In May of 2012 the call was heard by a small group of people to extend agriculture education in Liberia by sharing the Gospel and Christ centered development. Dr. James Milstead stepped up to lead this group and Hope in the Harvest Missions International was started. At that time the plans were big and the vision was cast for a five year plan. A plan for in reach into villages and on a small college campus, Liberia International Christian College, in Ganta, Nimba County. Because of the ambitious plan to build a three story Agriculture Research Center the mission could not afford to pay missionaries. After much prayer Travis and Gina Sheets offered to volunteer for five years in Liberia with no pay. They would not be missionaries but would be volunteers for the mission.
Five prayerful years later God’s next phase for the work of Hope in the Harvest Missions International is being revealed.
Meet the first missionaries, one team, two families, one heart for Jesus.
On the right in this picture are Anna and Nathan Glenn.
Anna Glenn (McGucken) grew up in Baltimore County, Maryland where she raised dairy goats, rabbits, and poultry, worked in her family’s vegetable garden, and was actively involved in the local 4-H chapter. Nathan Glenn grew up in Howard County, Maryland where he raised sheep, beef cattle, and dairy cattle and was also involved in his local 4-H chapter. Nathan and Anna Glenn met at University of Maryland as both were pursuing degrees in Animal Sciences. Nathan also majored in Secondary Education while Anna also double-degreed in Agricultural Sciences and Technology. After graduation, Nathan went to work in Western Maryland as a high school agriculture teacher while Anna went to Texas A&M to earn her Masters in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication. After completing graduate school, Anna returned back to Maryland and the two were married on September 27, 2014. Before coming to Liberia, Nathan and Anna Glenn lived in Harford County, Maryland. Anna worked for the University of Maryland Extension as a Horticulture Faculty Extension Assistant which entailed many different responsibilities such as doing educational outreach at schools, community events, and fairs, helping clientele with recommendations for diseases/fertilization for their gardens, and coordinating a group of 175 volunteers called the Master Gardeners whose mission is to educate residents of Baltimore County of safe, effective, and sustainable horticultural practices. After college Nathan worked for Clear Spring High School as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. While at Clear Spring he taught classes such as horticulture science, greenhouse management, pre-vet science, biotechnology, small and large animal management, etc. After their wedding, Nathan accepted a position as the Animal Science teacher in North Harford High School’s Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Magnet program. Here he taught classes such as foundations of agricultural, animal anatomy and physiology, animal management science, helping to manage the campus farm, as well as coaching/mentoring students with their SAE’s (supervised agricultural experiences), FFA judging teams, and senior capstone research projects. For the past year, Nathan and Anna Glenn have been working with an NGO called AgriCorps where they have been working as agriculture teachers, extension agents, and FFA advisors at a school in Kakata, Liberia. For so many throughout the world who are struggling to get by on subsistence farming, agriculture education can be the key in helping communities to break out of the poverty cycle and start on a new path. Whether that is by inspiring a youth to become an agricultural entrepreneur or leader, helping families to produce food more sustainably and efficiently, or by helping a community to reach for its full potential, agricultural education will always have a big impact. Then in October 2016, the Glenns visited the ARC as part of their training with AgriCorps. Immediately, they were in awe of the place and the mission of HITHIM as they sought to share the gospel through agricultural development. After a few more visits to the ARC and a lot of time spent in prayer, the Glenns knew that this was the place that God was leading them to. They are excited to dedicate the next 2 years to helping to expand and strengthen the impact of HITHMI in Liberia.
On the left in this picture is Bill and Holly Sebald. Who you do not see are their eleven children: Benjamin, Rebekah, Daniel, Timothy, Ruth, Joseph, Mary, Samuel, Josiah, Sarah, David and eight grandchildren: Hannah, Gideon, Rachael, Addison, Eva, Dakota, Sadie, Kathryn Holly and Bill met in Milwaukee Wisconsin at church, not surprising as they both were raised with a Lutheran background and strong love for the Lord and His word. They became friends during Holly’s senior year of high school and after a year of attending separate colleges (she as a freshman at Dr. Martin Luther and Bill completing his last year at Northwestern College) they were married in 1986. Bill started his 4 years of seminary and she managed a 49 unit apartment building they lived in and counseled once a month at a pro-life center. During these 4 years they added had their first three children and Holly became skilled at plumbing and electrical repairs. Once Bill was finished with Seminary he was called and ordained as a pastor to teach religion and science at a preparatory school in Saginaw Michigan. A month after their forth child was born Bill was sent to pastor a small church in Lafayette, Indiana, where they now call home. Since 1995 Holly has homeschooled their children, and will continue to homeschool the last four who are making the move to Liberia. On their farm in Tippecanoe county they have participated in 4-H and have raised hogs, steer, chickens, rabbits, dairy calves and horses. They have raised milk goats and butchered many animals for eating over the years. In addition to that they own a painting business, Christian Colors Painting, work with people released from incarceration, and own a cafe at Ivy Tech Community college called Culinary Concepts. Through Bill’s painting work, he met a man that was doing mission trips to Liberia. in February of 2006 Bill went to Liberia and has been back to Liberia 11 times. Holly made her first visit in 2014 and since then she has been to Niger and Liberia two more times. God is an amazing designer. Everything in the Sebald’s life has prepared them for work in Liberia. From attending classes at Echo, to taking “Farming God’s Way” training in Indiana, to taking seeds to Liberia, to teaching Bible studies around agriculture, to working their farm in Indiana, they have been prepared to do Christ centered development. Bill held his first conference specifically using the “Farming God’s Way” curriculum in November of 2016. He had planned to visit a few bush villages but it was too muddy so he went to Ganta instead. After having lunch together with Travis and Gina, he was getting ready to leave and asked Travis, “Is there anything I can do for you?” “Come take our place.” was Trav’s reply. The Sebald’s have prayed and sought council and have decided that by God’s grace they will come to Liberia, come along side the people in Ganta and live with them teaching and discipling to loving one another so the world would know Christ as Lord and Savior..They will serve with Hope in the Harvest, along with their 4 youngest children, Samuel, Josiah, Sarah and David.