Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Playing in the Dirt

I love gardening. There is a rush as I wrestle with the soil, plant the tiny seeds, water and care for the delicate little plants, watch as life breaks forth through the surface, encourage the plants as they continue to grow and then harvest the fruit at the end of the battle. Plus, there is nothing quite like enjoying the fruits of your own garden.

Let me rephrase my earlier statement...I love gardening in the Midwest. In Nebraska it seemed as if I just had to think about a garden and things began to rise out of the black, healthy soil. There was no such thing as soil prep. Arizona gardening is completely different.

As I prepared for my garden in Arizona I knew I needed to turn over every ounce of soil in the area. The top soil was gray and completely robbed of all nutrients by the elements. Shovel load by shovel load I dug deep looking for better soil. I kept hitting rocks (which isn’t surprising when you are digging in a desert), but what did surprise me was the root systems I kept encountering. For plants and trees to survive in a desert, they send out an extensive root system near the surface. After several hours of battling, I finally had mixed up the soil and removed many of the larger rocks and root systems. I made a quick trip to the local Wal-Mart and picked up good soil with extra nutrients to put into the mix. My little patch of land was beginning to resemble a garden.

As I was working on the garden the parallels to ministry became clear. We are working in a dry and barren land. The elements have robbed so many kids of the nutrients they need to survive. As we dig deep there are so many obstacles we encounter including an extensive root system. And yet as we have battled and battled, we are beginning to see the truth sprout in the lives of some of the kids. It has been a slow process and yet God is moving and working in the lives of many. There is hope because we serve a God of hope!  We long to see revival break out in San Carlos and believe that day is coming!

Just playing in the dirt,

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