Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in FCFI


Welcome Snowdrops, the sure sign that Spring is on its way!

I have a collection of pictures for you of the various February happenings here at our farm.  We moved from big white snowbanks, to oodles of mud, to bits of green hinting of spring.  My Valentines project called for collecting grapevines in the cold sharp wind and shaping some wreaths to decorate with hearts and ribbons.  So pretty, with a curly touch of natural beauty.




Maybe you’d like to see this prickly Valentine I received as a token of smiling friendship.  It tickles me!



Typically these are called Christmas cactus, so why would this be blooming for Valentines Day?  One more thing on my list of things to be grateful for.




A big project over this winter was beading laces for the Fellowship of Christian Farmer’s ministry.  As you recall, we like to take part in providing these laces for the folks in the ministry to pass out at fairs and farm shows where they are each tied onto a walking stick that gets handed out for free to those interested in hearing the Gospel story that the beads represent.  You can read more about that on my site here:   FCFI  



We were happy to have completed 3,500 laces.  You can see some of them here tied in bundles of 100.  It is a privilege to be involved in supporting those who work with sharing God’s good news.  Is there anything you can do to help spread the Word?



Here is a card that is attached to the walking sticks to explain the story of the beads.



This is the little tray that I use to hold the bead supply as I work.  First a knot, then the 5 beads, then another knot.  Then into piles of 100 to bundle.  Meanwhile praying that God will bless the people who hear as well as the people who share the love of God from their hearts.



Another exciting part of February is the return of the eagles to the Wildlife Refuge near us.  My Dad took these pictures through the spotting scope he uses.  This shot shows the eagle at the top of the tree where they have built a new nest this year.  Just look at the size of that nest!  Imagine them flying in with sticks that big.



Below you will see the head of the female as she has now begun setting on eggs.



This next shot is a real classic.  The eagles are such noble birds.



And now for some adorableness.  Gracie is growing so quickly!  At 14 weeks old she is loving lots of attention and a good romp with some silly fun thrown in.



Some longer hair is growing on her tail and belly but she is still so soft and fluffy, a joy to stroke.



The book I have been reading lately is The Autobiography of George Muller.  He was the one to run the orphanages in Bristol, England in the 1800s totally on faith without expressing his needs to anyone but God alone.  His desire was to show that God can be trusted, that He does care about our daily needs and can be relied upon to supply as the needs arise.  God enjoyed the chance to demonstrate His abilities and did so amazingly.  This book has been hugely inspiring to me.



Here is a quote from his May 7, 1841, diary entry:

“The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord.  The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished.  I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit.

The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it.  Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed…

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man.  What is the food for the inner man?  Not prayer, but the Word of God – not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe.  No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts…

Through His Word… our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us…

Meditation on God’s Word has given me the help and strength to pass peacefully through deep trials.  What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning!  Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.”

~ George Muller




Farmer Andy 1

Farmer Andy 6


Farmer Andy, the clothespin doll that works with Bill Brown of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers has had a busy fall full of big events.  The Applefest took place in Brewerton, NY in September.  The above pictures show Dave Iamele and Ric Rosario from Cassville Community Church helping to share the Gospel bead story with the 1.000 folks who visited the FCF tent.  Each visitor is given a walking stick with 5 colored beads attached and told the story of the Gospel.  Over 100 people prayed to receive Christ.  Click here to read The Bead Story.


Farmer Andy 2


A special week (October 27- November 2) was spent at the ECHO Global Farm & Research Center in North Fort Myers, Florida.  ECHO is “a global Christian organization that equips people with agricultural resources and skills to reduce hunger and improve the lives of the poor.”  Their goal is to honor God through sustainable hunger solutions.  See their site here:

Nineteen FCF members from across the US and Canada helped to prepare the research farm for a missions conference in December, when 250 missionaries from underdeveloped countries from around the world were coming to learn about the research being done at ECHO to equip them to better help in their own countries.  A fascinating place!


Farmer Andy 3


IPM – 100 years?  What is that?  the International Plowing Match up in Ontario, Canada!

Here 8,000 people stopped by the Fellowship of Christian Farmers tent.  400 people prayed to receive Christ after receiving a free walking stick with the beads.

The last day of the show was cancelled because of 5 inches of rain falling the night before.  It took two days for things to dry out enough to pack up the tents and equipment!  Phewy!


Farmer Andy 4


November 3-9th  found 21 members (pictured below with Farmer Andy), at Reality Ranch in Zolfo Springs, Florida doing mission work.  Shown here is Pastor Randy Johnston (in wheel chair) – owner and founder of the ranch.  Reality Ranch offers rodeos, bull-riding, calf-roping, Cowboy Church, and a therapeutic riding program for those with disabilities.

The FCF team helped with lots of building and repairs.  2013 was the 4th year of mission work at the ranch.  Pastor Randy hosts rodeos and always shares the gospel before each event.  Several contestants have prayed to receive Christ this year.  “That’s why we help,” says Bill Brown.

