“This was possibly the best field trip I have ever been a part of,” said Megan Harmon, MACA kindergarten teacher and organizer of the First Fruits Farm field trip attended by almost 100 MACA students in grades kindergarten through 5th grade. “The children worked hard with a purpose and had fun doing it. They were able to serve others in a very practical way and make a difference in people’s lives.”
MACA elementary students spent all day October 5 harvesting potatoes – almost 24,000 pounds of them! The children visited First Fruits Farm, located in Freeland, MD, which is a non-profit corporation founded as a ministry to provide fresh produce, honey, eggs and beef for various shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks. The farm is completely volunteer run and allows groups such as the MACA students to join them in their efforts to bless others.
“This trip helped our students understand where food comes from while providing them with an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, serving others who are less fortunate,” said Harmon. “It also allowed all of us to see how very blessed we are.”
And the students worked! Early Wednesday morning after a prayer in the cafeteria, the students loaded onto the MACA buses or into cars with parents as drivers, and headed out on an hour long trip to the farm. After a short explanation from the farmers about how to harvest the potatoes and where the results of the labor would be sent and used, the group moved to the potato field where, working as a team, they harvested “every last potato” in the patch.
“Tractor moving,” the farmer would call out, as the students responded, “Tractor moving,” signaling they were aware to remain out of the way and safe as the equipment made its way through the field. Through their hard work, the students filled five gallon buckets which were then loaded into large bins on the tractor by a group of dads working together.
The students and teachers were all dressed in their “Stand Out” t-shirts, shirts with a logo and picture representing MACA’s theme this year, to stand out for God and be in the world, but not of it. The group put these words into action as they gathered food that will be used to feed the hungry, accompanied by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the reality is that not only those who will be fed by the day’s work were touched. “It was an awesome day because I like helping other people,” smiled Savannah Brown, one of the workers from Mrs. Schuetz’ fourth grade class. Savannah and her classmates will remember this trip for a very long time.
This event, part of MACA’s Go Beyond initiative, challenged the young people to go beyond the walls of their school to do a work that will touch lives throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania. And the students rose to the challenge. Despite the hard work required to fill those many buckets and empty the field of potatoes, more than one MACA student was heard to say, “This is the best field trip ever!” MACA is pleased to have been able to participate in such a worthwhile ministry and is very proud of its students for a job well done. Go Lions!