PARADISE, Calif. --- A makeshift petting zoo has been opened in the parking lot of Paradise Adventist Church after an unexpected Christmas Eve delivery of approximately 300 goats. The surprise goat herd delivery appears to be the result of a malfunction on the website of Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). The site which features a Give the Gift of Goats section in its Really Useful Gift Catalog appears to have redirected all holiday goat deliveries to the church in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevadas.
"When our trucks pulled up to deliver the goats nobody was even in the church office," said Dave Randall, Director of Order Fulfillment at Bakersfield, Calif. - based Aroma Farms which had received the ADRA order. "We got lucky and ran into a young men's Bible Study group that was meeting in a conference room and got hold of the pastoral staff that way."
The Aroma Farms delivery team refused repeated requests from Paradise Adventist Church leadership to return the goats. Emergency calls were put out to the 700-strong active membership of the church, many of whom were forced to abandon last-minute Christmas preparations to herd the off-loaded goats into hastily-built pens.
While admitting that the massive goat delivery originally intended for sustainable livelihood projects in various developing countries was their mistake, ADRA International's offices have yet to come up with a solution for what do with the animals. Multiple suggestions from local church members have been made for what to do. "We have enough goats for each of our church families to take a pet home for Christmas this year," said Head Elder Frank Kinglsey. "Alternatively we could teach animal husbandry at Paradise Adventist Academy this Spring."
Senior Pastor Ben Maxson has his own thoughts on the matter: "Too bad they didn't deliver any sheep, it would have made for an amazing sheep and the goats illustration for my sermon this Sabbath."