There is an interesting article telling Pastor Randy Johnston’s story of his diving accident and his heart to help others on his Ranch at:


Farmer Andy 5

This I copied from Pastor Randy’s site:
Cowboy’s Ten Commandments
  1.   Just One God.
  2.   Honor yer Ma & Pa.
  3.   No Tellin Tales or Gossipin’.
  4.   Git Yerself to Sunday Meetin.
  5.   Put Nothin’ Before God.
  6.   No Foolin’ Around With Another Fellow’s Gal.
  7.   No Killin’.
  8.   Watch Yer Mouth.
  9.   Don’t Take What Ain’t Yers.
  10. Don’t Be Hankerin’ For Yer Buddy’s Stuff.




Farmer Andy and his sister Fanny are enjoying the harvest season.  They are resting here beside a John Deere tractor with a lovely painting in the background by Kathy Brown.  She and her husband, Bill, are busy this summer with the Fellowship of Christian Farmers ministry, sharing the bead story.  Many people are hurting and ready to hear that the blood of Jesus can cleanse and give us new life in Him.


“Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields;
for they are white (ripe) already to harvest. 
And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal:
that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.  John 4:35, 36


“The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few:
pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”  Luke 10:2


Farmer Andy and his sister Fanny have been busy at some more shows with Mr. Bill Brown.

Here they are posing at the Fellowship of Christian Farmers display.



 This time they are working at the New York State Two Cylinder Show in Canandaigua, NY,  July 18-20.  300 people stopped by the booth to hear the FCFI message.




David Sandford, Penns Creek, PA is a co-worker of Farmer Andy and Fannie.

Here they are ready with plenty of the beaded walking sticks to share the Gospel story with those who are interested.



This display case holds more colored supplies, and is a good place for little people to perch.



David and Farmer Andy at work.

Do you remember what the five beads stand for?  See Penny’s Bead Story to read about them.



This larger booth was set up for the Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, NY, on August 6-8th.
A much bigger show – 2,000 people stopped by the booth!
Here, Hannah P. from Poland, NY  and Allison L. from Rome, NY, stand in front of the FCFI tent welcoming folks at the show.  Both girls attend Redeeming Love Fellowship Church and have been on mission trips with FCFI.


Hannah, Allison and Sydney acting up.  🙂


Farmer Andy and Fannie helping to attract folks to display, among the pretty black-eyed susans and an old plow.


Jesus’ invitation: 
“Come unto me, all that . . . are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28
” . . . him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  John 6:37


Jesus Heard You

                                               Jesus heard when you prayed last night.
                                               He talked with God about you.
                                               Jesus was there when you fought your fight,
                                               He is going to bring you through.
                                               Jesus knew when you shed those tears,
                                               you did not weep alone.
                                               The burdens you thought too heavy to bear,
                                               He made them His very own.
                                              Jesus Himself was touched by that trial,
                                              you could not understand.
                                              Jesus stood by as you almost fell
                                              and lovingly clasped your hand.
                                              Jesus cared when you bore that pain,
                                              indeed, He bore it too.
                                              He felt each pain, each ache in your heart,
                                              because of His love for you.
                                              Jesus, your Savior, will always be with you,
                                              no need to be anxious or fret.
                                             Wonderful love, He will be there all the time,
                                              He has never forsaken you yet.
                                                         –Corrie ten Boom




The clothespin doll, Farmer Andy, has been traveling with Bill and Kathy Brown in their work with the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, and he will now be joined by his sister Fanny.

Together they are traveling to farm shows and events with the FCFI crew to share the story of the beads with all who come by to listen.  The Gospel radiates, a light that shines in a dark place, offering peace, forgiveness and hope.

Here are some pictures taken at local shows in the month of June.

See more about Farmer Andy posts.

And visit the FCFI website.


 Cathy Upson, member of the Mohawk Valley chapter using “Fannie”  Farmer Andy’s sister to share the Gospel at Dryden, NY.       400 people stopped by on June 8, 2013.
Cathy using Farmer Andy for witnessing.  Both Farmer Andy and Fannie will be traveling all summer  with the Browns to FCF events.
David Sanford sharing the gospel using Fannie at the Strawberry Fest, Owego, NY  on June 14-15.   500 people stopped by and 3 received Christ.


Farmer Andy poses with the team

As Farmer Andy travels with Mr. Bill Brown for the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, he got to attend the Bluegrass Fest in Brooksville, Florida.  The show was held at Sertoma Youth Ranch on March 22-24, 2013.

Here he is posing with the FCFI team that weekend ready to share the Gospel:  Herb and Mary Hait from Hobart, NY;  Bill and Kathy Brown of Marcy, NY;  and Tarry and Janet Johnston, from Renfrew, Ontario, Canada.  Learn more about their work at   I like that little cow kettle on the left!



This picture is of Ron Harold from Indiana, the Secretary of FCFI board. He is using Farmer Andy to share the Gospel at The Pioneer Days in Zoflo Springs, Fl.  These children are learning the Bead Story that tells the basic story of Scripture:  Who is God?  Who are we? and Why did Jesus come?  All told with 5 basic colored beads.  Read more about that here – the Bead Story.  See the walking sticks in the milk can in the background?  These have the beads attached and are handed out freely to listeners.


Below is a sample page from a little booklet I have called Dwelling In Him, Helpful thoughts from Hudson Taylor.  It is a very old printing, and I thought you would enjoy seeing it.  The thoughts on these pages fit well with the green bead, that stands for growth.   Once we have opened our hearts to Christ as our Lord, the way that we grow in Him is by reading His Word, the Bible, feeding our souls.   And we want an obedient heart that God is eager to bless!