Friday, February 18, 2011

Praise God!!!

This year has started full force and progressed quickly, as God continues to provide for and guide this work. So, deep breath everybody; here’s a summary of what is already happening in 2011:

  • Gardening progresses. We are definitely taking on two school gardens which were defunct last year. We will be revitalizing them so the schools can have educational gardens again, and will use the gardens to get neighborhood youth involved in community service, and will hopefully be able to compensate them for their work. This will get them into a character-building activity before they are old enough to make bad decisions that greatly affect the rest of their life. Two of our missionaries are taking Gateway Greening’s Growing Gardeners class; Gateway Greening will also supply free seedlings for the gardens.
  • We found a source for free wood! A father of one of the missionaries works at a machine shop that gets in about 20 hardwood (mostly oak) pallets a week, and said we can have them. We have already begun to make benches, compost bins, and picnic tables out of them. The wood is solid, pretty, and good quality. We are trying to connect these products with our new network of gardeners.
  • We were donated a full kitchen cabinet set! This helps us organize the Opportunity Center and makes it a much nicer, brighter, inviting place.
  • We had a huge bag order! January and February is a pretty slow time for orders of our products. Incarnate Word Foundation met with us, and decided to order 175 custom bags from us for a conference they’re having in September. This provided much needed funding at a slow time, and also proved our increased capacity and caused our missionaries to expand their skills, and provides a new connection.
  • We had a huge bag donation! A local roaster donated 5 pallets of coffee bags, which gives us plenty of material with which to work, and allowed us to pass along about 200 coffee bags to local gardeners.
  • God has continued to open doors. We have met with new groups and are working on new connections, to truly unite people to serve the world. A future blog will explore these new connections God has opened up.
  • We have another board up! We are attempting to board up the numerous vacant properties in Hyde Park, as the city cannot afford to do it. Boarding up the buildings preserves their historic architecture from the elements and vandals, and shows the community that someone cares. St. John Neumann Catholic School adopted a building. Pictures and blog are coming soon!
  • We were donated 5 laptops by Covidien, which will help with organizing our work and training; two will be used as incentives for youth employment.
  • There are two brothers from Hyde Park who are being discipled by our missionaries. They accepted Jesus Christ, and have helped us around the shop and the community. We built a dog house with them out of scrap wood, and when we delivered it to their house, their mother commented on how they have changed, and told us to keep up the good work. Praise God for transforming lives and the community!
  • God has continued to guide, direct, and refine our work, bring opportunities and provision, and increase our ability to minister to the community.

Thanks to all who support us through donation, prayer, and joining us in our work!