Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Heifer Expedition?

If you are exploring the Little Rock riverfront area, don't miss the opportunity to learn about this building and what it represents. This is the Heifer International Center, and no, it is not a new-fangled auction barn for marketing cattle. However, the association with cattle is partially correct, when you consider that the definition of the word "heifer" means young cow, and one that has not had a calf. I remember back in the 80's, I had a friend who said she was taking leadership development classes at the Heifer Ranch. This friend actually owned livestock, so I just assumed she was referring to classes related to her farm. It wasn't until twenty years later that I learned the true scope of the "Heifer International" organization. My education began in 2002, when I had the opportunity to visit Heifer Ranch, near Perryville, Arkansas. It was there that I learned that Heifer International was an international nonprofit organization. it was started back in the early 1900's as a result of one man's public service during the Spanish Civil War. That man was American farmer, Dan West, whose work as an overseas volunteer, demonstrated to him that simply supplying refugees with a cup of reconstituted milk was not enough to sustain them. These refugees needed their own cow---that is, a heifer cow. Out of that idea, a shipload of cows, accompanied by "seagoing cowboys" left the United States, bound for Puerto Rico, during World War II. Not long after that, Heifer International sent animals, training, and personnel to war-torn Germany and Japan, to help them recover from the devastation caused by fighting in their country. Then after that, Heifer International sent animals, training, and personnel to locations behind the Iron Curtain, in a gesture of peace.
As we ended our visit to Heifer Village, strolling alongside the recently-created cypress pond, I was once again thankful for those rare individuals who not only read the words of Jesus, but actually DO them! Matthew 25:40 quotes Jesus as saying "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Heifer International is helping our brothers and sisters around the world, and if you would like to learn more about visiting/touring any of their facilities, log onto . Find out how helping others can give you "miles of smiles"!! Tricia
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