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There is great value in having hobbies. With all the stresses of parenting, leading the OM team in Carlisle, keeping all the IT systems running for OM, or homeschooling...
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How does your garden grow?

May 2018 Newsletter


Dear Friend,
We finally planted potatoes last weekend! Click the image above if you'd like to follow our allotment saga.

There is great value in having hobbies. With all the stresses of parenting, leading the OM team in Carlisle, keeping all the IT systems running for OM, or homeschooling, it is good to have a comprehensive hobby. Gardening is turning into that for us as a family.

About three months have passed since we took on an allotment (community garden plot). The size of the plot is roughly 90 m3. We knew it was going to be a lot of work, but we did not realise that it was going to be as much work as it has been.

Since Easter, we’ve seen more people gradually come out of ‘hibernation’ to work on their plots. Most of the others there come over to say hello when they notice we started preparing our plot for the planting and growing seasons.

We’re plodding along with the work necessary to get our allotment into shape. There is the clean-up of junk, building a shed from pallets, installing edging around the border, building paths, removing an overgrown hawthorn bush...
In the last several weeks, we’ve discovered bind weed, lots of bricks, 8 breeze blocks (cinder blocks), 4' piece of broken pavement (sidewalk), asbestos roof tiles, too much broken glass and rotted wooden boards. We also have another invasive weed called couch grass. And the previous occupant only used half of the space, so only half of the ground is in somewhat decent shape.
Others have their fair share of advice and gossip about our allotment.

“You’ve got your work cut out for you there.”
“That plot has been fallow since I got my plot 3 or 5 years ago.”
“The previous guy gave it up last year.”
“I’d just spray the whole thing with Round-Up and rotavate (rototill) it.”

“I wouldn’t rotavate (rototill) if I was you—You’d just end up with 100 times more couch grass.”
“You should just put black plastic down to kill everything off. Then you’d be ready to plant next year.”
Advice and information abound. Our choice is to take it, ignore it or consider it. If we took all the advice others gave us, we would find ourselves very discouraged about our allotment by now (and at times we are discouraged). Let’s be honest—it is a ton of work. Some may have given up by now, but we continue because of the relationships we’re building. Like a fruitful garden, relationships take time to grow.

We’d love to have a bountiful harvest from our allotment this year, but above all, we pray the relationships are even more fruitful.

Highlights

  • Leon travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of February for OM’s international leaders’ meetings. The time in Jo'burg also brought and end to the leadership course Leon was on.
  • When Leon returned from South Africa, we took a short family holiday down to Devon and Cornwall. My mum joined us, too!
  • Early March to early April is birthday month for us. Along with Chrysti’s birthday, we celebrated Asher’s 6th and Eva Joy’s 4th birthday!
  • We are participating in the Carlisle Colour Run on 13 May. The Colour Run raises funds for Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Children’s Hospice. Jigsaw is where Titus stayed in the last hours of his life. We’re participating in his memory. You could sponsor us if you wish here.
  • The OM team we are on in Carlisle has been renamed from International Coordinating Team (ICT) to OM International. I (Leon) now lead the OM International Carlisle office.
  • 12 months ago we purchased a server in Asia to host IT services for our Asian workers. Our preferred vendor with cheaper rates is now available in Asia and I am migrating services to a new host later this month.
  • The last day of April we have OM's founder George Verwer visit the team in Carlisle. It is always great to catch up with him and to hear his passion for the lost.
A glimpse of what we've been up to in 1-second snippets. (Link takes you to YouTube.)

Prayer Points

  • All three children had fevers in recent days. Pray that we all recover soon.
  • Later this month we are walking with our former neighbours down in the Lake District. Pray for God directed conversations.
  • I (Leon) am making a number of server and firewalls migrations and upgrades in the coming months. Pray that this goes smoothly with limited inconvenience to our workers.
  • God gave us a completely unexpected large tax refund. We are thanking God for that.
  • My (Leon's) trip to South Africa went really well. I had some very timely meetings and I think was able to encourage the Carlisle team upon my return with information gleaned. 
God Bless,
Leon, Chrysti, Asher, Eva Joy & Ellis xxxxx
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