Parallel Dreams

 

Unused fields could yield plenty of food for the poor, but unjust men keep them from being farmed.  –  Proverbs 13:23

It never ceases to amaze me how God connects people together.

I met Isabel, well in fact I haven’t actually met Isabel, we have just spoken over the phone. Isabel and I have a  mutual connection through a friend who has similar interests in faraway places,  particularly  in Africa, specifically in Zimbabwe.  Isabel comes from  Zimbabwe but now lives in Benoni, South Africa.

When we spoke Isabel told me of her dream to establish a care centre in Zimbabwe.  She has a compassionate heart for the Grannies who look after the Aids orphans in her district.
And she has land that can be used for this dream.

She is connected to a stream of transporters who taxi goods to and from Zimbabwe – as Zimbabwe is a land in dire crisis.   I managed to parcel a few things up for her in her plight to help the people in distress there.   I apologised for the feeble futility of my donation and got a polite scolding as she said that nothing nothing is to small to send to Zimbabwe.  There is so much hunger and poverty and hardship there.  The people are suffering under a tyrannical ruler, and the crippling drought has aggravated the living conditions to Unbearable status !!

I told her of my dream for a Care Africa movement that could help Africa feed itself through Care Gardens.   I had included some veggie seeds in the parcel I had sent to her.
On her return from one of the visits she sent me these photos of the gardens her brother and his wife grow in Zim.    He has given the seeds to one or two families to encourage them to grow food – even if only in car tyres to start with, as water is scarce.   I suggested : “even have a little competition with the reward of a food care bag for those willing to start their own food gardens ?”     She will find out from her brother if this is a good idea.

Perhaps our dreams will roll out separately – yet together ?   Parallel dreams if you will ?  Isabel is one of those people who unwittingly makes a big difference to many lives, in this instance even to a country,  needing the attention of those who care for people in need. I stand amazed at the difference one person can make !
May all our dreams come true.

Green Africa map

Plant a garden in your yard
Plant a garden in your heart.

Care Africa

Green Africa map

Life is made up of small things.
Everything you do matters.

Africa is a big continent.  It is a block of land that captures you.  Whether you are in the north or in the south of it it will lay claim to a corner of your heart.   I have heard of South Africans who leave Africa for more appealing shores, but often, very often have the yearning to come home again.   Its challenges, its diversities and its humanities, is like a magnet that draws all kinds of human emotions from the heart that has at its roots the most scary and at the same time the most amazing appeal.   Or perhaps, for me, its just home.
Famous words of Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa : “I am an African”
brings with it many connotations, because Africa has many connotations – anybody can be anybody in Africa.  Its diversity creates space for this, yet it also creates fragmentation, for diversity does not necessarily mean unity.   The trick is to bring diversity into a patchwork for unity.   I am not an African.  But I am a South African.  A white South African, does that make me an African ?

Nevertheless, Africa is a place for expression.  Africa will find you out !  There is room for everyone, for every kind under the sun in Africa – the good, the very good, the bad and the very bad, the place where humanity is at war with itself, and mirrors that for the world to see and to watch.

Love it or hate it Africa is the place that calls for attention.  And at the same time offers opportunity to express that humanity one way or another.

Many years ago now, I came across MAF and signed up for their newsletter.  What is MAF ?
An extract from their 2015 Annual  Report sums it up consicely .
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is an international Christian organisation bringing help and hope to some of the poorest and most remote communities in the world….
We work with hundred of missions, churches, local groups, relief & development organisations and national government agencies.   Together we deliver practical medical and spiritual care in places with the deepest human needs ” – Prof. Polla Roux.

Furthermore to this is a very brief snippet of its history, supplied by the MAF office in South Africa:
In 1945 Murray Kendon, a New Zealander flying with the RAF Coastal Command during World War 2, wondered if the power and versatility of aircraft would only be used for conflict and carnage.   After realizing this dream was indeed God-given, he accepted the challenge and Mission Aviation Fellowship was born.
In 1970 David and Beryl Luke developed the MAF SA programme in the Transkei and it then moved to Johannesburg in the late ’70s.   In 2011 MAF saw the need to develop a programme in South Africa and the Flying for Life project was developed.
We currently work in the Vhembe District in Limpopo, taking in missionaries, churches, medical professionals and other organisations to help sustainably uplift the community.
Looking ahead, we are wanting to expand our eye doctor clinic to an additional hospital,
and extend into other provinces in South Africa. “

 

Care Africa Purple Bags
The Care Africa project is a small random project that encourages people to “grow a garden in your yard,  grow a garden in your heart”,  and encourages growing vegetables for food, and reading the Bible for growing the soul.   Both very necessary for human growth and sustainability – social development in an wholistic sense.
Recently I met up with Maxine Holman from MAFSA, and could give her two care bags to grow the concept of Care Africa.
Big or little deeds of kindness, whether a Flying Mission or a packet of spinach seeds, can make a difference in Africa.

