Grow Appalachia allows for many wonderful moments with many different people and sometimes it lends opportunity for God things to happen.  You read right, I didn’t forget an “o” in there.  At Henderson Settlement, we consider those moments that are brought together by a multitude of events or happenings for something great to occur, to be a “God thing.”  We run a Summer Recreation Program which is a day camp where we pick up the kids bright and early in the morning, bring them to the Settlement for two hot meals, devotions, activities, trips, programs, events, and take them home in the afternoon. 

This year, we were blessed with the opportunity to grow the youth garden.  The girls club had a lock-in devoted to planting our garden as you may have read in Jackie’s blog in May.  This summer, the different groups of children in Summer Rec alternated “Garden Duty.”  As soon as they arrived, they’d weed and water the garden.  They had put a few man-hours into working and tending the garden, so I felt that it would be a great chance to utilize their experience in a devotion.

We started the devotion with a cartoon which is based on the children’s book, A Tale of Three Trees.  I restated the moral of the story, how we all wanted to do great things but that God’s plan is sometimes different than ours, but always right!  The children understood as the devotion was connected to the youth garden.  There was a seed planted in order for those trees to grow, and God planned for them to be great things, just like all of us!  Just like we planted our vegetables in the garden, we planned to yield certain fruits.  While it would be awesome to grow pizza and doughnuts like the kids hoped for, we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and lots of other great things.  And that is what we expected of those seeds we planted. 

We are like the garden and what do we do to tend to our garden?  Weed it, clean it, and get rid of the bad things.  We have to do that for ourselves as well!  We have to ask forgiveness for sins and do away with bad things in our hearts and lives.  The more we spend cleaning our gardens, the better our yield will be!  After the discussion, the kids went out to the youth garden and weeded, cleaned and harvested fresh vegetables. They were able to share the yield and try the foods which for some of the kids was their first time ever!   It was certainly a God moment!

Heaven loved the fresh squash.  This was her 5th piece!

The kids were so excited about the vegetables.
They couldn’t stop smelling them.