How does the Garden Grow?

“After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”
1 Corinthians 3:5-7 NLT

It’s Thursday morning and the women of a Greater Hope are getting together for their weekly bible study and time of prayer. This is usually done poolside with eggs and toast and sometimes tears. Ream has been encouraging all of us with the verse above, encouraging us to rest in the knowledge that only God can provide growth in our lives, our marriages, our children, and our ministry. That we do the planting and watering, but only God himself makes the plants grow and only God himself can enlarge the human heart.

Pumpkin Patch: planted, tended and harvested by our kiddos
long beans
Asian Long Beans supported by a recycled Bamboo Trellis

But growth is SLOW! It’s slow and so specific. I am learning this alongside the kids here at a Greater Hope. I am learning just exactly what this verse means. I am learning that preparing the soil, planting, watering, and tending to the plants is a skilled process that takes years to perfect, with methods changing for each plant in each season. Our children are learning the value of the hard work of preparing the soil, the necessity for caring for young plants with tenderness, and the research required to treat all the problems that happen as a plant grows. Not one plant is the same and not one solution works across the garden. We take care of the garden with all diligence but only the Lord provides the growth; only the Lord creates the miracle of seeds becoming seedlings and plants becoming fruit.

Starter Seedlings Imported from Kits last trip to America

“What is important is that God makes the seeds grow.”

Aren’t children’s hearts the same? This revelation becomes all the more real as 40+ children become teenagers and young adults and then college graduates. What a miracle it is that, despite all our human weakness, our children grow! That our children bear fruit! What a joy to witness! So would you join us right now in praying for our littlest ones that King Jesus would grow their young hearts so they may fall deeper in love with Him? Would you also pray for us, the Greater Hope mission team, that we might be given wisdom in just how to care for these little souls with tenderness and creativity?

One of our raised beds filled with Tomatoes