“Farmer Herman had a fantastic barn…with a big, big, big problem.”
Jason Weber’s book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn is a fantastic children’s book based on a true story of a Nebraskan farmer with an unusual idea to stop his barn from flooding. He thought if he had just enough people, they could pick it up with bare hands and move it to higher ground. Herman’s son Mike took his crazy idea and made some calculations to see if it just might be a possibility. He calculated that if he had 344 people who each lifted a part of the barn they might be able to do it.
Unfortunately, the town Herman lived in of Bruno, Nebraska only had a population of 144. The only way they could do it is to get people from surrounding towns so they decided to try it during an upcoming centennial celebration. Amazingly, on July 30, 1988, 344 people came to move the barn and as a gathered crowd cheered them on they were able to move the barn up 115 feet to higher ground. If you have any doubts that this is true story you can watch the town of Bruno move Herman’s barn here.
But this book isn’t just about Herman and his flooding barn, it is about solving overwhelming problems that face us that need more than just one person or family to help. Currently, there are over 400,000 kids in our foster care system with over 100,000 children waiting to be adopted. Our foster care system is flooding and it will take all kinds of people – moms, dads, volunteers, mentors, camp counselors, teachers, pastors, court judges, government leaders and more…to help move the barn. Often when one thinks of foster care, they will think of foster or adoptive families but these children need all of us to wrap around them just like they did in Bruno, Nebraska.
Jason said it best at the end of his book, “Moving the barn to dry ground in this case means providing more than enough…more than enough foster homes for every child in care to have an ideal placement; more than enough adoption homes for every waiting child to have a family; more than enough help for biological families who are trying to stay together and trying to get back together; more than enough support for foster, adoptive, and biological families.”
Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn is a great tool for children and adults alike to think outside the box in solving big problems and to see that most big problems are solved when people come together. We were also thrilled to be one of the 344 illustrators in the book and when you get to the end you might be too! If you don’t have this book go buy it right away! And if you want to know more about what you can do to move the barn – check out the great work Jason Weber and his friends are doing at CAFO – Christian Alliance for Orphans and their Foster Movement!
Jason Weber and his wife Trisha, have been caring for children from U.S. foster care since 2001, including adopting their five children from foster care. Jason has helped produce and write several books, Bible studies and other tools created to serve the church as it cares for hurting kids. Jason serves as the National Director of Foster Care Initiatives for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and currently lives in Plano, Texas.