From Berry Fields to Life Skills

Jenny and Dave Marrs’ Inspiring Story

Imagine turning a simple act of farming into a lifeline for many. That’s exactly what Jenny and Dave Marrs did. Their story of The Berry Farm, shared on Family Life Radio, is one of compassion, connection and change. As you read their words, you’ll see how their journey intertwines with the lives of many, transforming a blueberry farm into a hub of hope and opportunity.

Jenny recalls the moment that sparked the mission: “When we were in the process of bringing Sylvie home, we met a doctor named Dr. Laura over in Congo, who became a dear friend. She ended up becoming a foster mom for us. She was able to get Sylvie out of the orphanage, and she would continue to go check on the kids at the orphanage. And when we visited, we just fell out with these kids. They were living in conditions that were beyond deplorable.”

This encounter stirred something in Jenny and Dave. They knew they had to act. Together with other adoptive parents, they spearheaded a feeding program. “We ended up feeding three orphanages,” Jenny says, “and we decided to just keep doing that and keep feeding the kids.”

A Divine Nudge

The Marrs’ journey took an unexpected turn when they decided to plant blueberry fields. Jenny said God was very specific with Dave, “You’re going to plant blueberries. And we didn’t know what that would be.”

From Berry Fields to Life Skills

Despite having “zero experience with farming,” as Dave puts it, they were determined. It seemed providential when they discovered their land was perfect for blueberries. “We knew we were going to do a U-pick farm,” Jenny explains, “and we decided the funds would go towards the feeding program.”

A Shift in Focus

Their project faced a hurdle when the situation in Congo became unstable. Their feeding program was absorbed by a nonprofit, which later couldn’t accept further funds. Jenny and Dave found themselves at a crossroads. “We have this blueberry farm and now where are we going to send this money?” Jenny pondered. The answer came through their connection with Pastor John in Zimbabwe.

Pastor John’s dream was to empower teens in his community through a training program. “He wanted to create a trade training program for these boys to learn to become farmers,” Jenny shares. The Marrs decided to redirect their support to this cause. “What if we help create this program for these boys?” Jenny proposed. Since 2017, their farm has supported the program, providing a safe haven and practical skills to many children.

A Legacy of Love and Learning

This initiative goes beyond farming. It’s about breaking cycles of poverty and dependency. Dave highlights the comprehensive nature of the program: “and this farm now grows all the food for the orphanage that these kids are growing. The same kids that were in that orphanage, they’re now providing all of the food for it. So, it’s a beautiful program.” It equips these young minds with education and with skills that foster self-sufficiency and community development.

From Berry Fields to Life Skills

Their work with Pastor John has become a family affair, teaching their children the values of hard work, compassion and global citizenship. Jenny and Dave’s journey with their blueberry farm and their work in Africa is about human connection. “It’s about reaching your hand across, sitting across the table and talking,” Jenny emphasizes.

Their legacy is about showing that despite differences, what matters is the universal bond of humanity and the shared responsibility to uplift each other. Jenny shares, “The legacy we want to leave our kids is the idea of relationship and the idea that we’re all humans created in the image of God.”

Whether it’s planting blueberries or extending a helping hand, each action can set off a chain reaction of love, learning and transformation. Our actions, no matter how small, can have far-reaching impacts on lives across the globe.

Read an excerpt from Jenny’s new book, House + Love = Home here.

Jenny MarrsJenny Marrs is a vibrant soul, a designer, author and a heartfelt advocate for community transformation and orphan care worldwide. Alongside her husband Dave, she breathes new life into historic homes in Northwest Arkansas on their HGTV show, “Fixer to Fabulous.” At home, Jenny’s life is a beautiful tapestry of family love with five children and a bustling farm life. Her heart extends beyond her doorstep, leading to the creation of The Berry Farm. This project not only delights local families with berry-picking and events but also supports vital initiatives in Zimbabwe, turning local actions into global impacts. Jenny’s journey is a testament to living a life filled with purpose, creativity, and compassion.

Learn more at https://www.daveandjennymarrs.com/ 

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