I write this just a little under a month after our crew went through a humbling experience as we watched our hard work go up in flames in just a matter of minutes. It is amazing just how fast life can change. I have been through loss before. I lost my father 7 years ago at the age of 54. My brother who was our best friend died just a few years back after a battle of cancer. Family has moved away, friends have been lost, employees have left. Each of these leaves a different type of whole not much different than the whole left after watching our years of effort and a life time of savings go up in flames. It is through these life experiences that character is built and ones strengths shine. I have seen great camaraderie amongst our employees. I have seen some seemingly gain years of experience in just a few short weeks. Together we have worked to regroup and find a plan. Early on, a blessings board was started. It was simply a dry erase board that we used to write down the good things that happened each day. It had items written like a favorite customer called to offer condolences or a meal was brought to be shared or an opportunity opened up. Each day that board seemed to fill itself. In time it made its way to a box as we gained confidence. This week marks an important week in our recovery. Today I would like to share with you our blessing board for the fourth week after we lost almost every asset our business owned.
- Insurance payments are starting to be recieved.
- Customers should start to recieve checks for their lost product.
- Blue prints for our new facility are one week from completion. Erick and my brother, Jeremy, have spent hours creating a plan that will be even better than the old facility. It is nice to have engineers in the family.
- We have toured many procesing facilities in and around the area just to realize how nice a faciltiy we had and how one of a kind our new facility will be. I am convinced more than ever that the processing industry is in trouble across the country. We could easily loss our choice for local food if we do not work to preserve it. Our mission is as important today as it was when we started this project.
- We are expecting to sign a lease with a fellow processor this week and start bringing in beef on Friday-just one month and a day after the fire!
- Office hours have continued. The staff has settled in to our living room. It certianly makes them feel like part of the family.
- We still have some product that was stored at a holding freezer at our farm. An easy way to support us is by coming out and buying good meat and eggs!
- Crop planning for the coming year is occuring with a solid plan created for produce we need. If you want to grow for us, let us know.
- A contract with a demolition crew will be signed this week.
- An agreement with a general construction crew should be solidified this week.
- Our crew will go to work this week cleaning out our future community kitchen. This is the one part of the building that was not damaged by fire. Volunteer labor would be fantastic.
- We have a whole binder full of emails sent with condolences or offers to help. Uplifting!
- We have new to us computers on the way to replace those damaged free of charge. Wow!
- We have had donations and offers for fundraising. Thank you, thank you! (Funds can be sent to Home National Bank, c/o This Old Farm rebuild, 117E Main St., Thorntown, IN 46071)
- A good budget for reconstruction has been determined and a financing limit set. Here goes the faith needed…….
This morning in Sunday school the topic was close to heart. It was about trial in life as we looked at the recent flooding that has taken 17 lives. It is hard to take such great devestation and try to bring it down to a level where we can compare what we experience in our own lives. I have experienced loss but not nearly what others have experienced. I appreciated my pastors words most as he told of his days ministering on the reservations out West. He told of a time that he had to have complete faith as each week he depended on God to provide even the $12 needed for his family’s food. I have heard him tell about this time in his life before but more than ever I needed to hear it today. We have worked hard to come up with a budget and financing. The numbers look ok but this is a complex project where we won’t even know the full extent of the damage until we go through the demolition process. We have just enough after doubling our previous financing expenses to make it through if all goes perfectly. That is rare in construction. We feel like we need just a mere $100K for those things not foreseen. I needed the reminder that I am really not in control. I have always felt like this is what we are to be doing. If that is the case, God can make all things happen. Faith is a good thing. This is really the biggest item that needs to be on that blessing board. We have a group of firm believers in God’s power. With him, we will start to once again process this week just a month after the fire. Thank you for your support! Come out and see us at our temporary farm location during regular business hours. Call 756-376-2014 for more information.