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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Conversation with Joy Kauffman

John Bradshaw - Conversation with Joy Kauffman

John Bradshaw - Conversation with Joy Kauffman
TOPICS: Conversations

John Bradshaw: Joy Kauffman, thanks so much for being here. I'm thrilled you're here. Thanks for taking your time.

Joy Kauffman: Oh, it's wonderful to be here. It's a great privilege.

John Bradshaw: I can't wait to dig into this, what is a, what I think is a fantastic story. So, let's start with talking about you. Where are you from? Where did you spring up? Let's go kind of back to the beginning with Joy.

Joy Kauffman: So, I'm a Colorado mountain girl.

John Bradshaw: Okay.

Joy Kauffman: And I grew up in a family that had lots of animals.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And my grandparents were farmers in Indiana, so we made the trek out there every summer.

John Bradshaw: What'd they farm?

Joy Kauffman: Oh, corn, beans, and wheat.

John Bradshaw: There you go, okay.

Joy Kauffman: And actually, my grandpa did corn, beans, and wheat two times, and then he let the ground rest for the seventh year. And I never asked him why because I wasn't a Sabbath-keeper, but...

John Bradshaw: How interesting.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, in hindsight, I'm like, "Hmm, I wanna ask him that some day".

John Bradshaw: Yeah, that's interesting. So you got around, you're in the flat land, you're in the high country, so, I mean, were you a skier? Did you climb mountains? Were you that outdoorsy?

Joy Kauffman: We were definitely mountain climbers.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: We were a little too frugal to ski, plus I had a older brother that played basketball, so all winter long, I sat in bleachers instead.

John Bradshaw: Oh, you did? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you were mountain climbing and breathing the clean Colorado air and...

Joy Kauffman: Yes, backpacking, and I love nature, I loved animals, so much so, that when I was eight years old, I started to get a gag reflex where I couldn't swallow meat because I would think of the animal.

John Bradshaw: How interesting, really? When you were eight?

Joy Kauffman: Yes. And so at nine, I declared I was going to be a vegetarian. I had never met one.

John Bradshaw: Wow.

Joy Kauffman: And my grandmothers were absolutely horrified that I was going to become malnourished.

John Bradshaw: Scandalized.

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, I recall my father, when my brother became a vegetarian, very foreign to the rest of our family, he was absolutely convinced, "That son of yours is going to die".

Joy Kauffman: Right, exactly.

John Bradshaw: He didn't. He turned out pretty well, worked out good. Today you run an international organization dedicated to the wellbeing of people, particularly children, but people of all age. You have introduced people to the gospel in country after country after country. But we'll get to that; it's a fantastic story. So you grew up in Colorado, and then what'd you do? You go to school someplace?

Joy Kauffman: Yes, well, 10 years after becoming a vegetarian and my grandmothers thinking I was going to be some sickly, stunted child...

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: ...I ended up going to Virginia Tech on a college volleyball scholarship.

John Bradshaw: Oh, fantastic.

Joy Kauffman: And I realized that nutrition was a major that I could study.

John Bradshaw: Ah, that's a long way from home.

Joy Kauffman: Yes, it was.

John Bradshaw: Did you have any misgivings about going so far from home when there were perfectly good universities in Colorado?

Joy Kauffman: Honestly, I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains.

John Bradshaw: You did?

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: And Virginia Tech is quite a school.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, it was a great school.

John Bradshaw: 'Cause you played volleyball for Virginia Tech?

Joy Kauffman: Yes, back in the day.

John Bradshaw: Wow.

Joy Kauffman: I couldn't prove it on the court today, but...

John Bradshaw: Ah, no, no, none of us can prove it on the court today, but back in the day, we were all pretty good.

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: So there you were, playing volleyball. Did you have success?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, I was pretty good. I mean, I got to play, and then I have to say, when I finally was clear that I was done with volleyball before my senior year, I just felt like I've given so much of my life to the sport, but what I really wanna do is go overseas. And I had some program that I wanted to do in the summer, and I really wanted to go get trained as a missionary. And the coach, I remember, she told me that I was like this modern-day Mother Teresa.

John Bradshaw: How about that? That's fun.

Joy Kauffman: And it was so funny because at the time I was like, I wanted her to compliment my volleyball skills, but instead she said that. And as I've reflected on that later in life, I thought I'd rather be that Mother Teresa.

John Bradshaw: It's probably better, right? So what was your church background? Were you raised in a family of churchgoers?

Joy Kauffman: Definitely.

John Bradshaw: Yeah?

Joy Kauffman: It was a non-denominational church a big sort of, I don't know, 500 people or so.

John Bradshaw: Yeah?

Joy Kauffman: And yeah, it was a good Bible-believing church, but it was like a one-off kind of thing.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, sure.

Joy Kauffman: So then when I went to college, I couldn't actually find a church that was in the same brand.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, so what do you do? What are you, a teenager? Going off to college, and you gotta find a church home. Did you?

Joy Kauffman: I hopped around actually, during college. And then at a certain point, my passion for the poor... I had gotten exposed to hunger issues and poverty issues and people without water and sanitation when I was in high school, and so I had this passion for the poor. And it was interesting because I realized the only college group, Christian group on campus, that shared that passion was the Catholics.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: So I started hanging out with the Catholics.

John Bradshaw: That's different from a religious practice point of view, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, it was quite different. And I appreciated a lot of their convictions, but I also had some misgivings about other things, so I never had any interest in becoming Catholic, although I kind of wanted to become a nun.

John Bradshaw: You did?

Joy Kauffman: Yes, I think it was "The Sound of Music," you know, and you see Maria, although her fun starts when she stopped being a nun, but anyway.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, true enough. Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: But I didn't go down that path, but I still think there should be sort of an order of some sort for single people that just wanna consecrate themselves to the Lord.

John Bradshaw: You were clearly drawn to service and serving, which is really interesting given where you are today. So after VA Tech, what'd you do?

Joy Kauffman: So I went straight off to Romania, and I worked in some orphanages.

John Bradshaw: Look at that.

Joy Kauffman: That was 1993, just a few years after the wall had fallen down.

John Bradshaw: The orphanages, I have friends who were in orphanages right around that time. I don't know what your experience was, but they were not for the faint of heart, those orphanages.

Joy Kauffman: It was traumatic, actually. I came through the experience just honestly so brokenhearted. And fortunately, I had a friend, I was there for four months, and that was my second semester of my senior year. And I had a friend that I met up with her family in Europe afterwards. And I went to a retreat center there, where I took, like, a quiet retreat. It was a place called Taizé in France. And I just had this quiet time, and I was pouring my heart out to the Lord, saying, you know, "Why would You allow, like, all these kids to suffer"?

