Tragedy Turns To Hope

St. John’s Burry’s United Evangelical Protestant Church in Rochester, PA owns 11.4 acres of land next to their church and parsonage. In 2008, they decided to start a Growing Project and asked Tom Weil to farm the land.

In 2010, tragedy struck when Weil’s 26-year-old son, Joey, was killed in a farming accident. Since that time, Tom has farmed the church land in honor of Joey. “We continue to do this project to preserve Joey’s legacy”.

This past year the seed was donated by local Pioneer dealer Thad Sturgeon, but the Weil family covered all of the other expenses and handled all of the tillage, planting, spraying and harvesting. They also try to help with the groundhog problem, but that is a constant.

The church also celebrates the bounty of God’s goodness with a Harvest Home service of thanksgiving during harvest time – a tradition that began in 1836.

Joey’s loss is tragic, but thanks to the Growing Project done in his memory, families in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Nepal, Kenya, Guatemala and Nicaragua have greater hope for the future.

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