New people, greenhouse and comedy veg

We have been receiving a few new people at the plot recently, which is good.  A couple of them have a Christian background, but are struggling with things at the moment.  Please be in prayer for KAJ, JH and A.  Thanks.

In other news, we have almost completed the greenhouse.  Yay!  It has taken long enough, but the end is in sight.  Yesterday’s evening meal also contained spuds and carrots harvested in the morning, including a carrot worthy of That’s Life due to its comedic value.  Tasted good too. 🙂

We plan to approach a couple of people at one of our ‘adopted’ chapels Sunday evening, with a view to asking them to join our committee.  Prayers again please.

Thanks for reading and your ongoing support.

Prayer points

As I have been more than a little remiss with updates recently, I thought I would post a copy of the prayer points that are distributed monthly to our local supporters.  Thanks for reading, WibPeople.

Prayer Letter

July 2010

Thanks again to everybody who has been taking an interest in the ministry of Sustaining Life at the allotments in Trevethin.  Please join us in prayer for these matters:

  1. We are pleased to report a successful AGM, which included the appointment of a new committee member.  Praise the Lord for answered prayer.  Those who attended the meeting tell us they enjoyed their visit to the allotments afterwards, particularly appreciating the opportunity to sample some of our produce.
  2. Please continue in prayer for the new people beginning to attend the project.  The work is becoming more widely known, resulting in more referrals.  Pray that those who most need to attend will hear of us and be encouraged to come.
  3. Please pray for the ongoing structural work, both on our plot and at the allotments generally.  We particularly need to complete the greenhouse and woodchip paths as a matter of urgency.  Also, the other allotment holders are in the process of constructing basic toilet facilities, which are much needed.
  4. Praise God that one of our regular volunteers was able to harvest a batch of lettuce and radish recently.  He subsequently donated it to his friends and neighbours on the council estate of Trevethin, where it was gratefully received.
  5. Pray also for the role that this same volunteer is playing in the work we do.  He is not a believer in Christ, but his contacts and involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous has been a great advantage to me, personally, in knowing how to approach those with alcohol problems.  Pray that the Lord will guide and protect him in his own journey.

Thanks again for your prayers and support.

Still Hatching

Just to let you know that nothing has changed except the title.  This is still the ‘Hatching ‘ blog, containing tales of our allotment project, just with a more contemporary name and tagline.

Phew!

AGM went off well in the end.  Jeff and I got our reports ready in time, the Treasurer presented a healthy set of accounts, the Secretary took some good minutes (plus making a fab cuppa)  and the meeting was well attended.  Given that our membership is quite small at present, the proportion of people that responded to our invitation was very encouraging.

I was also very happy to show people around the plot.  Sometimes it is only when you take time to step back and reflect, seeing things through the eyes of other people, that you regain perspective.  We have come a long way and, despite the fact that there will always be more to be done, it is good to acknowledge that.  We also have a new committee member, which will help spread the load.  He is a very capable member of a local chapel and we are looking forward to having him on board.

More referrals are also coming in from my ‘day job’.  So much so, that I will be needing to form a waiting list and/or call on extra on-site help soon.  It is not that there are a vast number coming, it is more a matter of the level of attention that each will require.  I ask the person who refers them to attend too, at least initially, but I would hate for someone who enjoys coming to be turned away simply because their Support Worker can no longer spare the time and we lack the manpower.

So, matters for prayer:

–  If possible, please be in prayer for us each Thursday and Saturday morning.  These are our scheduled ‘work-day’ sessions.  Particular prayer for this Thursday would be welcome, as I anticipate a number of newcomers that day.

–  Please pray for the fine balance I need to keep with the amount of people welcomed to the plot and also the relationship with my colleagues at work.  It is sometimes more difficult to persuade someone who knows you in one capacity that they need to respect your wishes (and the rules of your project) in another.  I sometimes get the impression that they are thinking,  ‘Ah, Dith won’t mind me not hanging around at the allotment as requested.  She is a Support Worker after all and I know her from her job here.’  The thing is, when at the plot, I am more of a Co-ordinator than one-to-one Support Worker and I would like others to get their heads around that without it appearing as though I am being pushy.  Like I say, a fine balance needed!