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Joy Kauffman: And this voice, finally after, like, three days, came to me, and I felt like God said, you know, "You're suffering, you saw their suffering, you experienced their suffering, but think how much more I feel it".

John Bradshaw: Ooh, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And I was like, whoa. Like, God feels everybody's suffering.

John Bradshaw: Yes, He does.

Joy Kauffman: And it was like, I don't know, it somehow, it released me from the burden of the suffering and activated me towards wanting to take action.

John Bradshaw: Ooh, that's interesting. So now I have to ask about your parents, 'cause I'm the parents of a college student right now, and if she got to the end of her, you know, to the end of college, and she said... oh, what were you studying at Virginia Tech?

Joy Kauffman: Nutrition.

John Bradshaw: Ah.

Joy Kauffman: With a focus in international development.

John Bradshaw: If she said, "I'm checking out to go to an orphanage in Europe," actually, I'd probably be okay with it, to be honest with you. But maybe parents would wonder, and they were happy to see you go? Proud? Or did they say, "Honey, you've got this university thing to finish with first"?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, no, actually, I finished my university degree. I graduated a semester early because of the missionary training.

John Bradshaw: There we go.

Joy Kauffman: I got credit for it in the summer. And then, yeah, they were both really happy. And my mom had actually started a nonprofit on, it was called Children's Services International, when I was a little girl. And so she kind of knew the nonprofit world, and actually, if I'm honest, she helped me get my first job in Romania.

John Bradshaw: Oh, fantastic.

Joy Kauffman: She was very happy.

John Bradshaw: Yeah. So you went there, that was short-term, and you were gearing up.

Joy Kauffman: Right.

John Bradshaw: In your mind, you were saying, "After school, I'm gonna go and do"... what? What was your plan?

Joy Kauffman: I wanted to go just in malnutritions throughout the world.

John Bradshaw: Oh, is that so?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: Which is fascinating, because years later, God brings you right around to that same thing.

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: It's interesting. He placed that burden in your heart, and it just worked itself out.

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Now, if I'm not mistaken, after college, you went on and got some other academic qualifications.

Joy Kauffman: I did. I went from Romania to Brazil, lived in a favela, and that's a whole 'nother story, but then eventually, God brought me home, and home became Washington, D.C. I worked at a food bank and then ran a kitchen for homeless men in a shelter in D.C.

John Bradshaw: Wow.

Joy Kauffman: And then realized I wanted to get a master's because I just felt like I had more to learn. So I went on and I applied to Johns Hopkins University, and, praise the Lord, got in and graduated with a master's in public health.

John Bradshaw: Oh, fantastic. An MPH from Johns Hopkins would speak loudly, I would think.

Joy Kauffman: It has opened a lot of doors.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Oh, quite a school. I don't wanna sidetrack myself, but I just have to ask you, so what was that academic environment like? What was the environment like studying at a place like Johns Hopkins?

Joy Kauffman: Well, it was incredibly intimidating at the start.

John Bradshaw: Was it?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, like, most of my classmates were doctors, and I was just, like, scared, honestly. And then after a few semesters, when I just applied myself and the Lord blessed and I got good grades and everything, I realized that they weren't necessarily smarter than me, they'd just been in school a lot longer.

John Bradshaw: Uh-huh.

Joy Kauffman: And so somehow, I just kept at it, and God really, I mean, blessed, and I ended up graduating magna cum laude.

John Bradshaw: Oh, wow.

Joy Kauffman: But it was so stimulating because a lot of my classmates had worked all over the world, and they had been in, like, refugee camps, and they were, you know, Doctors Without Borders doctors and people running, like, maternal-child health care for Yemen, was one of my friends who, yeah, and they were from all over the world. It was a fascinating group of people, and I learned as much from them as from the teachers.

John Bradshaw: I would think so. You can't be in an environment like that without something rubbing off, right? Without being inspired, having, let me ask you this. So, when you are there getting your master's, were you aware, and maybe the answer is yes, but were you aware of the broad scope, the great possibilities? I think many young people, their futures are stunted because they simply don't know all the opportunities. When you were there, did you already have a sense of what I could do and where I could go, or did that really open up your eyes?

Joy Kauffman: Oh, it absolutely opened up my eyes.

John Bradshaw: It did?

Joy Kauffman: I didn't even know that public health was a degree until like six months before. And it was just, you know, meeting somebody, and I so encourage people: Pour yourself out into young people and expose them to what the possibilities are and how they can change the world because, you know, they don't know what they don't know. And sadly, a lot of people, maybe young people, are spending more time, you know, on their phones or whatever, you know, draining their brain, as opposed to thinking about how God can use them.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So now you lead an international organization named FARM STEW. Tell me what FARM STEW does.

Joy Kauffman: Well, FARM STEW is a training program that allows people to have confidence in the word of God because it meets their practical needs. And so essentially, we're designed to develop people who can help themselves prevent hunger, disease, and poverty.

John Bradshaw: Okay. So rather than giving someone a fish, you're teaching them to fish.

Joy Kauffman: Exactly, but the vegan version; we're teaching them how to farm.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, there you go, right.

Joy Kauffman: But we're not necessarily vegan, we're plant-based, and if a malnourished child needs a fish or an egg or something, we're not gonna take that outta their mouth.

John Bradshaw: Sure, sure, that's very wise and very balanced. So, okay, I've gotta ask you about the name, FARM STEW.

Joy Kauffman: Okay, so, one day while I'm studying with Adventists, so in my early 40s I got exposed to Adventists, and I started learning about this health message and how it gave seven to 10 years additional life to this certain population of people.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Joy Kauffman: And here I've studied at Hopkins, I've never heard of such a thing. It's actually phenomenal. People take it for granted, but it's almost unbelievable.

John Bradshaw: It is, isn't it?

Joy Kauffman: But you know, the research is all there to back it up, so you have to believe it.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So I thought, how is that happening, you know? And so I started getting exposed to things like NEWSTART, or in East Africa, they have celebrations, or CreationHealth, and I started thinking, wow, that's such a clever idea. Like, eight principles, they're just simple concepts, and yet when applied, they can make a huge difference.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So... honestly, one day, it was after church, and I'm reading literature on my kids' trampoline, my girls' trampoline, just getting my little vitamin D dose out in the sun, and I was reading, and I just started, you know, closing my eyes and thinking, what would a message be for the poor, for the people that God has called me to serve? What would they need? So, somehow the letters just started coming together and voilá, FARM STEW.

John Bradshaw: Question: "For the people God has called me to serve"... How'd you know God had called you, and how did He know, and how did you know, or did you know, who He'd called you? Talk to me about your understanding, and maybe it was a growing understanding, that God has placed a call on your life.

