Churches and schools all over the UK are holding harvest thanksgiving services, but it was being asked to provide some words for a special harvest festival being held by Grange Park Open Door Project, Blackpool, on September 28, that got me thinking.
The kind people at Grange Park sponsor our lovely Rose and are enjoying seeing how much her life has changed since she came to the Happy House last year, so I wanted to put together some words that would be appropriate for their occasion and reflecting upon our work at the Happy House in the context of harvest.
This was the result and Sue thinks I should share them with you.
Harvest of hope...
At the Happy House our harvest is about much more than producing crops to feed our family ... it is also about growing our children.
These vulnerable little souls who come to us with so little, hungry, frightened, fragile and poorly, with few expectations or aspirations.
They are our seedlings, plucked from poorer soil, which we plant in our fertile garden of hope.
We nurse their ills, nourish their bodies, feed their minds and nurture them , each as an individual, with love, honesty and respect.
We see them grow and flourish.
Slowly at first, as if shy to break through the hard earth and then, with strength restored and confidence growing, they spring into life, a vibrant force eager to soak up every opportunity given to them and learning, enthusiastically, every lesson taught.
We watch them blossom.
Their smiles brighter than the Kenyan sun.
As our Happy House grows, with YOUR help, YOUR love and YOUR support, we can add more classes to our school, build more greenhouses in our garden, grow more crops, and make room for ever more children in our family.
Only then will we start to gather in our true harvest ... over many, many, years to come.
Our harvest will come from the hope we sow, and which will remain, forever, in our children's hearts.