Founders, Ben & Tabitha Phillips felt God calling them to take sustainable farming and artisanal industry to the nations to help bring freedom to those in oppression. Although trained as a teacher and a lawyer rather than farmers, their passion for raising food the way God intended and living intentionally continued to grow. Over the course of four years, God continued to speak to them about His destiny for them, eventually making it clear that His people were hurting around the globe and it was time to do something about it.
In June of 2014, they finally sold their house and waited for God to show them the next step. Having prepared their hearts for this season a few years earlier with the word "become like you're homeless", they confidently sold their home and walked into unknown waters of homelessness. With the help of family and friends, Ben, Tabitha and their two small children, Burke (3) and Violet (18 mo), went from house to house throughout the summer, essentially house-sitting for those on vacation and with an intention to cultivate community in the homes that welcomed them even though they were full.
In the beginning of July 2014, Tabitha discovered an organization that was working to free women and girls from the sex trade in Ethiopia. When Tabitha read their vision for a farm on which women would be able to work with their hands, heal their hearts and grow food for their community, she knew this was the open door to their calling. As she sat at the computer praising God in her heart, she casually asked Ben what he thought about going to Ethiopia for a few months. At first, he said no way, but by the end of the day his spirit was in agreement and they knew then that the only thing more terrifying than stepping into the unknown was staying comfortable and doing nothing. And it was in that moment that Freedom Gate was born.