Saturday, April 10, 2010

Brown House Community Garden

This year for Spring Break our campus ministry combined with 2 other area ministries to help create a community garden in the West Circle Housing Development. I've blogged about the Brown House ministry before. This took place right across the street, next door to the Blue House where some of our college students live. I didn't get to hang out with them as much as I would've liked , but Duane was THERE :). And if you know Duane, you know what I mean.

One purpose of the garden is to create a place where the residents of West Circle can come and plant and water and watch things grow. New things. Beautiful things. Nourishing things. And to some of us that might not seem like such a big deal. But it is a big deal.

It's a big deal for "Punkin", the elderly man who has found his purpose as the "caretaker" of the garden.

It's a big deal for the family of 3 who lives next door and now has the opportunity to grow fresh vegetables for their 3 year old son. It's a big deal for our friends Adam and Amy, who have struggled for years to build relationships with the adults in the neighborhood (the kids are easy in comparison). Creating this space creates a beautiful place where relationships can be built and they already see that happening! It's a big deal for all of the children, including my own, who are being shown that the truly meaningful moments in life are those
where you are less concerned with yourself and more
concerned with blessing someone else's life.

I believe that all of these things are a very big deal to our God. He is a God of restoration. He is a God of transformation. He loves beautiful things. He loves community. He loves it when His elderly children finally discover that He's given them a purpose. He loves it when college students and families are willing to step out of their comfort zones and give of their time and energy to assist Him in these holy acts of restoration. He loves it when His children, when my children, witness the love of Christ being lived out on an empty lot that was once full of weeds, dead trees and trash. He loves it when his children are the love of Christ on that lot and everywhere they go.

And he loves these beautiful children.

These are the times, the places, and the faces where we meet Jesus.


andy pirtle said...

Jenny and Duane, this post was found by Kim and she said I just had to read it...and she was right. I read it and re-read it. It makes me so happy anf fills me with so much joy that I can't hardly hold back the tears and emotion. It's not sadness or empathy for those in different circumstances than myself at all. The truth is we are all the same. just as you described, we are all loved by Emmanuel. I can think of nothing better than to live out my days growing into a community like this. This is walking in the light. Thank you so much for sharing. May your community grow and may your gardens blossom. I'm really hoping to meet 'punkin' sometime. Andy Pirtle

Jenny said...

Andy - you and Punkin would get along really well :).