Joy Kauffman: Okay, so, this is an amazing story. I'll try to tell the short version, so my dad in high school, he had been, really kind of went through a hard time. My parents actually separated, and it ended in a divorce, and my dad got depressed. And he was a man of faith, and he reached out to God, and God said, "Care for water for the poor". And he didn't know what that meant. And as he researched, he ended up going to a conference in Puerto Rico where he got exposed to the fact that at the time, 2 billion people on the planet didn't have water.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Joy Kauffman: So that was kind of in the back of my mind. He ended up bringing me to a conference in Denver when I was in high school, and it was the first time I realized that people didn't have water or sanitation.

John Bradshaw: And I don't wanna derail you here, but what a fantastic thing for a dad to do for his teenage kid, right?

Joy Kauffman: Honestly. I was so sort of, like, you know, fairly affluent, kind of entitled, had no imagination that people couldn't turn on the faucet, you know.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: I thought we should turn up the heat, and you know, run all the water we wanted and you know, he was always, like, conserving it. And you know, as a teenager, it was a good reality check when I realized that. there's people without. So anyway, so I went to college with that in mind. And then one night, when I was... it was at my spring break of my junior year, and I was at a friend's house, and I was laying in bed, and I'd been really praying about what to do, and actually trying to decide if I should stop playing volleyball or not. And I was all curled up in bed, all cozy in the blanket, and I heard the Lord say, "Get up and read your Bible". And I was like, "I'm too tired," you know? I didn't really want to. And I heard it again. It was kinda like that "Samuel, Samuel," you know, like... and I heard it again and I thought, "Okay, I really don't wanna just get up and, like, hunt and peck and try to find something inspiring. I've done that before".

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So I thought, "I'm not gonna get up, God, unless You tell me what to read". And sure enough, I heard this voice that said, "Isaiah 58:8". And the reason I know it's God, and I can say this with such confidence, is that I was a Christian, but I was relatively biblically ignorant. And I'm kind of embarrassed to confess, but I will, that I didn't know Isaiah was a book in the Bible. So I had to go to the table of contents, look in the table of contents, see if Isaiah was a book in the Bible, try to find where it was, and then lo and behold, I was shocked when there was 58 chapters, 'cause that's a lot of chapters.

John Bradshaw: That's a lot of chapters, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: Most books don't even have 58 chapters. So I'm like, Isaiah 58:8. And it's such a beautiful promise, but it's a conditional promise. And the promise says, then your light will shine above you. I paraphrase it in my own way 'cause there's so many versions, but basically, the light of God will come above you, your healing will spring up quickly. His glory and righteousness will go before you, and He will have your rear guard. And so I use hand motions because... then He says, "You [will] cry [to Him], and He", God of the universe, "will say, 'Here I am.'"

John Bradshaw: That's right.

Joy Kauffman: So it's like, it's the most amazing promise because you're just absolutely surrounded by God. But it's a "then" promise. So you have to look at what's the "if".

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: So the if, and that's looking at the whole chapter, which, by the way, Sister White says is the chapter of "highest importance". She says the same thing about Isaiah 58 as she says about the three angels' message.

John Bradshaw: Ah.

Joy Kauffman: And the "if" is that you "share your bread with the hungry," that you "help the oppressed go free," that you, you know, care for the prisoner and the orphan, like, basically, everybody that God wants us to, that Jesus says in His mission statement in Luke 4, those are the people that we are, not just me personally, but the whole church is called to serve. So when I say that God called me to serve, I feel like that was my commissioning.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And I was about, I think, 21 years old, and I've really known that call ever since.

John Bradshaw: Now, that doesn't mean that the next day you started FARM STEW. There were some intervening years...

Joy Kauffman: So many years.

John Bradshaw: ...marriage and work and home and raising kids and lots of great, great stuff. And I'm not trying to say that in that time, you didn't do any of that.

Joy Kauffman: No, but there was years I lost that.

John Bradshaw: Interesting, isn't it?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: But as a college student, I wanna say this 'cause it jumped out at me when you said it, as a college student who was praying to God, now who was praying earnestly to God, God spoke.

Joy Kauffman: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: If you hadn't been, then today you'd be doing something completely different.

Joy Kauffman: Amen.

John Bradshaw: So your parents had inculcated into your faith, you made it your own, you were praying to God, you didn't know as much about the books of the Bible as you wish, but based on where you were, you had a real faith with God where you were praying and seeking God's will.

Joy Kauffman: Amen.

John Bradshaw: And as a young person, God said, "I'm calling you".

Joy Kauffman: Amen.

John Bradshaw: Did it...frighten you? Did it encourage you? Did you go, "Oh, great"!? Or did you say, "Oh, have mercy, here's a responsibility"? How'd you feel?

Joy Kauffman: Well, honestly, I feel like I've been unpacking that chapter for the rest of my life, and I hope I'll continue to unpack it the rest of my life, but at the time, I just felt blessed, because it was a promise. I mean, it could have been one of the ones, like, you know, "I'm not listening to you, because God actually is quite annoyed with the people in that chapter early on".

John Bradshaw: "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; [show] my people their transgression, ...the house of Jacob their sins".

Joy Kauffman: Exactly.

John Bradshaw: Talking about the true fast.

Joy Kauffman: Exactly.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So I praise God that He gave me the promise.

John Bradshaw: Fantastic. Well, somewhere along the line, I mean, a little further down the line, you end up leading an international organization that is pouring into people and making a huge difference. We're gonna talk about that in just a second. I am glad you're here. My guest is Joy Kauffman from FARM STEW. We'll be back with more of our conversation in just a moment. This is brought to you by It Is Written.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations," brought to you by It Is Written. My guest is Joy Kauffman, who is the director of FARM STEW. A minute ago, God spoke to you and said, "You're gonna be doing something; this is the burden I placed upon your heart". Time went by. Now, the birth of FARM STEW, what happened? How did that come about?

Joy Kauffman: Well, it's also a long story, but the short version is that God allowed my husband and I to have some success financially, and we had become donors to another organization. And then once you become a donor, then you get put on the board, right?

John Bradshaw: Aha.

Joy Kauffman: And so I was on the board of an organization that cared for agricultural projects in developing countries, and it was a Christian organization. And one of the staff members and I had become friends, and she called me and she said, "Hey, would you like to go to Uganda"? And I was like, "Sure," I've loved Africa for a long time, but I was always too frugal to actually go and spend the money on my own ticket, my own immunizations, and everything. I always sent money to organizations like this one. And she said: Well, the federal government is looking for volunteers through a program through USAID, United States Agri... or, yeah, US Agency for International Development, yeah.

John Bradshaw: There we go.

Joy Kauffman: Anyways, so they said it's Farmer-to-Farmer Program, and you could go for three weeks and serve as a nutritionist. And I was like, "That sounds pretty cool". And by this point, my kids were like 13 and 10, and I thought, you know, it's time for a mom's day out, little missionary moment for Mom.

