My daddy died about 15 years ago. It was sudden and unexpected and painful and life changing, and so much more. He went in to the hospital for something minor and never walked out. It was one of those instances of a simple procedure that went tragically wrong. Now that I look back on it I can recognize God's hand in everything especially how He held me together in my grief.
Now, years later I can breathe as I remember so many wonderful things about my Dad. He was such a kind, gentle man. He loved people and he loved the world and just about everything in it. He loved nature and animals and children and gardening. He loved gardening so much.
I know that my dad would love everything about Fish Company. He would love that we help widows and orphans, he would love that we think outside the box and try to solve problems, he would love that our ministry unites people of different races and cultures, but I think the thing that he would love the most..... the thing that I wish I could share with him more than anything is our gardening projects.
I grew up on a small farm, on a small dirt road, in a small town, in southern Michigan. If there was one thing I could count on in my life it was that between the months of April and September my dad would be in his garden working every single day. It may be watering in the morning, or weeding on his hands and knees late at night. It may be picking corn in the late fall, or sweet strawberries in early June. Unless it was cold and snowy he would find time to be in his garden each day....and he was good at it too. Our garden was so prolific that we would trade bushels of vegetables with other local farmers for milk, or beef, or bales of hay. Yes. My dad loved to garden and he passed that love of gardening down to his children. I love to garden as well.
When we agreed to plant the garden at Makencia's Orphanage it was like inviting my dad into our ministry. I could almost feel him smiling down on us as we built the gardening boxes, taught the children how to till the soil, planted the seeds and mulched the plants. I felt almost like the garden was my way of saying "thanks dad".
Like our other garden project Makencia's garden has grown so quickly. Within two months thanks to my wonderful friend Donna, we were able to purchase the field next to the garden and expand Makencia's growing area by almost 1000%. In this field Makencia was able to plant okra, beans, peppers and bananas. Healthy organic food that the children at the orphanage have already begun to enjoy.
Like our garden at Grace School, Makencia's garden is already ready for another expansion and thanks to our partnership with Bay Hope Church this second expansion is already fully funded. I love how God ties his people together to make something beautiful, it's like planning a wonderful feast... you bring the turkey, I'll bring the stuffing, she can bring the mashed potatoes and together we can celebrate Thanksgiving. I am thankful. I am thankful for Makencia who cares for the children at our orphanage, I am thankful for my friends who helped us plant this garden, I am thankful for Donna who helped expand this garden, and I am thankful for my Dad who taught me how to love nurturing things and watching them grow, but most of all I am thankful that God is allowing Fish Company to play just a small part in His plan to provide for His children.