Who knew that just a few minutes away in Perryville, Arkansas we could catch a glimpse of the world?
I sure didn’t.
In fact, when my husband suggested that we go to the Heifer International Ranch in Perryville for our 8th anniversary, I returned his enthusiasm with an open-mouthed stare. He couldn’t be serious, could he? A ranch? What fun possibly could be had at a ranch? Yet, we were pleasantly surprised.
Heifer International began nearly 70 years ago with one man’s question. This man, Dan West, was providing relief to the refugees of the Spanish Civil War. At the time, the refugees were allotted one cup of milk per day, but Dan begged the question: What if they had not a cup, but a cow? Today, Heifer International raises funds for humanitarian relief agencies and other non-profits to purchase their own farm animals. Individuals and organizations who receive help from Heifer International also receive training in proper animal care. In addition, all recipients sign an agreement to “pass on the gift” by gifting at least one of their animal’s offspring to a local family in need. It really is a beautiful concept and a thriving ministry…with such a stunning ranch.
We were even provided our own personal tour guides to show us around the ranch…and not just one—THREE of them!
The Heifer International Ranch is also home to Heifer International’s Global Village. Tourists of the Global Village are permitted to temporarily step into the lives of some of Heifer International’s recipients. On the Perryville ranch, visitors may enter the homes of those from Guatemala, India, Haiti, China, Zambia, and even an Appalachian home, among others.
I believe I was most touched by the graphic statistics hanging in the “slum” homes of India. The numbers etched onto each continent below indicates the percentage of each continent that lives in the deplorable conditions afforded to them in the slums.
So this summer, when the hum-drums set in and life is stale, perhaps you don’t need the BIG getaway. Perhaps, you only need a change in perspective.
Heifer International Ranch in Perryville is a great place to gain a global perspective. It’s close to home and day trips like ours are 100% free! Heifer International also has an array of overnight experiences, volunteer, and summer programs if you are interested. Check them out.
I can personally guarantee that this experience is for more than farmhands.