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Church Uses Farm Land to Give to Missions

When people at Onecho Bible Church talk about “the mission field,” they mean the many places around the world where Christians are sharing the love of Jesus. But sometimes, they’re also talking about a literal field in Eastern Washington, where the congregation grows crops to support the people proclaiming the gospel around the world.

The 74-member church, smack-dab in the middle of a vast expanse of wheat fields, has donated $1.4 million to missions since 1965. They’ve funded wells, campgrounds, and Christian colleges. This year, they want to provide food and shelter to asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border. Brian Largent, Onecho’s volunteer farm manager said, “Being as isolated as we are, it’s our missionaries and this mission field that keeps us very focused worldwide. This church is a very mission-oriented church—always has been.”

The church started with Mennonite migrants in the 1890s and Methodist farmers 20 years before that. But the unique fundraising program started in the 1960s. One of the church elders passed away at age 65 and bequeathed 180 acres to the church. He supported missionary work his whole life and considered that his legacy. He asked Onecho to use his land to continue the work of spreading the gospel.

The church decided it wouldn’t sell the field but would farm it with volunteers. The proceeds from the harvest would fund various missions. The first year, the harvest yielded $5,500. Revenue fluctuates, based on the success of the harvest. In 2021, the field earned $39,000. Last year, it was $178,000. “We just put the seed in the ground,” Largent said. “Then . . . it’s all up to the weather and what God’s going to do to produce the money.”

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