I reckon poverty’s first priority is to combat hunger, and the growing of vegetables whether in a car tyre, an individual yard, or a community garden, will go a long way to addressing hunger, so prevalent in Africa today.  

In today’s shaky economic climate it makes sense to save cents by growing your own vegetable garden  – and together with reading the Word of God everyday you will begin to create a healthy, survival, sustainable and a good life.

Life is made up of small things.   What you do matters.

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Grow a garden in your yard,  Grow a garden in your heart,  and so join the Care Africa project.
 Start today, and let CareSA know how your gardens grow.   Grow well, eat well, share well
Happy gardening !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARESA CHRONICLES

I am so glad I finally got it – my Chukkit Bukkitt.  Recycling now – doing my bit for the planet.

It happened immediately, when I went with Billy to the Farmers Co-operative Store.   I was told to get up early, so that we could catch the glow of the early morning as we drove the 40 odd kilometers to Umhlali.  There is something special about early morning, you get to see all the “early birds”  –  I’m not one of them.   There was a stream of cyclists riding back from their trip into the rural area.  Runners, probably training for the famous Comrades Marathon from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.  Three or four early morning fishermen who had cast their lines on the Ballito Bay beach – we could see them as the road takes a bend and the beach comes into view.  I also noticed two huge vegetable growing enterprises, one on the slopes of a small hill, and one near Umhlali where row upon row of veggies stretched across the bow of the hill.  What a sight to excite my heart so early in the morning.  Then the little bushes of “curry cosmos” as I call them, brightening up the roadside.  The sky was blue, and the green rolling hills of the Natal sugar cane fields stretched for miles.  It was indeed a beautiful morning, in a beautiful place.  When we finally arrived at the Farmers Co-op my eye immediately spotted the Chukkit Bukkitt –  and I made it mine. !

IMG-20150529-WA0002.jpg Chuck it Bucket         ATT_1432896407532_IMG-20150529-WA0003.jpg Kitchen Herb garden

The Chukkit Bukkit is a new novelty from the Store.  It is a compost maker, using all the kitchen waste to turn into a fertilizing liquid for my vegetable patch.  Our household is still old school, where we buy vegetables, peel them, cook them and then eat them. Maybe old-fashioned by today’s trends, but there you have it.   However, it means I now get to make good compost for my Care Garden – which forms part of my Care Africa Movement project.  Speaking of vegetables, if you have the time please visit this website  www.goandproclaim.co.za  and view the wonderful vegetables growing through the God’s Greenhouse initiative in the Eastern Cape.  This initiative wants to empower Churches and individuals to grow food for themselves and the Poor and Needy folk in their communities.
May there be many more such initiatives following this example in South Africa, indeed in Africa too.  I believe food sufficiency is the pivotal place of social development.   May the Church lead the way.  The Church is in a sense God’s Greenhouse for the soul, why not for food provision too.?

The secret to growing good healthy vegetables is in the soil.  So composting is essential !
Yay then for my Chukkit Bukkitt !  God has provided all we need through the rich mineral deposits of the soil.  However sometimes the soil needs to be replenished by organic compost.  Our bodies are composed of minerals and vitamins that we get from the food we eat, so our food needs to be grown in rich organic soil.  Makes sense.

Growing vegetables is not always an instant success story.  It is only the beginning of getting to know the science of the soil, plants, water, sunshine and then there are the pests… that are beginning to chow on my newly planted tomatoes !  Thank goodness for Google !   But it is amazingly good to be in the garden, beside my growing spinach, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes and basil.  To make it a little easier to get to my herbs I put a few small pots of parsley and green peppers on a pretty stand outside my kitchen door.  Care gardens don’t have to be big with acres and acres of vegetables – nice if you can do that, and for community gardens, but a Care Garden can be growing vegetables in a container.

Why not join me in my Care Africa Movement project, by growing  some vegetables for yourself – and to share with your neighbours.  Take a photo of yourself in your garden and email it to me, with your name and the region and country you live in.   Also add your favourite Bible verse.  Perhaps we can create a photo blog for Care Africa. Plant some seeds in your soil,  Plant some seeds in your soul by reading God’s Word everyday, – and watch how your gardens grow !   Do your bit for the planet recycle where and when you can, and grow your very own special Care Gardens.    Happy gardening !

vegetables-colorful

For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth
before all the nations.                 Isaiah 61:11   

The Garden of God’s Heart

There Care Gardens series that form part of the Care Africa movement project, could not be completed without including The Garden of God’s heart. But where do I start? So I came across this GPS (God’s Positioning Scripture) at Genesis 2:8-10, and that’s where I’ll start.  It is a marvellous piece of writing using great economy of words and descriptions that beckon the imagination to draw near.   Apart from that, the scene is set for God to delight in His garden.  In fact I heard it said that Eden means “delight”. And note that a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads – a rich place of mineral deposits, with which God could work to form mankind from the dust.  When you think of God’s garden you will have to think big, think high, think deep, think wide and think big provision.  His garden is Big.

