SEBRING - Over 350 children and adults attended the Dynamic Kernels harvest celebration on Sunday in a wheat field near Sebring. The event celebrated the harvest of 31 acres of wheat. Proceeds from the sale of the wheat will benefit local and global food sharing programs. The event began at 5 p.m. with a carnival with games, a dunk tank, and three inflatables. The carnival games were organized by Jennifer Greeneisen and the Damascus Elementary PIE. Free ice cream, popcorn, water, and other refreshments were provided. The Sebring Fire Department sent its ladder truck to the event and displayed a large flag from the extended ladder. Steve McGranahan, "the world's strongest redneck," mixed with carnival participants, challenged anyone to bend a 60 penny nail (a 6-inch spike) in half. McGranahan was the only one able to bend a spike, and he did it dozens of times during the evening.
Just before 7 p.m., a service of thanksgiving for the wheat harvest was celebrated under a large tent. Mark Reich, president of the West Branch Ministerial Association and pastor of Beloit Friends Church, served as emcee. The Damascus Friends Church led the singing of contemporary songs and "tent service" favorites from the past. McGranahan displayed additional feats of strength which he related to living as a follower of Jesus in the world. He shared a discussion he'd had with Jay Leno prior to one of his appearances on the Tonight Show. Both men shared the experiences with dyslexia and how they had been able to overcome the learning dysfunction to become successful in their fields.
Jeff Latsa of Global Hope Network International, one of the recipients of proceeds from the harvest, described his organization's work in Africa and the Middle East to bring transformation in villages in the areas of water, food, wellness, financial sustainability, and education. He described one girl's experience of seeing her sister sold into sex trade by her parents and wondering when she would be sold. Through the work of GHNI, she developed a micro business that made her more valuable to her family staying with them than they could gain by selling her. Bill Wallbrown of Deerfield Farms talked about the origins of the Dynamic Kernels Wheat Project in Michigan in the 1940s and its resurrection locally. The event celebrated the completion of the second year of the project. As Wallbrown talked, a combine harvested the final two 40-foot swaths of the wheat crop. Proceeds of the harvest are estimated at $12,000-$14,000 to equally benefit GHNI internationally and Acts 2 Ministries locally.
The Dynamic Kernels harvest celebration was held on July 14 in a wheat field near Sebring. Eli Dredge attempts to bend a 6-inch spike while his friends and Steve McGranahan, “the world’s strongest redneck,” look on. (Submitted photo)
Acts 2, sponsor of the event, is a partnership of Sebring-West Branch churches to serve a variety of social needs in the community.