‘A God thing’ brings Ohio women to organic garden

June 13, 2013 by


Kelly Greenvalis and Rachel Neff call it “a God thing.”

As the two young women in Columbus, Ohio, prepared their final itinerary for a cross-country road trip, they went to the website for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, USA — and the first place that popped up was Manna House of Prayer in Concordia. The organic gardeners at Manna House had just listed their need for volunteers a day earlier.


Phone calls and arrangements quickly followed and the two began the 880-mile trip Sunday, arriving at Manna House Tuesday afternoon.

By Wednesday 21-year-old Greenvalis and 20-year-old Neff were getting introduced to the Concordia Community Garden of Hope and the Nazareth Motherhouse gardens, all grown organically under the watchful eye of gardener Steven Mitchell. Today (Thursday, June 13) their morning chore was picking strawberries with Manna House volunteer Cindy Ponce at the Motherhouse.

From here the pair will travel to Denver to visit friends and then it will be on to California, where they will volunteer at Marie’s Farm in Pescadero, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

They will spend time at least one and possibly two more organic farms before they return to Columbus in mid July.

Greenvalis and Neff met when they were juniors in high school and have talked about a road trip west off and on since then. And when they were seniors, they both took an environmental science, which introduced them to organic farming and “practical ways to care for the earth,” Neff said.

Both have attended college, and then decided to take some time off to explore what they want to do with their lives.

“I was stuck, just trying to figure out my life,” Greenvalis said. “I started praying, and I thought God wanted me to help with the earth.”

Neff was still talking about the road trip, “and then it all came together and Rachel could go with me.”

Neff had registered with the wwoof.org website, and when she made a final check, Manna House as a new member popped up on the home page.

“This is about discovery for us,” she said.

Or, as Greenvalis explained it, “This is a time to go with God and learn.”





One Response to “‘A God thing’ brings Ohio women to organic garden”

  1. Jodi Creten on June 15th, 2013 8:50 am

    Great article of finding God wherever God reveals the Godself! Welcome Kelly and Rachel. Hope you’ll come back to our home and stay awhile! You bless us all.

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