The good people of Lewis County in Eastern Kentucky have a rich history and cultural heritage, but economic realities being what they are, many of them struggle constantly to maintain the necessities of life. It’s an area in which the juxtaposition of the splendor of natural beauty and the darkness of deep poverty cannot but overwhelm you with a sense of spiritual dissonance. A former major source of assistance to the area, once run by the Glenmary Home Missioners, has had to close, leaving a void that is simply not sustainable if this community is to not only survive, but flourish and thrive as is the calling of every human person.
Into this void has stepped Sarah George, founder of the Emmaus Farm. Still in the process of organizing, Sarah describes the Emmaus Farm’s mission:
The Emmaus Farm is a nonprofit organization dedicated to service in the community of rural Lewis County, Kentucky. The Farm Managers, our volunteer staff, will facilitate a week of service to Lewis County, Appalachian cultural immersion, and spiritual retreat, for high school and college volunteers. At the Emmaus Farm our week-long volunteers and Farm Managers will live by the charisms of simplicity, community, prayer, and service, and the Farm Managers will live by the additional charisms of voluntary poverty and hospitality during their year of service.
Dedicated to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, and inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, we will serve the rural poor, the weak, the elderly, and the marginalized. Our mission is to serve Christ in his many forms, to serve where the need exists, and to allow others the opportunity to see and fulfill the need for service, as well as to see the spiritual richness of the people of Lewis County.
Serving as the first Chairman of the Board of Directors is Dr. Christopher Anadale, now of Mount St. Mary’s University, who was my professor of Ethics and Metaphysics at Conception Seminary College back in the day.
In this video, Sarah introduces you to the plan and vision of the Emmaus Farm and shares how you might get in on the ground level and help with this vital work.