God is doing some exciting things at our ministry farm, Victory Acres, this year, and we would like to share a brief, encouraging update with you.
- Kristin and Mary Branch have filled the greenhouse with all kinds of growing things this spring and summer. We are thankful for their efforts and the progress they are making. We have developed a partnership with Taylor University dining service, and most of what we are growing is going directly to them. They love the fresh, local produce, and we love the fact that everything we are growing is being purchased at a fair price that makes it possible for us to continue growing. We will continue to expand this area as we head into fall and winter, getting the greenhouses upgraded with an adequate heat source so that we can grow effectively through the winter.
- Thanks to Martin Hunt’s persistence, metal donated by a church in Fordland, MO, and volunteer help, the farm house roof is now complete! It was a huge project to tear off the old roof and replace it, but we are thankful that it is finally done. We are now in the process of putting new siding on the farm house, and the tan siding with the new blue roof is going to make this 125-year-old house look amazing!
- The farm store and garage “Gathering area” now has a new roof and ceiling. We are thankful for Bro. Martin Hunt, Bro. Charles Boardman, and the many other volunteers who helped make this happen. Upgrading the look of the farm store for our customers and guests has also included some new décor thanks to Dawn Pickering and Leah Branch. Thanks to everyone involved!
Winds of Change
We are very thankful for the progress that Martin and Bethany Hunt have made in the past two years. God has led their paths back west, closer to family. They left July 15 for Buffalo, Wyoming. Pray for them as they seek to follow God’s plan for their lives. They will be deeply missed!
As the Hunt family left, Daniel and Mary Troyer arrived from Detroit. They worked with Victory Inner-city Ministries as missionaries in inner city Detroit for several years. They are a wonderful young family with five beautiful children – Noah, Pricilla, Rhoda, Deborah, and Anna. We are so thankful to have them join our team at Victory Acres! We had a welcome party for them this past Sunday evening, and this week Daniel jumped right into his first major project at the farm – putting new siding on the farm house.
Developing: Ministry Training
One highlight of our 13 years in ministry at Victory Acres has been the 70+ apprentices and interns God has sent to work with us. They came from all kinds of backgrounds to learn about farming and agriculture.
We’ve been thinking about the potential connection between those past training experiences and a program for developing ministry leaders. A number of young people with whom we have relationships could benefit greatly from a “boot-camp-like” internship experience with a structured schedule, a healthy environment, good work, and life skills and Biblical training. While some may be headed for college, they could call benefit from a “hands on” approach to learning and the camaraderie of a developing Christian community.
Turning logs into lumber, making items to sell in our farm store, or growing good food in our greenhouse and gardens are great skills to use wherever God takes you in life. Engaging in daily times of prayer, reflection, Bible study, and accountability could also help them to develop as Christians and as leaders.
Our summer program of intensive discipleship and training would start by using what we have available. We currently have one functional RV hookup and two cabins that are equipped and ready for use. We are currently exploring the option of adding more cabins, and as God provides, we look forward to seeing this develop further. Would you pray with us about this opportunity?
God has brought us a long way in the past 13 years of ministry.
- We have welcomed 27 long term guests from the city, coming from prison, drug rehab and homelessness.
- We have paid off over 65% of the original purchase price of the farm, and we are on track for the farm to be debt free by 2028.
- We have raised over 80 tons of delicious, organically grown fruits and vegetables.
- We have trained over 70 agricultural apprentices and interns.
Why a Farm
As I spent time at our city ministry in Detroit recently, I was again reminded of why we need a place like Victory Acres. The need for a place of hospitality, healing, and discipleship is great. With God’s help, we see Victory Acres becoming a key location in meeting these needs. It is no accident that we have a farm AND the relationships that we do in the inner city.
While Victory Acres is a farm, it is primarily a place for discipleship with the farm as the backdrop. As we “walk the road” with our guests, our vision is to see them overcoming addictions, learning new skills, discovering new friends, and growing in a safe, loving, healthy environment. Developing housing options for those guests and trainees that God will be sending us is our next great challenge at the farm. Would you help us pray about this need?
We know we haven’t done a very good job of keeping in touch, and we are determined to do better at communicating what God is doing at Victory Acres. While we have a long way to go, God has helped us in some incredible ways. Our relationship with friends like you is one of those ways He has blessed us. We look forward to updating you on the progress in the months ahead. Thank you for your prayers and support. Feel free to stop by the farm for a visit or ask us questions.
May God richly bless you.
In Christian Love,
Eric Himelick, Director
Victory Acres Farm
A ministry of Victory Inner-city Ministries, Inc.
5311 S 800 E
Upland, IN 46989