John Bradshaw: Oh, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So yeah, so I went in 2015, and my assignment was soy nutrition, developing products and recipes and working with local people, using the soybeans that they were already growing, but teaching them how to prepare them in a way that would be more nutritional for their families, and also adding some value to them so they could sell them at a higher price instead of just selling them off as a commodity at a very low price. So anyway, I went, and I was just smitten. I'd never been to Africa before.

John Bradshaw: Isn't it amazing?

Joy Kauffman: Yes, yes.

John Bradshaw: Just amazing.

Joy Kauffman: And the places where I was going was like going back in a time machine about 3,000 years.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: I mean, there would be a plastic chair here and a cell phone there, but everything else was things that could have been around during Bible times.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Joy Kauffman: And the people, you know, being a nutritionist, like, generally in America, people sort of know what they should eat, and they may or may not choose to eat it.

John Bradshaw: But they basically know, right? We've got the food pyramid and the whole thing.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, exactly. And so you're not, like, that popular in a crowd, right? 'Cause people don't really wanna hear what you have to say.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Joy Kauffman: But over there, it was like people were coming outta the woodwork, just so excited about this hands-on cooking class that we were doing.

John Bradshaw: Okay, now, I'm gonna jump in here. And I know we're getting to the formation of FARM STEW, but I know what somebody is thinking: "Africa"? I mean, if you're not thinking, "poverty," you're thinking, "Stuff grows". They had soybeans. Soybeans are good for you. If they had soybeans, they had other good things. Nutrition problem solved, Joy. They grow a bunch of green stuff and eat it. Where's the problem?

Joy Kauffman: Well, the problem in the case of soybeans is that they were just roasting it and serving it like a little crunchy corn nut.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: But you don't give that to a kid with no teeth. So, one of the worst times of malnutrition is...they call it the first 1,000 days of life.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Joy Kauffman: It's from the first day of conception through the second year. And particularly vulnerable is that time period from six months when a mother's breast milk is no longer sufficient. And so the weaning food, often, in Africa is a corn porridge.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: And it doesn't have any protein. So the soy, if you can teach them how to make milk from it, or even just, you know, make it into a soft porridge, a boiled porridge, or add it to the corn, add it to sorghum, add it to millet, other, you know, rich African grains then you can prevent malnutrition right there.

John Bradshaw: So what you're saying is they have enough food and still there's malnourishment because that food isn't being prepared in a way that really is for the benefit of themselves.

Joy Kauffman: Exactly.

John Bradshaw: Which is a fascinating thing, isn't it? You got enough food, and you're still malnourished. That's a whale of a problem.

Joy Kauffman: It's a huge problem, and it's throughout so many parts of the world. The poor are eating starchy staples. White rice, white corn flour, white, you know, wheat flour, cassava, which is basically a white starchy staple.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: All of those foods metabolize in our system as if it's table sugar. And so you're talking very little micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, and a lot of quick glucose into your bloodstream.

John Bradshaw: Uh-huh.

Joy Kauffman: So, even though they don't have the problems with diabetes as we do, diabetes is growing in those countries because they're just basically eating table sugar.

John Bradshaw: So what do you see as a result of that? So kids are getting food that's nutrient-poor. Even though I'm thinking, "Soybeans, yay"! But they're not prepared in a way that's really gonna help 'em.

Joy Kauffman: Well, and they weren't actually giving the soybeans to the kids, they were selling it more like a cash crop like coffee, tea, sugar, soybeans.

John Bradshaw: Okay.

Joy Kauffman: You know, they didn't know the value of what they had in their hands.

John Bradshaw: So what do you see as a result? What do you see in the people? What problems are they experiencing because of this?

Joy Kauffman: So, well, a lot of people are dying early. I mean, we know, particularly Seventh-day Adventists, this eight to 10 extra years, they're getting into the 90s, right? Well, the average lifespan in most of these African countries, sub-Saharan Africa, is in the 50s.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, that's worrying.

Joy Kauffman: And so it's not just that they're all dropping dead in their 50s; it's that these children are dying. And so when the children dies, that brings the total number down.

John Bradshaw: I see, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: I mean, they're also dropping dead earlier in their later years as well.

John Bradshaw: But you get all these kids dying, then the average lifespan is much, much lower.

Joy Kauffman: Exactly, exactly. So they also get, like, diseases, like skin diseases; their hair is red; their tummies are big.

John Bradshaw: Wait, wait, red hair is good.

Joy Kauffman: Yes, actually, your red hair looks great.

John Bradshaw: But wrong kind of red hair, I'm guessing.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, a Black kid should have black hair.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And when it's red, it actually is a sign of protein deficiency.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, I was gonna ask you, what causes that? So it's protein deficiency?

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: And these Black kids that should have black hair, their hair is rust colored because it's...and you go, so when you go there with a nutrition background and a public health background and you see the people, automatically do you think, "Oh, I'm seeing problems"? Or did you have to... was there an education process first?

Joy Kauffman: So there is an education process, because the biggest problem that's affecting, like, one in three children in sub-Saharan Africa and also one in three children in Southeast Asia is called stunting.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: So it's a hidden malnutrition because, it's hidden because unless you know the age of the child and the appropriate height for that age that they should be, you can't tell. But this short for their age. There's no problem being short, but when you're two standard deviations off, that's an extreme shortness. And what that impacts is the rest of their life. They have a higher rate of all sorts of diseases, a lower intellectual capacity, and lower in earning potential for life, 20% lower in earning potential. So that's one of the ways we try to impact the parents, is that we say, you know, "Do you want your kids to be able to take care of you when you get older"?

John Bradshaw: Oh, yeah, that'll motivate 'em.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, exactly. And so we utilize the Bible, like, we talk about Daniel and his friends and how they got this diet where they were eating all sorts of vegetables and pulses which is another word for "beans" or "legumes". The King James version uses that word, and I like to use that word to make the point about eating beans, 'cause they have a lot of protein, not just soybeans, but any kind of bean.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So we say, you know, "Look at these kids in the Daniel example. They were 10 times smarter," you know? "And so wouldn't you want your kid to be 10 times smarter"?

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: So we use the Bible throughout all of our lessons to try to motivate behavior change and a heart change.

John Bradshaw: So you were there with the USAID trip, and... and then what?

Joy Kauffman: Well, I was an undercover missionary.

John Bradshaw: Ah.

Joy Kauffman: So I went to church, and I had asked to go on the Sabbath, and I actually met some people at the church, and they were very intrigued with what I was doing. And in fact, so much so that one of the people, he was a soy entrepreneur, his name was Steven, and his sister sat and translated for me. And he said, "Can I volunteer with you"? So, myself and the translator, we went out, and we went out to the villages the next week, and the next week, they had me preach at that church. And then the following week, they had me preach at the city central church.

