The Call ministry

Can you help us move the barn?

Members of The CALL from all over the state of Arkansas attended our yearly Summit conference and the keynote speaker, Jason Weber, had a lot to say about changing the way that foster care is handled. The message we received from it was so good, we want to share it with you in hopes that you’ll be as motivated as we are to make a change.

First, an interesting and true story:

In 1981, Herman Ostry and his wife, Donna, bought a farm a half mile outside of Bruno, Nebraska, a small community 60 miles west of Omaha. The property had a creek and came with a barn built in the 1920’s. The barn floor was always wet and muddy. When the creek flooded in 1988, the barn ended up with 29 inches of water covering the floor. That was the last straw. Ostry needed to move it to higher ground.

He contacted a building moving company and was discouraged by the bid. One night around the table, Ostry commented that if they had enough people they could pick the barn up and move it to higher ground. Everyone laughed.

A few days later, Ostry’s son Mike showed his father some calculations. He had counted the individual boards and timbers in the barn and estimated that the barn weighed approximately 16,640 pounds. He also estimated that a steel grid needed to move the barn would add another 3,150 pounds, bringing the total weight to just under 10 tons. He figured it would take around 350 people with each person lifting 56 lbs. to move the barn.

The town of Bruno, Nebraska was planning its centennial celebration in late July of 1988. Herman and Mike presented their barn moving idea to the committee. The committee decided to make it part of their celebration.

So, on July 30, 1988, shortly before 11 a.m., a quick test lift was successfully made. Then, as local television cameras and 4,000 people from 11 states watched, 350 people moved the barn 115 feet south and 6 feet higher up a gentle slope and set it on its new foundation.

Whether it be a foster home, adoptive home, or the biological family’s home, helping the foster children of Arkansas get into a good home is The CALL’s proverbial barn. Right now our barn is flooded and we’re all scrambling to get the water out. We’re all running around with our buckets trying to scoop the water out little by little. Eventually, the water will be gone. The problem is the next time it rains — the water is back. It’s a temporary solution and a slow solution.

It’s not enough for us all to be working side-by-side doing our own thing as we get rid of the water bucket by bucket. We have to move the barn. The problem is, the barn is too heavy for one person to move. The barn is too heavy for six people to move.

Recently The CALL in White County has been working to put our “steel grid” into place. We’ve expanded our board to six members and we’re hoping to get a few more. We’ve got unity among the group and we’re all working towards the same goal. What we’ve discovered is that we need a lot of people to help us. We can’t do it alone — not effectively and not without hurting ourselves.

We need as many people as possible to stand up and say, “I will help you move the barn.” We’re not asking you to do it by yourself or do more than you can handle, we’re asking that you join with us so that we can stand side-by-side and work together to achieve the common goal. If we have plenty of people to help, we can move this 10 ton barn easily.

There are around 100 children in foster care in White County and 22 homes open. There are six board members with the need of 2-3 more. There are a few faithful volunteers with the need of many, many more in order for The CALL to get all 100 children in a foster home in White County.

Can you help us move the barn?


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