A food engineer discovers a life free from competition

Jaehyung Jeong

Jaehyoung Jeong 1979 –

As a food engineer, Jaehyoung spent thirteen hours a day behind his desk, trying to extend the shelflife of ramen noodles. It was a life as unhealthy as the products his company was promoting. He began dreaming of raising vegetables on his own organic farm. That’s what brought him to the Darvell Bruderhof in England in 2010: he hoped to find ideas in the community’s garden.

At first, I had no interest in joining the community. Communism is not a good word in Korea! Besides, I was a good Christian. I gave 30 percent of my salary away. We could hardly speak English, and my wife, Hyeyoung, was Buddhist. But in the community she met Jesus for the first time. So we had no choice. We had to open our hearts to what we felt God wanted us to do. 

In Korea, my life was always about competing with others. Even in my family, there were fights over money. But at Darvell, I was free. Like a bird that can fly anywhere. 

After he and Hyeyoung stayed six months, they decided to join the community for good with their four young boys.

Later, we went through hard times. Life isn’t a movie. There are times when I find my job in the woodworking shop boring. I have had to learn patience and trust – to be a brother, not a supervisor. But my wife and I keep finding things we never knew before: loving care for others; confession of sins, and forgiveness; freedom from self; and an atmosphere of love, of Jesus.

Passing on the art of bicycle maintenance: School afternoons are devoted to practical learning and play.

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A Window into a Christian Community at 100 Years

With photography by British photojournalist Danny Burrows, this 300-page hardcover book celebrates what is possible when people take a leap of faith. It will inspire anyone working to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable future.

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