Steven Hebbard – Director

In 2005, I moved to Austin for a post grad degree from UT.  My course was altered when I moved a few blocks from one of Austin’s most notorious intersections. Expecting to find only poverty, I was surprised to discover a thriving community under attack more from gentrification and creeping “modern placelessness” than from forces inherent to its historic constitution.

Where abandoned buildings and police reports showed hopelessness, on trips to my community garden in the heart of the neighborhood, I found life in both the local culture and agriculture.   My hobby of community gardening and my willingness to give away my excess to neighbors helped me connect to the place and cut through the walls that typically cut out new arrivals from the long time residents.  I also found gardening to be an immensely effective tool for talking with neighbors about a more whole and healthy life. 

Sensing a calling and pursuing my love where it took me, I was lucky enough to be accepted as an internship at a prominent organic farm in the area.  After a year and a half of training, I decided to take my new found knowledge of neighborliness and farming to create a program that systematically knit the two together.

In August of 2009, I partnered with Mobile Loaves and Fishes and their Habitat on Wheels housing program to create the Karpophoreō Project.  I’m a passionate advocate of local, organic, and sustainable culture and agriculture.   And I firmly believe the future of community development, missions, and church planting will feature the true marks around which communities have always been formed: communal housing arrangement, participatory food experiences, and the collective rhythms of community farming. 

{Contact Steven at steven@mlf.org}

Jen Ardill – Community Relations Coordinator

My heart for the underprivileged began to take a strong voice when I lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras directly after college. I decided to return to the States after a year to pursue further education to learn more about the business of Not-For-Profits. I earned my Master’s of Science in Leadership and Ethics from John Brown University on a Fellowship from The Soderquist Center (a Not-For-Profit in NW Arkansas focusing on leadership development and fostering healthy team dynamics).

I have been in Austin for over a year now, and have loved being involved in a people-focused ministry. I am excited to see where the Lord is leading this beautiful community and feel so privileged to be able to be apart of His work.

{Contact Jen at jen@mlf.org}

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