We were about a week away from leaving for a mission trip in February when we found out that our two main objectives for the trip had suddenly changed. Well, not really changed, but had been postponed. We were planning on setting up our sewing school and emptying a bus we had shipped over full of supplies in December, but the bus was still stuck in customs and construction had been delayed on the sewing school. What to do? What to do?
It was then that I remembered Daniel's dream. You see the last time we were in Haiti we had a chance to sit with our friend Daniel and talk about his dream of teaching the children of Haiti how to garden. We believe that if you give a child a fish he eats for a day, teach a child to fish and he eats for a lifetime. Well, this is the same idea, but with potatoes or okra. Give a child a potato he eats for a day, teach a child to farm and he can farm the land, and eat forever. Well, Daniel is the right-hand man at Schools For Haiti, a ministry that we often partner with on our projects, and God had given him a dream. In that dream, God told Daniel that a famine would be coming to the land so he needed to teach the people of Haiti how to garden so that they wouldn't starve.
Daniel had a plan, we needed a plan, so we agreed that on this trip we would fund and plant gardens. We called our team, told them to bring tools and gloves, Daniel drew up some blueprints, and our plan was starting to take form. Now, how to fund a garden we hadn't planned on paying for. I didn't know where the money was coming from, I just knew God told us to say yes, so we said "yes".
Two days before we were to leave on our trip the phone rang and my mother-in-law proceeded to excitedly tell my husband that God had spoken to her in a dream the night before. God told her that she needed to plant some gardens because a famine was coming and she needed to help. My husband told her to hold on and handed the phone to me. She then told me the same thing she had told my husband. Tears filled my eyes as I told her that the plans for our mission trip had changed suddenly and that we had prayerfully decided to plant gardens in Haiti on this trip, but had no idea where the funding was going to come from. In that moment my Father-in-law grabbed the phone and shouted "We are going to pay for your gardens. God wants us to pay for your gardens."
Once again, our plan was high jacked by Holy Spirit, but what a beautiful high jacking it was. We said Yes and God provided. There were 24 of us on that trip to Haiti, we had the most wonderful time, playing in the dirt, building gardening boxes, planting seeds and seedlings; planting gardens, God's gardens. There is something so wonderful about having your hands in the dirt, sitting next to a friend as you run your fingers through the soil, poke holes in the moist dirt and plant seeds that will one day provide food for someone in need. And, to be able to share that experience and knowledge with a bunch of children made it all the more special.
One thing I know about my God is that there is abundance in obedience. You see, our original plan was to plant 10 5x10 planters where we would start the seeds and see what happened. About 3 months after we returned from Haiti I received a phone call from Matt at Schools for Haiti. Daniel had told him that the garden was growing so quickly that they needed to expand the planting area. Would we fund it? Yes, absolutely, yes.
About 2 months later we received another phone call, the garden was growing so fast that it had almost outgrown the expansion. Local goats were starting to eat our plants. Well we can't have that. Would we be willing to pay for a fence? Yes, without hesitation yes. So we added a fence to the expansion and while we were at it, we expanded the growing area again.
The most recent update: Well, in just 6 months those plants that we started from seeds in those gardening boxes have grown so fast that they are now producing enough vegetables in such a volume that the school is able to serve them to the students with their stew for lunch.
I am always amazed at God's provision, I don't know why it always surprises me. He asks, we obey, He blesses.