Joy & Promise in the WFPC Giving Garden

As the earth puts out its growth,
    and as a garden grows its seeds,
    so the Lord God will grow righteousness and praise before all the nations.

Isaiah 61:11

But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.”

Matthew 14:16
– some of the more than 50 people who worked Saturday morning

One of the best things about being a writer is the opportunity to communicate good news to people who need to hear it. I gather stories, I take photographs, and I try to put them together in a way that connects people to goodness, light, encouragement, and promise.

Saturday morning, then, I made my way to Wake Forest Presbyterian Church to do my journalism thing and – after I interview a few of the key people involved – put together an article for Presbyterians Today or possibly some other publication.

Rebekah and I may have left the church we love so deeply, moving into retirement and keeping an appropriate distance, but I am still a storyteller and a professional journalist and there are many – very many – good stories to be told at this beautiful community of faith.

Also, I believe in the ministries of WFPC and will continue to do all that I can to support and encourage the amazing work that God is doing through the good people who worship there.

A Work in Progress:

The “Giving Garden” at WFPC has been a work in progress for several years. A core group of deeply committed people have steered the ministry (working their tails off in the process, but loving every minute of it), and then the community at large jumps in with cheerleading and money and support and labor at critical moments during the year.

The significant challenge right now is that the “growing year” is now a 12-month non-stop cycle of productivity.

Good? Yes… but also a huge commitment of time and resources.

Hence the big “Sweet-potato-harvest-plus” event.

And here is what was amazing. People showed up and they came in droves.

– getting busy!

When I arrived at 9:00 there were already more than 35 people signed in. Before long the place was literally swarming with people and the coordinators – Larry and Melanie and Carol and Robin – had it running like a well-oiled machine.

Sweet potatoes by the bucketful, by the crate, by the ton. Then look at those beautiful greens. Planting too, putting in new crops right behind the harvest. Two tractors going at the same time.

Then people hauling, cleaning, weighing, processing. Produce, literally thousands of pounds of it, going to feed needy and hungry people right here in North Wake County and Franklin County too.

The Point:

So I won’t give away the good story I am writing for the national press. But know this much, understand this clearly: Wake Forest Presbyterian Church is a faith center where people get excited about putting the words of Jesus into practice.

  • “Feed my lambs.”
  • “Love one another.”
  • “Let the children come.”
  • “Come all who are weary and carrying burdens.”
  • “As much as you do it to the least of these you do it to me.”
  • “Let your light so shine.”
  • “You give them something to eat.”
– so happy to visit at WFPC!

That’s right, “YOU” give them something to eat. Not “them” but “you.” Jesus is like that. All in your face and what are you going to do about it?

I know what I see WFPC doing. And it makes my heart full.

Take a few moments to scroll through these pictures. I can guarantee they will inspire you and challenge you, all at the same time.

In love, and because love has a way of getting things done – DEREK

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