Friday, December 26, 2008

The Garden by Jeff Strong

Here is a section from a journal by Jeff Stong, a regular volunteer at Anawim. You can see his website, which includes his testimony and his journal at:

There comes a time when one needs to confront situations that one is uncomfortable with for the sake of others. My situation is found in the asking of others for financial support. As Yvan and I become more involved in the lives of the ever increasing number of the homeless, the poor, the Mentally challenged who are cast away by the agencies who were created to care for them , by those who have become captives to various substances that were either prescribed for a specific ailment or were a means of escape from a life that was intolerable, we begin to see the people and not the maladies that afflict them. As we listen to their Life stories, their dreams, their hopes, they leave the confines of the box that society has designated for them and they become Family.

They become our older brothers and sisters and in some instances they become our Children. They all have unique and special needs. They know their situations and they have no desire to remain in them. Our Government has spent millions of dollars in projects that deal with the outward or visible part of the problem but not deal with the root which is the spirit.

People are like gardens. Some times their lives get over run with weeds or the ground becomes sterile from pollutants. To make the garden healthy and vibrant you need to clear the weeds and amend the soil and tend to it. That is what Yvan and I are doing, we are weeding the garden and amending the soil. It is a full time job but we have begun to see some fruit for our labors and we have a hope to turn the one or two fruits into a bushel basket of fruit.

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