Jessie Schiele (born Jessie Lynn Wambold) grew up in Gaylord, in Northern Michigan. After graduating high school in 2003 Jessie spent 11 months traveling around the world, visiting Central America, New Zealand & Australia, South East Asia, India, and parts of Eastern Europe. Her travels were a great education and full of life changing experiences. In January of 2008 she joined AmeriCorps NCCC (The National Civilian Community Corps), a team based traveling national service program. While planting trees and building a tree-house in Vermont she met her now husband, Jordan. After NCCC, the two volunteered together in Hattiesburg, MS; working on homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In August of 2009, the couple joined staff at Nazareth Farm, in April of 2010 Jessie became the Project Coordinator. They were married June 18th 2010 on a farm near Jessie's hometown. A little over a year later in August of 2011, in a bright green house on Nazareth Farm Road, Jessie and Jordan welcomed home their son Nathaniel. Two months later Nathaniel took his first plane ride as the three of them visited Kansas City for the first time. The family moved to Jerusalem Farm in April of 2012. Jessie now has a sewing room in the community house and continues her passion of quilting, repairing clothes and the general re-use of materials.
Jordan Schiele was born October 6th 1985 in Sacramento, California. Jordan was raised in a devout Catholic family and was the oldest of three children. At an all boy Jesuit High School the seeds of prayer, community, service and simplicity were planted even though they were not fully recognized at the time. During what would have been his college years, Jordan created a window cleaning business named Brighter Day Windows, coached freshman football and worked other various jobs such as Fed-Ex, EPA, and Market Square Grill. Looking for an alternative way of living Jordan joined Americorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) where he spent 10 months volunteering around the country in Virginia, Mississippi, Maryland and Vermont. It was in this program that Jordan re-discovered his love for simplicity and service. He also realized a unknown passion for home-repair. It was also in this program that he met his wife Jessie. After the program ended in November of 2008, Jordan and Jessie spent their time hitch-hiking around the country to visit family and finally ended up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where they spent 5 months living with a wonderful couple Ray and Annie, worshiping with Ebeneezer Baptist Church and working on rebuilding a damaged house from Hurricane Katrina for Mary. When the work was finished, in an effort to learn more about his Catholic faith tradition and to explore communal living, Jordan and Jessie stumbled upon Nazareth Farm and made West Virginia their home from August of 2009 until April of 2012. When asked to help in the creation of Jerusalem Farm, Jordan was humbled and extremely excited for the joys, challenges and transformation that this new community would bring.
Nathaniel was born on August 7th, 2011 and is an amazing boy. He loves to play (board games, ninja, floor is lava, Legos), climb (trees, rocks, anything), and read (Calvin and Hobbes, Graphic Novels, books about space). Nathaniel currently attends the Foreign Language Academy.
Jubilee was born on March 15th, 2014. Jubilee is a joyous little lady who loves to help in the kitchen, tell stories, sew, paint, and create in many ways. Currently she wants to be President, a scientist (chemist), a baker, a doctor, and a mom. She also likes the idea of dogs/animals (make sure to bring a picture of yours).
Sunny plopped onto the surface of the earth in Lafayette Indiana. After a solid Midwestern upbringing full of athletics, good friends, and longboarding, Sunny wandered north to Chicago and attended Saint Xavier University. On a spring break Service trip to Nazareth Farm during his freshman year, Sunny met Jordan and Jessie along with other young adults who attracted him with their desire to reject the materialistic pillars of babylon. Along with the influence of the Sisters of Mercy and their heart for activism, this trip pushed him to create a life centered around service of others. Shortly after graduating from SXU, Sunny scooted his way to join the Ru-crew (get it, like JeRUsalem) in Kansas City. He can most likely be found digging in the garden, at the top of a rock wall, or mixing up the compost.
Robby and Kaitlyn used to live at Nazareth Farm, and after five years of adventuring and seeking sustainable, authentic community, have found their way back to Jerusalem Farm. When Robby was a kid he wanted to be a dad when he grew up – and he has become a wonderful one! Robby and Kaitlyn are parents of Soleil, age 5 - fun, fiery and adventurous - and Elijah, age 1 - sweet, smiley and curious. Robby is most at home in the mountains, enjoys tending the orchards, playing music, and working with wood (creating functional and fun furniture and kids’ toys). Kaitlyn is a Marriage and Family Therapist and is passionate about spirituality and the intersection of healing, body movement and the expressive arts. You’ll find the Ruscas dancing, exploring nature, playing games, making art, and cooking delicious food.
Sarah is a lover of flowers, movement and connectivity. She believes that every human deserves the opportunity to grow fully into their own vision in relationship with others. Sarah came to the farm in quest of deepening spirituality and living life wholly. Here, she found inner tranquility as well as further questions. Sarah loves to engage with people about their passions and interests. She may also entertain with a song or vignette from her wanderings. Sarah holds a BA in French from Truman State University and a Master of French Studies in International Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
On Friday, October 16, 1992, yet-to-be-famous J.K. Rowling married Jorge Arantes, a Portuguese TV journalist; David Letterman hosted his 1,700th show; yet-to-be-famous Bryce Harper was born in Las Vegas; and still-not-famous Adam Rossi was born in the small Appalachian town of Frostburg, MD. Bryce Harper’s bio is much more noteworthy than this one (see the Philadelphia Phillies website) (unless you’re a Washington Nationals fan). Adam did, however, have quite an idyllic childhood. Growing up, he enjoyed spending time with his large extended family, reading lots of books, walking to the library so he could find more good books to read, eating good food his Italian mom cooked, and running so that he could eat even more good Italian food. He attended West Virginia University where he studied wildlife and fisheries resources and natural resource interpretation. He crossed State lines again after his run in Morgantown to teach high school environmental science in Warrenton, Virginia, which was his most recent landing spot before venturing into the land of the Central Time Zone in Missouri. He is co-host, along with his brother, of the wildly popular Rossi Brothers Sports Podcast (wait, you mean you haven’t subscribed yet?!) and enjoys hiking (anywhere), listening to music (mostly Blink-182) (and never country), reversing climate change, and encouraging others to reverse climate change too. (Eat more plants! See drawdown.org).
“And on October 3” (1997), Mary was born (note: one year before Mean Girls was made). Mary is a lively, energetic, go-getter, lover of life. Being raised in the suburbs of Chicago (Palatine, IL), Mary’s favorite play-pretend game was living in a community of several intergenerational families farming, praying, eating, learning, and growing together. Coming to the farm has reawakened that little girl’s dream within her and has renewed her spirits for life as she continues to discern where God calls her. Graduating from Saint Louis University in May 2020 with a BS in Environmental Science and Theology, Mary was looking for a way to practice sustainable living and leave behind the dichotomy of her two majors in the academic world. While quite accident prone and racking up a long list of scars with stories to tell, Mary lives as though “every instant of conscious life is an unimaginable marvel” (G.K. Chesterton) and embraces each new day wholeheartly. Mary is passionate about yarn crafts, the color of raspberry yogurt, Maggie Rogers, water (drinking it, conserving it, praying with it, clean water for all) and the multiple facets of the Catholic Church. She is always down for a punny joke, a game of dutch blitz/nerts, laughter fits, warm tea, or soul searching convos.