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Unique ministry promotes mission work

Gifted Goats Ministries Founder Tom Gift checks on a baby goat on their Alcorn County farm.

Staff photo by Mark Boehler

By Gabby Boyd

gboyd@dailycorinthian.com

On a small East Alcorn County farm, a herd of goats do much more than provide milk and keep tall grass at bay.

These "Gifted Goats" help lead lost souls to Christ and their adoptions and sale of livestock provides financial assistance to missions both locally and abroad.

Tom and Randi Gift are shepherds of the their "Gifted Goats" ministry, combining their love of the Lord and raising goats to carry on their purpose in life.

"People adopt or sponsor our goats and all of the money donated goes to local, national or international Christian ministries," said the 71-year old goat farmer Tom Gift, who also serves as pastor of Cross Community Church.

"We have a lady from the state of Washington who sponsors one of our goats because she believes in our mission," said Gift, who has three rural Alcorn County farms full of goats.

The organization was started three years ago due to an idea created by their eldest son. Since then the organization has caught the attention of people from all across the world because they are one of a kind.

Gifted Goats gives donations to orphanages, military outreach, disaster relief and those in need. They also donate to local charities such as Living Free Ministries and Project Package.

Gifted Goats has also built a church in India and is currently building a school in Mexico.

According to Gift some people would like to adopt or sponsor a goat, but worry about where they would put it. "They don't have to take it home. The goat can live its life out here on the property," said Gift, who's day to day routine revolves around the goats.

Gift also sells his goats, but still the money is given to charity. "A lot of people just stop and buy goats. We make sure they are healthy and give them their shots before they leave," said Randi, who helps her husband on the farm.

"I usually pray with customers before making their purchase," said Gift, who enjoys sharing the gospel.

Many people may wonder what it takes to run a goat farm. "It's not easy. They have to be fed, dewormed, hooves taken care of, get their shots. They even have to go all the way to Mississippi State University to see the vet because many local veterinarians do not specialize in goats," said Gift, who is dedicated to his goats on their farm in Cummins Town.

It costs $7,000 a year for Gift to maintain the herds. Most of the money is usually given to take care of the goats.

"It is a lot of work keeping up these goats, but there is a lot of fun to it as well. They definitely have their own personalities," said Randi, who enjoys raising the goats.

According to Gift, the best part of this organization is making sure everything is Bible-based and continuing to do work through Jesus Christ.

"When people ask about the scapegoat, I tell people to read Leviticus 16:8," said Gift, who wants to leave something for the new generation.

The farm is located on 4413 County Road 200.

The Gifts welcome visitors to tour their goat farm, arrange adoptions and learn more about their unique ministry.

(People interested adopting, sponsoring, or making a donation to Gifted Goats can visit their website at giftedgoats.org.)