John Bradshaw: How about that?

Joy Kauffman: So suddenly, this nutritionist who, you know, nobody wants to talk to at a party 'cause I might criticize what they're eating, is like this, you know, local phenomenon in Uganda. And it was really exciting, because I was using the Bible. You know, Genesis 1:29, for example, I call it "God's dietary guidelines".

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Joy Kauffman: You know, He told us to eat this whole-foods, plant-based diet right then and there, so...

John Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah. So, you saw this, you were fired up, and immediately you thought, "Oh, I must start an organization". How'd that happen?

Joy Kauffman: I actually didn't think that. I didn't want to start an organization. But I knew that after three weeks, I had to go home and, you know, be a mom for my own children.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And my heart was just aching again because, like, I had seen kids in the villages that I knew weren't gonna make it.

John Bradshaw: Oh, really?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, that's hard.

Joy Kauffman: It's horrible. I mean, you see the poverty and you see just this eagerness. I mean, if you boil a pot of beans for a bunch of kids in America and you'd start passing them out, they'd probably, most of them would not, you know...

John Bradshaw: They don't want it. They don't want it.

Joy Kauffman: We soaked and boiled these soybeans, which was in and of itself surprising for them because they'd never soaked the beans, which activates the enzymes and makes the nutrition available.

John Bradshaw: Wow.

Joy Kauffman: And then we passed out just simple beans, and these kids were just, like, lining up, like... I mean, it was as if it was, you know, the best thing that ever happened to them, getting these beans.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So I thought, "Okay, God, I can't just go home and forget about all these kids". And so I was wrestling with the Lord. What can I do? And I was trying to prepare materials, training materials, so that I could leave them with people, and they could continue the training. And it was, yeah, one night in the hotel, and it was, honestly, I don't hear super, super often, although the more I listen to the Lord, the more I have those impressions that I know, but this was another one where it was audible.

John Bradshaw: Audible?

Joy Kauffman: And God said, "Hire the local people". And I was like, "What"? So I had to figure out what that meant, and so for the next week or so, I was, like, starting to talk to people and try to figure out, you know, what would the wages be. And I was doing all this kinda secretly 'cause I didn't wanna tell the people that I really actually felt like I should hire. So I was talking to people at the hotel and trying to go talk to other organizations in the city so I could figure out how they were doing things, and how I could do things. And then the big day.

John Bradshaw: What was the big day?

Joy Kauffman: Well, I went the Sabbath on my last Sabbath there, and I had told everybody I was leaving the next day. And they had me preach, and then they had me do a full seminar afterwards, and on that day, I hadn't told anybody what I was thinking. And there was a young woman named Fiona, who I write about a lot. She's still a trainer with FARM STEW.

Joy Kauffman: Mm.

John Bradshaw: And at the time, though, she was this 21-year-old visitor at the church who'd just gotten baptized two months earlier. And she said, "I wanna be part of your team". And I was like, "What team? How did you know I'm supposed to form a team"?

Joy Kauffman: How interesting.

John Bradshaw: And so I talked to her for a little while and I thought, this is interesting. And then I was teaching the class, and I said, you know, "Who knows how to make soy milk"? And out in the villages, nobody had ever heard that you could make milk out of a bean. It was shocking to them. But there was one woman, her name is Betty, she's also still with us, she raised her hand, and she said, "I know how to make beans, I know how to make milk, and I know how to make soy meat". I said, "Who is this woman"?

Joy Kauffman: Really?

John Bradshaw: Yeah, and she had been trained at Bugema University in hotel and restaurant management; it's an Adventist university. She knew all about the soybeans and the recipes, and, I mean, she took it way farther than I ever could. in those three weeks.

Joy Kauffman: So, they were two of the three first hires. And I was working at the health department in Illinois at the time, just part-time, I was still raising my kids, and I felt the Lord tell me that I needed to start sending my wages over. So that was the first year of FARM STEW.

John Bradshaw: Wow. Now, I want to ask you this. So, you roll up in an African village and you say, "No, no, no, you're doing it all wrong. I wanna show you how to do the soybeans". I can imagine that people might shrug their shoulders or even feel a little resentment, but evidently people bought in. Why was it that there was this readiness among them to say, "Show us what to do with these beans? We've never done this before. Show us". Explain the openness.

Joy Kauffman: You know, I was honestly as shocked as you are because I felt like...

John Bradshaw: Oh yeah?

Joy Kauffman: was gonna be rather presumptuous for me to come and tell them how to cook. And then, you know, as farming, I thought, "These are subsistence farmers. They have to know how to farm; that's how they survive".

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: You know, who am I? Random white lady shows up, you know.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: I had the same feeling, but honestly, they're very, very interested. First of all, these cultures are very intrigued by visitors.

John Bradshaw: True, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: As you know, right? Especially visitors with this skin color, I have to say, were very interested.

John Bradshaw: Oh, look, I just love it. I'm gathered together at the end of the service, and I'm praying, and I feel, my eyes are closed, and I feel this little touch on my hand, and I open my eyes. These little Black kids are stroking my white skin, smelling, see if the white skin smells, first white person they'd ever seen.

Joy Kauffman: Exactly.

John Bradshaw: So yeah, they're intrigued by visitors, and so that's a responsibility and an opportunity that you have as a visitor like that.

Joy Kauffman: Absolutely. I have a slightly better story on your story, though.

John Bradshaw: Oh yeah?

Joy Kauffman: Well, I was leading a class that first time I was in Uganda. I was standing there leading a class, and the kids had come in and, like, pressed in, and they were so close to me that one little kid was petting my toes while I was trying to teach. It was a bit distracting, but I didn't wanna, like, kick him or anything.

John Bradshaw: No, no, no.

Joy Kauffman: He was so intrigued by the whole concept of white toes.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, how fun, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: But anyway, yeah, and I mean, even I was there last month, I was in four different countries in Africa last month. And I was in villages, three different villages where they said, "You're the first white person that's ever been here".

John Bradshaw: Isn't that interesting?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, and I mean, it's kind of surprising, actually. But what I realize is most people when they go to Africa, they'll go to a city or even, I hate to say, but, like, our church leaders, they might go to the headquarters.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: But to go see, like, rural poverty firsthand, it takes a lot of time; it takes a lot of intentionality. It's hard to break away because you have so many schedules and demands and people all around you, so...

John Bradshaw: So you started hiring locals, and when did you realize an organization is needed? Did you realize that right away?

Joy Kauffman: No, actually, I was hoping and praying not to start an organization. In fact, I tried to get It Is Written to take it over.

John Bradshaw: I remember.

Joy Kauffman: If you recall, I met you when about six months later, I went to Zimbabwe as a health evangelist with you.

