The Thiessen family of Lorette, MB
CFGB photo

The Thiessen family of Lorette, MB finds multiple connecting points with the Grow Hope project.

For the Thiessen family of Lorette, being a part of the Grow Hope Manitoba project and helping to provide food for people in Syria is a way to participate in God’s call to feed the hungry.

“We believe we can express our love to God by being generous and sharing with those who go without,” says Daphne Thiessen.

Daphne, her husband Randall, along with their sons Sam, 10, and Kai, 13, are sponsoring two acres of soybeans on Artel Farm near Niverville through the Grow Hope project.

When the crop is harvested and sold, the profit will be donated to the Mennonite Central Committee account at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and used to help people experiencing hunger in Syria.

The Grow Hope soybean field near Niverville. MCC Photo / Bethany Daman

An initial $300 sponsorship can turn into as much as $500 once the crop is bought and sold. That money will then be matched by the Canadian government, turning the initial sponsorship into as much as $2,500.

“It’s an opportunity to be good stewards,” says Daphne, noting the farm connection is especially important to her.

“I grew up on a grain farm west of the city,” she adds. “It’s important to me to keep my kids connected to the land, knowing where food comes from, and what it takes to feed people.”

The project is also bridging multiple generations in the family, including Daphne’s parents, and Sam and Kai, who chose to use some of the savings their grandparents have given them over the years.

It's an opportunity to be good stewards. I grew up on a grain farm west of the city. It's important to me to keep my kids connected to the land, knowing where food comes from, and what it takes to feed people. - Daphne Thiessen

“My mom told me about Grow Hope, and I thought it sounded cool, so I sponsored an acre with my brother,” says Sam. “I think Jesus wants me to be generous.”

His older brother, Kai, agrees, noting that the farming connection was part of what drew him to the project.

“I have a garden box that I have planted with tomatoes and basil this year. The idea of being somewhat connected to the land that me and my brother sponsored is one of the other reasons I chose to sponsor an acre,” he says.

“God has given me a lot of great things and it only seems right to share with others.”

MCC volunteer Ed Barkman and farmer Grant Dyck discuss the Grow Hope project.MCC Photo / Bethany Daman

This year, proceeds from Grow Hope Manitoba will be used to help respond to the crisis in Syria, where many people continue to suffer from the effects of the ongoing conflict.

So far, the young soybean crop is about 15 cm high, according to Grant Dyck, the farmer who has volunteered his family’s land and manpower for the project.

“We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, which isn’t great, and leaves are a bit more yellow than they should be,” he says, noting that he isn’t worried.

“As long as we get some good sunny days in the next little while, the plants will bounce back. Soy beans are a long growing season crop, and particularly where the plants are on higher ground, they are starting to spread out nicely.”

My mom told me about Grow Hope, and I thought it sounded cool, so I sponsored an acre with my brother. I think Jesus wants me to be generous. - Sam Thiessen

Get involved

Make a difference