During the two weeks that InterVarsity students worked at Broetje Orchards, they slept at Pasco First United Methodist Church. Pastor Sam Jaramillo described the church’s mission as “being the Mother Teresa of Pasco.” The students got opportunities to attend the Sunday morning bilingual (Spanish and English) worship service, volunteer in the food bank, help at the free medical clinic, and participate in the church’s youth night while they shared the Gospel of Christ through serving people at the Orchards.
Although their orchard is a business, the Broetje’s also use it as a ministry to their employees. The family has constructed a housing complex, a school, day care center, gas station, and mini-mart at the Orchards. InterVarsity students volunteered in the schools and on the grounds crew for two weeks. The tasks varied from tutoring children in Math to power-washing the mini-mart to helping high school students round up cattle.
“My favorite experience was working math problems with a little girl who had just come from Mexico,” Ellen, a student from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, said of her experience. “She was very bright, but could not tell me the answers, so she wrote them down. Then I told her the English translation. Next fall I hope to go back and volunteer once a week.”
Audrey, a student from the University of Idaho in Moscow, also worked at the school and said of her experience, “One of my favorite moments at the elementary school was when we taught the students a new game and almost all of them joined in. No groups were excluded. It was so encouraging to see the kids loving each other and loving us for just playing with them.” Through participation in Ralph and Cheryl Broetje’s ministry, InterVarsity students saw the different and creative ways God uses his people to bring others into his Kingdom.
The students spent their evenings in Bible study at Pasco First United Methodist Church and discussed their experiences. Julia, a student from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, recommends Urban Projects to fellow students. “The projects will open your eyes to some harsh injustices we live with but fail to recognize. As Christians, we are called to model Christ, and Summit helps to give us a reality check. Jesus lived his life as a poor man, devoted to God’s work. Summit gives you a two-week opportunity to follow Christ’s example.”
The best part of the trip for many InterVarsity students was developing relationships with the children and the people within the community they were serving during the project. The students hope that through their actions and friendship, many people will begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Broetje Orchards welcomes any volunteer groups throughout the year. If you are interested, contact:
Broetje Orchards/First Fruits of Washington
1111 Fishhook Park Rd.
Prescott, WA 99348
Phone: (509) 749-2217, Fax: (509) 749-2354