John Bradshaw: That's right. There we were together.

Joy Kauffman: Yes. And I had this secret plan that It Is Written was somehow gonna take the project project over so that I didn't have to become the administrator of a big organization like you.

John Bradshaw: Well, you know, that would've been great, but God worked out what was supposed to be worked out, because with your passion and your drive and your entrepreneurship and all of that, Lord knew what He was doing.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, I praise God, but it took me a while to really decide, "Okay, Lord, I'm really supposed to lead this thing".

John Bradshaw: People were responsive. You started to see results.

Joy Kauffman: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: Tell me what you saw, like a before-and-after picture.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, so, well, I'll tell you a recent one, actually.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, oh yeah.

Joy Kauffman: I mean, just being there this past month, I was in Uganda, and I went into this village, and these women were literally singing this song. And the chorus of the song was, "Long live FARM STEW".

John Bradshaw: Oh, come on.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, it was really cool.

John Bradshaw: Really?

Joy Kauffman: Of course it was in the local language, so I can't sing it for you, but it was just so beautiful. And they were just giving the testimony of the fact that they can now feed their children. The men were testifying on "We have savings clubs", which, by the way, I never said the actual meaning of the acronym.

John Bradshaw: No, no, and I want you to do that.

Joy Kauffman: I realize that. So we have savings clubs; we have nutrition; we have farming, of course, is the first letter.

John Bradshaw: Savings club? I think that's self-explanatory. That's really interesting.

Joy Kauffman: It's so important because there's no banks out in these areas and the money lenders that come out when people need money...

John Bradshaw: Predatory.

Joy Kauffman: ...yeah, "predatory" is the right word, yes.

John Bradshaw: So the acronym, come now.

Joy Kauffman: Okay, so it's farming...

John Bradshaw: Yeah?

Joy Kauffman: ...attitude, rest, and meals.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: And then that's FARM. And then STEW is sanitation, temperance, enterprise, and water. So some of those letters might be familiar from other health messages, but a lot of 'em have a different spin on them.

John Bradshaw: And enterprise, that's a fascinating one.

Joy Kauffman: You know, one of my professors at Johns Hopkins said, "The very best thing you can do for anybody's health is create a job".

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: And I believe it.

John Bradshaw: Yes, yes, yes, and to get people out of poverty, you get them into work and you get them enterprising... sorry, being enterprising. And off they go. They become self-sufficient.

Joy Kauffman: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: Doing something for oneself is much better than doing this.

Joy Kauffman: Yes, and Sister White says that. She says, "You may give to the poor, and injure them, because you teach them to be dependent. Instead, teach them to help themselves". And then she says, "The needy must be placed in [a position] where they can help themselves".

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Joy Kauffman: And that's what FARM STEW is intending to do, and successfully doing, in so many cases.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, fantastic. So you started in Uganda, and FARM STEW began to grow. And now you are...where?

Joy Kauffman: We are in south Sudan, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, launching in Cuba, Brazil.

John Bradshaw: Oh, interesting.

Joy Kauffman: Yes. It's growing. I could keep going.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: But God is good. And really, this recipe, we want to share it with anyone throughout the world.

John Bradshaw: I wanna ask you more, and more specifically, we'll drill down about some of those countries in just a moment. I'm just fascinated. This is a wonderful success story. God has been a blessing and continues to bless Joy and the life-changing work that she's doing. She's Joy Kauffman. I'm John Bradshaw. This is It Is Written, more of our conversation in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations". My guest is Joy Kauffman from FARM STEW. We mentioned a moment ago you're in numerous countries now. You weren't always. You know, you start somewhere. Where do you see this going? You mentioned a dozen countries, couple more coming online. Do you see the amount of countries just growing and growing and growing? Do you think we're gonna cap this thing off at 15 or 20? I'm not saying, "What's the definite plan"? But what do you see? What's possible here?

Joy Kauffman: Well, thanks for asking. Our mission is to share the FARM STEW recipe. And when I say "the recipe" I mentioned before, "the eight ingredients" is what we call them the letters in our acronym. And so we have actually this manual.

John Bradshaw: Oh yeah?

Joy Kauffman: A 400-page manual that shares the details of how to farm, how to have a positive mental attitude, how to prepare whole-food, plant-based meals in a context that's very resource-poor.

John Bradshaw: And this here, you would give that to whom?

Joy Kauffman: This is for trainers, and we also have it online, like, on our website; you can just click on "The recipe," and anybody throughout the world can take the course for free.

John Bradshaw: Oh, fantastic. So let me ask you. So I'm in Malawi, my friend is in Uganda, and his friend is in south Sudan.

Joy Kauffman: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: When I say "translates," I don't mean "languages"; this works across cultures; the principles work kind of wherever you are.

Joy Kauffman: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: Oh yeah.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, so we've really made it very international and very basic. I mean, it's simple, simple things that you can do.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: For example, how to purify contaminated water, you know, and how to check for malnutrition, how to create an enriched porridge so those children from six months to two years don't have to get malnourished. So, very simple things and very adaptable, and we keep it in a very simple language, like, more of about a sixth-grade reading level, so that, you know, people can train this. And we want it to be in the hands of Bible workers of church leaders, women's ministries, health ministries. You know, we have our own trainers in different countries that we've hired. We've also partnered with other ministries where we're, you know, working together with them, making this curriculum available. So, like, we just feel like time is short Jesus is coming, kids are dying, and Jesus is gonna ask them and ask us, what did we do for the least of these? And I want people to have a good answer. And I believe FARM STEW is a good answer and that we're solving a problem not just for the poor, but we're also solving a problem for the wealthy, because they wanna know, "How can I make a difference in the world"? And this will mobilize church members to do that.

John Bradshaw: I have so many questions for you, Joy. You mentioned south Sudan. I'm so fascinated by that, challenging place. It's a war-torn place. There's lots and lots of conflict there. So, the question is, how do you select countries? Maybe they select themselves. And then how do you go into a place like that and present options that people might not have had when there's conflict? So, okay, how do you end up in south Sudan? I'll just ask that question.

Joy Kauffman: Okay, so that's a beautiful story, because we went to the head of the Uganda Union, this was five years ago, and we said, you know, "Where should we go next"? And they said, "Our poorest people are in the refugee camps in the north," and those happen to be people from south Sudan. It was about a million refugees.

John Bradshaw: Oh, wow.

