Jubilee has always had a great relationship with our neighbors. Many local churches and friends are longterm partners with us in our ministry with refugees. Since 2011, many Karen and Karenni families have chosen to resettle in and around our small town of Comer. We are thankful to develop and sustain friendships with these new neighbors, many of whom lived at Jubilee when they first arrived in the states. Below is a description of some of the ministries that have grown from these relationships:
The Neighbors’ Field is a ministry intended to create a safe and healing space for former refugees living in the local Comer area to independently practice sustainable agriculture. Although it may have never happened in Biblical times we are inspired to live in the spirit of the Biblical Jubilee by sharing with refugees and offering fertile land to those forced to flee their land.
The neighbor’s field began in 2011 in response to the migration of Karen and Karenni refugees from Burma to the Comer area. Many of them were farmers in their homeland and wanted to continue to grow food here. With the help of a generous grant from Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens, we installed an eight foot deer fence to enclose the garden space. We also have space available for neighbors to raise chickens, goats and pigs one of our unused fields.
We now have about twenty families growing vegetables in one-eighth to one-quarter acre plots and raising chickens, goats and pigs in the pasture. Our neighbor’s are able to grow a variety of vegetables and herbs including ones that are hard to find locally and help them to make their home cooking really taste like home.
Some neighbors attend morning ESOL classes at Jubilee along with the English learners that live on the property. Besides keeping classes interesting and full, many of these students help with translation and orientation for newly arrived families. Mothers with young children bring their 3-5 year olds to the Jubilee Pre-K class and also help to staff our morning childcare program for babies and toddlers.
Since 2012 Jubilee has partnered with neighbors to host a short summer day camp for local children of refugee and US families to grow in their love of God, neighbors and the earth. For more information please call 706-783-5133 ext 105. Go to page five of the Madison Country Journal to read an article about Neighbor's Camp 2014