“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.   The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.”

In the garden of God’s heart, apart from all the wonders of His creation, and the magnificent works of His hands, there are two trees – the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of life – from these two trees the story of mankind unfolds.  And your story and my story are written within His story, a story within a story you may say!

He has set His story in a garden, and written a book about it.  He picks up on a theme of a people He has called and develops the story through a man named Abraham, the father of a faith-people in the making, using faith words of course, because God lives in the realm of faith.  What is faith you may ask? Well it is described as this :
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
His garden is a “now place”, a living ever growing faith garden, and His river of love waters it.

You may have become intrigued by the story, go read further for yourself in the Old Testament of the Bible.  It may take you many years of reading before you can put the pieces of the story together, but it is a Living Book and a life long read  A history of a people that have great men who do miraculous feats, jam packed actions of kings and wars and nations, mysteries and rich rich wisdom and insights in understanding the condition of the human heart, revelations of things deep and dark secrets, reserved for those who like to seek things out.     Truly greatness on every level.
Just when you think you’ve heard and read it all, the story dramatically changes and turns inside out, and now it gets very personal, for it begins to effect the garden of your own heart.  The New Testament, the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the good news for all of mankind – leads one heaven-bound to a garden where Peace reigns.   God has set His love on you and me by sending His son Jesus Christ to call you back into His garden, into His story, where He wants to be the Gardener of your heart, and make all things new and wonderful in and through you.  The story of Jesus, turns deep into the soul, the spirit and the mind,  – God’s mind !
When you ask Jesus into your heart, you become the garden of God’s heart. The place where God dwells, a veritably garden of Eden – God’s Delight – yes you, and me.

Join the Care Africa movement project,
Plant a garden in your yard – put a few (or many) vegetable seeds in the soil, nurture, water and watch them grow.
Plant a garden in your heart – read the Bible every day, meditate on the words you read and watch yourself grow.
Happy gardening!
If you want to send me a photo of your gardens, perhaps I can make a gallery of gardens on my Blog at  https://caresafoundation.wordpress.com/

The Garden of Your Heart

Just to keep track of the Care Africa movement project I am continuing with the concept of Care Gardens.  The main focus of the project is to encourage people, especially in Africa, where there is so much poverty, to plant a care garden in their yards as a means to combat poverty.   By not only providing food there is much to learn from the science of nature, from the soil, the seed and the benefits of good nutrition.   For instance, to produce a good healthy crop of vegetable plants that flowers e.g. tomatoes, brinjals, strawberries etc. you may add to the soil the following : Half a cup of Ammonia mixed with 2 cups water,  300 ml beer, and 1 cup Epsom Salts.  Mix well and add 30 ml of this mixture to 5 litres of water, and use to feed fruiting plants.  This is a recipe that a Virologist gave me, I tried it and had the tastiest tomatoes ever. Go ahead try it. Get practical and Happy Gardening!

All gardens need to be cultivated, those in yards, and those in hearts.  Just as the soil needs to be nourished, so too does the soul need to be nourished.   Take a little time out and do an exercise in solitude, in nature if you can.  Quietly take note of what you feel, see, hear, touch, smell and  taste, then say thank you – say thank you for all the blessings that are just lingering there for you.  Be sure to add value to your soul by listening to uplifting music, reading good books, reading the Bible everyday will be like medicine for your soul for it is full of wisdom, strength and comfort whenever your soul needs it.  I take it everyday, I call it my “Gos pills”! My soul can’t do without them.

When tending to your soul be on the look out for poisonous plants, especially in the Garden of Despair.   Some deep seated seed grow deep roots in dark places, in fact thrive on and feed off the dark and negative thoughts.  Watch out for these.  They are toxic, dangerous and poison to the soul – and will effect those in proximity to your garden!   Call your Gardener at once.   Toxic thoughts come from bad memories, and can pop up at any time.  Recognise them, look for the roots from where they have grown so that He can pull them out – roots and all.    Then apply the good ointment of Forgiveness.  This is essential, as Forgiveness is a antiseptic, antibacterial anti viril and essential for cleaning out the wound in the soul.  Sprinkle the wound with a dusting of thanks too as this accelerates the healing.  Be constantly on the look out for other pathogens like Jealousy, this is an ugly plant,  Anger that can quickly turn to Hatred – quite potent,  Disappointment – often camouflaged in full sight, and the trailing Resentment that can entangle a choke other healthy plants in your garden.

Tend to your soul, its the essence of you.   Happy Gardening!