Joy Kauffman: So we actually had the blessing. I mean, God has been so throughout this program. I haven't talked about the miraculous hand in so much of this, but God allowed me to meet a couple named Edwin and Jen Dysinger. And they're an amazing family. The whole family is amazing. But I met them in Uganda one night in a hotel, and they were with this woman named Doreen Arkangelo, who happened to be help, they'd known her for 20 years, and she's also the wife of the president of the church of south Sudan Pastor Clement. And Clement and Doreen are this amazing couple. Doreen was working as a women's ministry leader in the camps. And so, she came to the training I was having the very next day at the Uganda Union, and she was like, "Give me everything I can learn," you know. So we sent her with a book; we sent her with flash drives; we sent her with seeds. She went up and started working in the camps. And then about six months later, I went up to the camps with her, and we did a training. And her husband came, and he said, "We need this in south Sudan".

John Bradshaw: Mmm. Mmm.

Joy Kauffman: And so praise be to God. And you know, God has provided through very generous donors, and He allowed us to move into south Sudan. We're now in eight different states. I was just there last month, actually. And, I mean, where the FARM STEW workers are, the church is thriving. Pastor William, he's the president of the field; you'll like this name: Wau. It's W-A-U, but it's pronounced "wow".

John Bradshaw: Oh, we like that. Oh, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And, I mean, it is a wow place because the poverty is extreme, but, like, I was in the home of a woman named Mary, and, you know, I met her out by her field, where she is planting a FARM STEW field. And literally, they don't have a well yet. FARM STEW has drilled 71 wells in the last three years, but they don't have a well yet. These little boys were getting water out of this muddy pit, slippery, slippery pit. Three boys having to move this buckets of water up the hill. And that's how this woman is watering her garden.

John Bradshaw: Wow.

Joy Kauffman: But then she took me to her house, and she had had the benefit of farming with an ox plow, which is like just this tool that you put behind oxen.

John Bradshaw: Yep.

Joy Kauffman: They can dig up a hectare of land, which is two and a half acres, and they can do it in a day. Without the plow, it takes 'em two weeks.

John Bradshaw: Oh wow.

Joy Kauffman: And so they're digging up all this idle land, you know, and they're harvesting. And Mary took me to her house, it was this little hut, you know, out in the middle of nowhere, and inside this hut was just bags and bags and bags and bags of harvest. So much so that she had to build this little platform in the hut so that the whole, all the way up to the top of the thatched roof, was full of the bags of her harvest.

John Bradshaw: Really? Now, wait, this is FARM STEW harvest?

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Okay, so, three years before this, what was her harvest like?

Joy Kauffman: I mean, she, like most south Sudanese, were basically starving.

John Bradshaw: And now she has this abundance, she's gotta figure out ways of keeping it all.

Joy Kauffman: Yes.

John Bradshaw: What's she gonna do with it?

Joy Kauffman: Well, she's storing it; she's smart, because we taught financial planning, and everything's through enterprise, so she's storing it. She's not selling it right away. When the prices are low, she's waiting.

John Bradshaw: Ah.

Joy Kauffman: And she's a grandmother, so, I mean, her grandkids were following her home, and I have pictures I'd love to share. They're just amazing, these kids, you know. So she's now being this matriarch for her family and helping them survive.

John Bradshaw: How wonderful, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And she's a church member, you know?

John Bradshaw: What's a FARM STEW garden?

Joy Kauffman: So a FARM STEW garden has three or more types of vegetables. So, it has to have an orange type of vegetable, for vitamin A, because the kids are often deficient in vitamin A, which reduces their immune system and makes them more likely to die when they get a small illness.

John Bradshaw: And what's an orange vegetable in Uganda?

Joy Kauffman: So, like, pumpkins or they have orange-flesh sweet potatoes. You know, our sweet potatoes are mostly all orange, but in Africa, they're mostly white, so they're lacking the vitamin A.

John Bradshaw: Okay, okay.

Joy Kauffman: We also encourage, like, mangoes and papayas.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And then you can also get vitamin A from leafy greens. So it has to have three or more different kinds of vegetables.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Joy Kauffman: And we use, like, the parable of the sower and the seed, you know, the four types of soil.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So, in most subsistence farmer gardens, there's not a separate path where you do not plant here, you walk here, and then here you plant, and you don't put your feet. So that distinguished, you know, like, Jesus taught this parable, we often spiritualize it, but there's actual practical farming lessons in there.

John Bradshaw: Interesting, yeah.

Joy Kauffman: So we teach, you know, cultivating the soil, so you get rid of the rocks, and then when the weeds grow up and the third kind of soil, you know, those are the thieves that are coming to kill, steal, and destroy your harvest. So you have to weed; you have to cultivate, you know. And then if you do that, you're gonna have this abundant harvest.

John Bradshaw: And these principles weren't known?

Joy Kauffman: No, sadly.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, and, you know, I'm gonna say that that's gonna be a surprise to a great many of us who thought, "Well, Africans have been farming forever, and they would've had this all figured out". But I guess you do what you know, and it's simpler, and so forth.

Joy Kauffman: What I believe is that they probably were much better at farming back in the day.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Joy Kauffman: They also could forage for a lot of natural foods. But, you know, the population is growing, so there's more pressure on the land. And then honestly, when corn came in in the 1960s, a lot of people gave up the traditional farming methods and they adapted corn, which, there's a whole long story for that, but it came from the Americas, and it has kind of taken over Africa.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Joy Kauffman: And it's not as nutritious as the traditional African grains. And then also there's kind of a prejudice against farming, like it's a job for poor people.

John Bradshaw: Oh, interesting.

Joy Kauffman: And so, I think there's probably a lot of ancient knowledge that has been lost, and so that's one of the things we try to cultivate, is, you know, what did your ancestors eat?

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Joy Kauffman: Often they ate healthier diets than the current modern-day diet.

John Bradshaw: No doubt. Oh, really interesting. So, I know you care about people's health, and, obvious, you're a nutritionist, and you have an MPH and so on, but I know you care about people's soul...

Joy Kauffman: Amen.

John Bradshaw: ...their souls. So, make the connection here, because I know you don't do this just to have healthier people; you wanna have people who know Jesus and know Him better and have a shot at everlasting life. Help me see where this connects. I mean...

Joy Kauffman: Amen.

John Bradshaw: ...I could assume it. I wanna hear it from you.

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, absolutely. So, I remember that day when I was on the trampoline and I was reading about certain health messages. And you walk up to somebody, and you say, "You need more fresh air, exercise, and sunshine", in this country. If they have a desk job, you know, they're happy to hear that; it's helpful information. But if you walk up, and you say, "I come in the name of Jesus" to a Ethiopian woman who's just walked three hours, you were just in Ethiopia.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: You know, they're walking for three hours to go get contaminated water. And you tell that woman, you know, "You need more fresh air, exercise, and sunshine".

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: "And by the way, drink lots of that water, even though it's contaminated". You know, you're not helpful. And suddenly the gospel that you're bringing is no longer relevant. And when you look at what Jesus did, I think His mission statement was when He went to the synagogue, He opened the scroll of Isaiah, and He read, you know, that "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He's anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the broken-hearted, and free the captives". So, if our gospel is not inclusive of news that is actually good news to the poor, then I don't think we have Jesus' full holistic gospel.

