A funny thing to be excited about especially as I don't really like to eat radishes! Inspecting my tiny plot today I noticed a splash of red in my radish square. Sure enough some of the radishes were ready to be picked! Last year my radishes were all leaves and no radish so it seems that the raised beds are helping!
A home grown radish - round and red and perfect!
There are still plenty more in the ground but these are the ready ones!
Fresh radishes straight from the garden! I am hoping that the rest of my vegetables do as well! They really seem to be thriving in my raised beds. The compost is certainly working out better than planting into the soil as the soil here is heavy and there were some funny shaped vegetables last year!
I am not getting too excited as there is still the June drop to come but .... there are baby apples on my trees!
This is their second year in the garden so technically I am not due apples until next year. Hopefully a couple will survive! I am fully expecting to wake up one morning to find that they have all jumped off!
The garden is doing well for flowers but vegetables are a whole other matter! The weather and wildlife are fighting back and my remaining seedlings look a little nibbled around the edges.
I was reading through Still Waters and this passage really stood out to me. I had read it before and merely skimmed over it but this time it seemed relevant and timely. Perhaps it is due to Compassion and reading about sponsors and their children being friends without ever meeting and thinking of what to write to my girls to encourage them.
There is as yet no culture, no method of progress known to men, that is so rich and complete as that which is ministered by a truly great friendship. No natural appetite, not artificial taste, no rivalry of competition, no contagion of social activity, calls out such a large, healthy, symmetrical working of a human nature as the constant, half-unconscious power of a friend's presence whom we thoroughly respect and love. In a true friendship there is emulation without its jealousy; there is imitation without its servility. When one friend teaches another by his present life, there is none of that divorce of truth from feeling, and of feeling from truth, which in so many of the world's teachings makes truth hard and feeling weak; but truth is taught, and feeling is inspired, by the same action of one nature on the other, and they keep each other true and warm.
Such a beautiful passage! It reminds me that true friendships are rare and should be cherished. So often friendship involves competition and rivalry and wanting to out do the other. True friends encourage each other to be better people and to live better lives, often without having to say a word. Having a friend with strong faith, and a love for people that they live out in their everyday life, is more inspiring to me that one grand speech or gesture. Living a good life with your eyes on Jesus shows true faith in action. It makes me want to try harder and to be better! A true friend doesn't stand on a mountain and cry victory. A true friend turns and offers a helping hard to those that need it!
Super excited! I contacted Compassion and asked if they could send me the photographs of my girls by email as the ones on the website were a little blurry. I hoped that they would be good enough quality to print and send to Jenifer and Loani as I read that some of the families don't have photographs of their children.
I kept checking my emails as I am impatient like that! Very quickly one arrived from Compassion with attachments. That was exciting enough! Then I opened it and saw four additional photographs of Loani! She lost her sponsorship in September 2012 but had been sponsored for quite a few years previously to that. Oh it is amazing to see her change over the years! I never expected to see those additional photographs as I didn't know how long she had been with Compassion or if they kept previous photographs on file.
Loani is currently 12 so I am assuming that is how old she is in the most recent photograph. No idea how old she is in the others though as I am dreadful at guessing ages! I think I have them in the correct order ..... She is so beautiful and I am so blessed to be her sponsor!
The garden is full of flowers right now! It isn't an organised or regimented garden. There isn't really any order to it at all! I love that though and I love when a plant flowers unexpectedly. I am guilty of scattering seeds and then forgetting what I put in which place.
I am sure that this won't be too much of a shock to you but this is quite a photograph heavy post!
Summer has arrived in the garden! There are baby birds tweeting and fluttering their wings, the sun is shining, and the flowers are bright and beautiful!
I am so excited to share this with you! I can't believe that I am lucky enough to be able to write to these girls and to encourage them in their lives and in their faith. Such a blessing! After I decided that I would definitely be sponsoring with Compassion UK I was ready to just jump right in! Then came the hard part of actually choosing a child. I felt drawn to sponsoring a girl which narrowed it down a little but still left a lot of children! I decided scroll through the pictures and see which called to me. I was sure that I would get guidance in this too! After a while I had narrowed it down to ten .... then with prayer to two .... then with tears to one. Oh but it broke my heart to leave the other little girl behind!
I knew I could afford to sponsor one but doubling that amount to pay for two was a big commitment. I just cried and prayed and my eyes were drawn to a pile of magazines in my room. Magazines that I subscribed to and .... embarrassingly some that I merely flicked though each month and yet kept up the subscription. That was my sign! I realised that if I cancelled those subscriptions which suddenly appeared so frivolous and wasteful, I could sponsor a second child!
Meet Jenifer! She is 6 years old and lives in Indonesia. She lives with her parents and is an only child. She likes running and singing! She lives in a hillside community where most adults work as subsistence farmers and earn the equivalent of £45 per month.
This is Loani! She is 12 and likes playing with friends and reading. She lives with her parents and there are 5 children in the family. Her home is on the plains of Honduras. Most adults here work in factories and earn the equivalent of £100 per month.
Compassion works with children in a lot of different countries. Some people feel called to sponsor a child in a certain country, some choose a child whose age matches that of their own child to make it a family sponsorship, others, like me, choose the child that they are called towards.
It is a big responsibility and not one that I took lightly at all. A child can stay in the Compassion programme until they are 18 or 22 depending on when they graduate and how it works in their country so this is a long term commitment. As well as the sponsorship of £21 per month for each child there is also the opportunity to send money via Compassion to your child. You can give individual gifts for the child for their birthday and there is also an option to give a family gift. Between the financial side and the letter writing this is a very real commitment. There is a child who will be told that you are their sponsor. It is amazing how fast I fell in love with my girls. There was an immediate connection there!
It is a really fuzzy photograph I know but it is the first and only one that I have managed to take of one of the darling baby sparrows in the garden!
It is a good thing that they are so cute as they have been eating my seedlings and pecking out the seeds that haven't even had chance to sprout! Oh and all the birds seem to love the garden string that I have used on my raised beds to mark out the squares. They are constantly playing with it. I fully expect to look out one day and to see one of them skipping with it!