My mom and dad are going on a mission for our church. Most of you are probably used to seeing two young boys in white shirts and ties. Well, we have lots of different missionaries out there. My parents are going on an Agriculture Service Mission. What is that?! Well, our church owns a lot of farms across the country. These farms are operating to supply the church’s large welfare program. Most of the jobs are run by volunteers.I decided to learn more about the welfare program since my parents were going to be leaving for about eight months to be a part of it. The welfare program was started during the depression of the 1930s. With no jobs, the government stepped in to alleviate this problem. The church feared that their methods promoted idleness because nothing was required in exchange for the help. In regards to setting up the welfare program as a response to government welfare, the president of our church at the time said this:
“Our primary purpose was to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3.)
Since then, it has grown tremendously and the help we are able to provide spans the globe. The Humanitarian Aid program provides medical supplies, they find water sources in third world countries, effective substance abuse programs and respond to natural disasters to name a few. One of the reasons I love this program so much is that there are no administrative costs. The work is volunteer.
The night before they left, we had Family Home Evening with the whole family.My parents talked to everyone about what they would be doing while they were gone and why they decided to do it. Each family came up with their own service goal to do as a family while my parents were gone. Their decision to serve has inspired all of us to serve more too.After that, the tweens and teens were fortunate enough to have a little extra
lecture inspirational talk from my dad about education. He made a deal with them..something about grades and money. I don’t remember earning much for my grades. They were so engrossed. They didn’t even seem to notice the dessert party we were having.Chocolate mousse, root beer floats, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, apple cobbler, banana lumpia. It was yummy. There was a lot! I ate a lot too.This picture is blurry, but I love the laughter on everyone’s face. I found this video while I was doing my research. It talks about the church’s response to Hurricane Katrina. I love that they had trucks on their way to Louisiana from various parts of the country before the storm even hit! It kind of gives you an idea of how they do things.So, we will miss my mom and dad a TON! But, we are all super excited for this adventure for them. What a great way to enjoy retirement. Live the simple life. Enjoy each others company while providing service.
Here’s a timeline of the church welfare program. It was a good little history lesson for me.