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Joy Kauffman: And so for me, FARM STEW is a way of sowing the seed of the Word of God into ground that makes it ready for the harvest, you know; it's ready to be planted in. Because we're not putting in barriers that make us somehow cold and heartless-sounding to the people that we come to serve.

John Bradshaw: I have two questions, but the natural question I have to put on hold because I wanna ask you this while we still have time, and that's kind of the philosophy that undergirds FARM STEW. Talk with me about that. I know you wanted to reach hearts and better nutrition and so forth, but I'm sure there's a philosophy, some guiding principles. If there are, what are they?

Joy Kauffman: Yeah, so I would say John 10:10 is our theme verse. And I often quote, you know, that Jesus says that we "might have life, and have it more abundantly," so that's why we call FARM STEW the recipe for abundant life, because it's Jesus. But then I always ask people, "Do you know the first half of that verse"? I'm sure you do know, Pastor John, right? So the first half is about who? Now I'm interviewing you.

John Bradshaw: "The thief cometh not, but for to [kill], and to [steal], and...destroy: I [have] come that they might have life, and...have it more abundantly".

Joy Kauffman: Exactly. So the thief is killing, stealing, and destroying. And so many people, including people in the Western and affluent world, they don't believe in God because they look at the suffering in the world.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: But let's put the blame where the blame is due, which is on the thief, and let's be working on the side of Jesus, which is abundant life. And so for me, as a convert to Adventism, that's the great controversy right there. And honestly, if we're not on the side of working for abundant life, and we're just passively accepting this idea that there's, you know, 3 billion people on the planet that can't afford a healthy diet, 2 billion people on the planet that don't have clean water, if we're just passively accepting that as if it's okay, I really question whether or not we truly love Jesus and whether... what He's gonna say to us in the end. Are we gonna be the sheep or the goats? I wanna be a sheep.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, amen. Yeah, that puts it in stark terms, doesn't it? You mentioned the church and church leaders. So, you're a Christian, and you're sharing these wonderful principles, and you're seeing the church responding... how?

Joy Kauffman: Honestly, very, very warmly. You know, we had to prove ourselves, which is good, because you don't want just any random person that thinks that they have a new health message, you know...

John Bradshaw: Sure, that's right.

Joy Kauffman: just be able to pop up and...

John Bradshaw: That's right.

Joy Kauffman: So they had to really check us out. But I will say I just received a letter of endorsement from Pastor Clement, the president of the church of south Sudan, and he was not only appreciating what we've done, not only endorsing the fact that it has been good for the local churches, but he said, "Any ministry throughout the world, any church leader throughout the world that has the opportunity to partner with FARM STEW should do it".

John Bradshaw: Oh, that's exciting. What a wonderful endorsement.

Joy Kauffman: It was very exciting. And actually, Pastor Ruguri, who's the head of the East Central Africa Division, he told me a few years ago, "Joy, this is your division. I want you in every country in my division".

John Bradshaw: How fantastic.

Joy Kauffman: But honestly, we need more help. We need help getting the word out. We need the church to embrace it in such a way that they will incorporate it in with their health ministries, with their Dorcas groups, with their women's ministries. We have a gift, and we want to offer it. And it does cost money to send out trainers, buy seeds, buy ox plows, help repair wells. When we get the community up to a certain standard, then we offer them a well. And, you know, we can't do that everywhere without everybody kind of pulling their weight and getting involved.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, so somebody wants to get involved and support FARM STEW. How do they do it?

Joy Kauffman: So, is our website. And so there's a big purple, in the corner, "Donate" button, and so that's a great way. We also invite people to pray, and we also invite people to learn the recipe themselves, to be able to learn for themselves, and they can share it in their own context.

John Bradshaw: So let me ask you a question that maybe you haven't been asked 1,000 times, and maybe you have. In their own context, somebody lives in Akron, Ohio, or they live in Bangor, Maine, or they live in Santa Fe, New Mexico; they say, "Well, I ain't going to Uganda". How can a person who doesn't live there incorporate some of these principles here? Is that doable? And if it is, how?

Joy Kauffman: Absolutely. So, I love that question, and I actually had the opportunity to teach at a camp meeting last summer, and it was of people that were preparing for, like, country living and that kind of thing, and just, you know, knowing that things might always not stay exactly as they are now.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Joy Kauffman: And I taught using this manual, and I said, "After I teach today, if you wanna keep the manual, great. If not, you know, throw it back in the box. But if you wanna keep it, you know, throw your money in, and, well, you can take the book home". They all took the book home.

John Bradshaw: Really?

Joy Kauffman: They all found it very relevant. Now, of course, we have, you know, flush toilets and running water, but we might not always have that you know. But even now, you can use your garden for evangelism, you know. Like, some of the Bible workers up in south Sudan, they've been trying to teach people the gospel. People weren't interested. But suddenly they planted a garden, and everybody came. So, that, I've done that in my own house.

John Bradshaw: Nice.

Joy Kauffman: Put a garden in your front yard, not your backyard, so your neighbors will see it, and you can converse with them.

John Bradshaw: Just fantastic. Five years from now, what are you gonna be doing? You'll be leading FARM STEW. What do you think it'll look like? What do you, what do you hope it'll look like? What do you hope it'll look like?

Joy Kauffman: Well, I just hope it continues to be used by God, and that this recipe, this knowledge that we have to share is saving lives both in the here and now and more so even for eternity.

John Bradshaw: My guess is 10 or so years ago, or maybe even less, you didn't realize or wish, I don't know, didn't know you were gonna be leading an international organization, and here you are. Does it fit okay? Is it working all right? For you?

Joy Kauffman: Honestly, I love it, and it has been one big surprise after another. But God just keeps surprising me and keeps opening doors. Being here today is one of those doors. I praise God, and I thank you for sharing your listening audience with me, because what a privilege.

John Bradshaw: Well, we thank you for sharing what God is doing with you and through you and through FARM STEW. Wish you every success. We're just, we're proud of you and happy for you, and it's wonderful to see that God is blessing, touching lives and pointing people to Jesus. Joy Kauffman, thank you.

Joy Kauffman: Thank you so much.

John Bradshaw: It's been wonderful. And thank you. I'm so glad you took a little time to be with us here. Of course, if you go to, click on "Conversations," you can watch many of our conversations, and you can watch this program with Joy again and again and again. Hope you will, and I hope you will share it with others and let others know what God is doing in such a profound way in many countries around the world, and in a growing way also. Thanks for joining us. I'm John Bradshaw, she is Joy Kauffman from FARM STEW, and this has been our conversation.
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