The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Down on the farm

Montana youth fill a 'barnyard' to help people in need

Sunday school teachers at Faith Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Mont., are proud to say: “E-I-E-I-O. We did see our barnyard grow!”

Beth Bitterman is a winner of the church’s
Beth Bitterman is a winner of the church’s coloring contest. For her efforts, the first animal was purchased in her name.
The teachers wanted a meaningful and intense—yet fun—project for the children. They chose to buy animals for people in need through God’s Global Barnyard, an ELCA program. The project took place during Lent so the children could think of all that Christ had sacrificed for them and learn to do likewise by helping others.

It started with a bulletin board with a farm scene titled “E-I-E-I-O Let’s Watch our Barnyard Grow.” For each purchase, the youth signed their name on an animal and moved it into the barnyard’s fenced area. By signing an animal that a classroom had bought, parishioners could match the children’s giving too.

The teachers read stories from the God’s Global Barnyard storybook to help children understand how buying an animal not only provides food for a family but also a livelihood, which breaks the cycle of poverty.

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