When faith and work doesn’t work by itself

My husband Ralph had a daydream when he was 15, to one day own an orchard and help kids in India. But early into our farming years, our labor force radically changed from white, U.S. citizens to Latino immigrants. We realized that our employees must become our first focus of mission, if we were ever to help kids in India. The work provided a common focus that compelled us all to show up every day and do our best. But our new employees not only needed skills. They needed affordable housing, dependable childcare and year-round jobs if their kids were going to stay in school and flourish. Most of all they needed to feel safe. We have found that practicing the core values of love, compassion, respect, community and purpose helps us care about each other. We take better care of our place, which in turn takes care of us, with a surplus of love to export.

Cheryl Broetje and her husband Ralph, founded, own and operate Broetje Orchards – a vertically integrated apple growing, packing, shipping, sales company located in the southeastern part of Washington State. Its five million trees produce fruit that is exported around the world. Its mission is to be “…a quality fruit company bearing fruit, fruit that will last.” Cheryl also founded The Center for Sharing, a non-profit, faith-based servant leadership development organization whose mission is “… calling forth the gifts of all persons through Christ-centered community.” Cheryl serves as its executive director. Her passion is in bringing people and resources together to build kingdom structures.

Faith@Work Summit 2014 by fwsummit.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at fwsummit.org.

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