus. A Biblical Historian guides a group of people around different areas in Egypt explaining the harsh conditions of slavery that the Israelites were under. In one episode he explains how the Israelites could not take anymore. The Bible tells that they cried out. They did not cry out to God because they did not know God. He was several generations removed from them. They just cried out but God heard them. Then the guide asked the group “As a Christian do you hear the cry? Do you hear the cry of the poor, the sick, the hungry, the AIDS victims”.
When he said those things a chill came over me. And you know the first thing I thought of was FRB. I got to thinking how the FRB leadership hears the cry. Then I thought of the corporations that donate to FRB and the people who give donations and the growers for FRB - they hear the cry. You have heard the cry here in her in this room, we have heard it in Fairfax.
Many of you have heard the words of Robert Frost – 2 roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. By taking the Foods Resource Bank road, a big difference was made in my life. By taking the road less traveled we had to take that first step down the road. That first step is a hard step to take.
If our Methodist Men’s group had not taken the first step of faith there would have been no story. There have been so many blessings and opportunities from our Fairfax FRB project – the people we met along the way, the excitement of a little boy who wanted to raise pumpkins, and the money sent to Nicaragua and other projects around the world -all because of taking the that first step on the road less traveled. All of us as part of FRB are making a difference – in this generation and the coming generations. When we choose the road less traveled it will make all the difference in our world.
I would recommend this trip to anyone.