NewsLocal News


Local pastor challenges church to give the greatest gift of all time

Posted at 3:54 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 18:42:27-05

RAYTOWN, Mo. — A local pastor's challenge has inspired a Raytown Sunday School teacher and her students to give the greatest gift of all time. 

In 2013, Spring Valley Baptist Church Pastor Larry Heenan challenged each Sunday School class to raise $75 to buy a goat from the World Vision Gift Catalog

For Sharon Baker and her class of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, the challenge felt like one they might not be able to complete.

It took months for Baker's class to raise enough money to purchase the first goat, but the class kept at it.

Her students made items to sell and would bring in their allowance to guy goats from World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization that helps impoverished families around the world. 

"They help in 100 different countries around the world and they even help in the United States when there are hurricanes and things like that," said Baker. 

After reaching 50 goats, Baker thought the class could finally stop, but they wanted to keep fundraising. 

"From one goat to 99, I'm just Sharon Baker. Once we hit 100, I'm Sharon Baker, the Crazy Goat Lady," said Baker. 

The "Crazy Goat Lady," and her class have raised more than $40,000 to buy goats. It's tracked on their "goat meter" at the church and their herd is growing by leaps and bounds. 

"Last Sunday, we turned in the money for goat number 485, so we're getting there," said Baker. 

Nearing 500 goats, Baker said there's no end in sight for her class. 

"They're wonderful children and they work very, very hard because they know that we're helping other people, and it just gives them a deep feeling of satisfaction to know they're doing some good in the world," said Baker. 

Currently, it cost $85 to purchase a goat from World Vision. The organization will take them to families and provide the training on how to care for it.

 "They can fix butter, yogurt, cheese, drink the goat milk and they can sell the excess on the market and they can make money," said Baker.