February 7th, 2011 by Matt Lindsey
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.
Gardens, life, color. These were some of the things we first wrote about on this blog. It didn’t seem like a revelation or anything back then, just a longing – like something was missing in our hearts and we simply wanted to fill that empty space. It was natural to think of planting flowers and trees, painting walls and picking up trash – anything to combat the suffocating torrent of garbage in the sweeping sea of gray.
I must admit that for a time I chose frustration and disappointment over hope and anticipation when I came up against the in-your-face sites and smells of Juarez, her lack of beauty and color. Now when we enter Juárez, when we are in Palo Chino, we sing songs of hope and peace over the city, we speak the beauty that already exists over Juarez, and our eyes rest much more quickly on that invisible-landscape, the hope in the unseen.
One major dream we have that is sprouting from the desert sand like a flower shooting up out of a time-lapse video is our first community garden. We were given a space in front of Carmen’s Cocina, an old sandbox on the elementary school property, to build a garden/greenhouse. Our friends from Yobel Market invested in this space, helped us rake out the garbage and back-fill the sandbox with fresh, rich garden soil from a local nursery.
We are just a month into 2011 and for the first time we are seeing real movement in the Juárez desert. Dreams are emerging from the sand – the seeds of our hearts’ dreams that we planted several years ago. Yobel Market has been key in jump-starting some of these stellar projects and it is difficult to fully express the gratitude in our hearts for their investment in Colonia Palo Chino.
Imagine arriving at the kitchen at six a.m. to prepare the days meal for 400 children. After putting on an apron and hairnet, you walk out the door and into the garden, pick 20 or 30 fresh, organic jalapenos and a grip of cilantro and head back into the kitchen to dice it all up and toss it into a fresh salsa…
Our aspirations for this garden extend far beyond growing vegetables and watching green life sprout miraculously from the dry ground. This garden is a pivot point that we believe will establish deep roots of education, opportunity and betterment in the community. Together young and old, through projects like the Cocina Garden, we will explore sustainable practice, cultivate creative dreaming in each others’ hearts which will open up new pathways of hope.
We will keep you posted on this first community garden of Palo Chino.