Outside of my house I have this great yard for my boys to play in. Since I arrived in December I’ve wanted to plant new trees and shrubbery and really make it a beautiful place. That has finally begun to happen!!! Nelson and Manuel are two of the older youth who live here at the center and I pay them $8 each a month to work in my garden. They have really taken ownership over the garden and are so excited about seeing it improve. Manuel has all these ideas about putting plants everywhere and I have to continually remind him that the younger boys will trample all over them!!! But it’s so wonderful to see them taking care of the things entrusted to them.
Isaiah 35 has always been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and even more so here in Africa where it is so hot and the ground is so dry. “The desert and parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy . . . water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow . . . They will enter Zion with singing, everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away!”
I believe that the things happening around us in the physical world are a sign of things going on in the Spirit. Replacing the dry dead ground with plants and grass and encouraging Manuel and Nelson in caring for them, is my little way of declaring that sorrow and sighing will flee from the fatherless children here at the center and that gladness and joy will overtake them!!!!