–  Prayers for some lovely Christian volunteers to come forward and lend a hand on Thursdays would be most welcome too.

That should be enough to be going on with.  Thanks. 🙂

Bean Plotting

Had a runner bean masterclass recently from a true craftsman gardener.  JB, mentioned previously, is one of these guys who practically lives at the allotments.  I knew that I would soon need to erect a bamboo support for our bean plants, so I went to have a sneaky peek at how he had constructed his.  Naturally, the man himself was there, and was only too happy to give me a thorough tutorial.

Yesterday, I built my first ever runner bean support.  I had some help at the very end, as JB came to see how I was doing, but otherwise it was all my own work.  (Yes, I am inordinately proud of this achievement!)  The bean plants are now at the base of each bamboo cane ready to climb up and up, eventually providing allotment users with some lovely veg.  I hope.

In other news, S and J did not come this Thursday.  Please pray that they are okay, and will return.  We did have a brief visit from another potential service-user tho.  Thanks, as always, for your prayers and interest.

A mixed blessing

Had our first two official referrals arrive at the plot today.  My colleagues from my ‘day job’ at the mental health organisation had submitted a couple of referral forms, and today saw the arrival of two lovely new people.  S is a wheelchair user with multiple physical and emotional problems, but with an incredibly cheerful and determined disposition despite this.  Her carer, J, is an equally friendly person who also mucked in very readily.  It was a real joy to work with them, and I look forward to their next visit.

The mixed part of this blessing was the complications which arose when S needed to obey the call of nature.  We were able to solve this problem, after a fashion, but it highlighted the need for toilet facilities on the allotments.  Other allotment committees in different parts of the borough have taken up this responsibility and provided purpose built toilet blocks.  As our allotments do not really have a working committee (loooooong story!), this has not happened.  I am actually relived that some of the other plot holders have taken it upon themselves to provide a chemical loo (which I am told will be installed in the next couple of weeks).

A conversation arose after our session today between myself and a couple of the ‘establishment guys’ at the plots.  I was at pains to point out that wheelchair users not only need to be able to get to our plots (access being slightly impeded by other plot-holders at the moment) but to also get to any toilets provided.  One of these guys, JB, has long been very good at advocating our cause, but GJ was a little harder to convince.  At one point, it was even suggested that our project take up responsibility for applying for a grant for a toilet.  I pointed out that this was really the job of the allotment committee (cue opening of can of worms – JB is for committee,  GJ is not!)  I’m not averse to pulling my weight up there, but am not really happy to commit the energies of our project to something which should already be covered.

This brings me to the prayer request.  There is some conflict overall at the allotments over this committee/no committee argument.  Officially, there should be one.  It would certainly make some matters easier, in my personal opinion.  Please could you be in prayer for this, such that this issue will be resolved in a way that is pleasing to God and a blessing to all users of the plots.  Thanks.

Update

Recent committee meeting went well.  Lots of laughter and some productivity (or perhaps the other way around?)  Anyway, we now have a date for the AGM and some plans for approaching potential committee members to swell the ranks and share the load.

Our Treasurer (the Rev PP) and myself also met with a business advice blokey who helps organisations such as our own create streams of revenue independent of grant funding.  Some food for thought there, too.

At the plot, the greenhouse is gradually taking shape, more new people are planning to attend and a number of crops are in the ground and in the (newly constructed) cold frame – wot I did make!

This is indeed the growing season.  Please pray that we will keep pace with God’s will in it.  Thanks.

Phew!

There may be those of you you remember our having been allocated a grant from Communities First last year.  Well, I have just finished compiling the end of project report, complete with receipts, stories, photos etc.  My brain hurts!  Please pray it safely on its way to Cardiff tomorrow, after I have passed all the fiddly bits of paper thru a copier and bunged it all in an envelope.

In other news – Committee Meeting tomorrow eve (Weds).  We shall be looking at re-election of officers (one or more are due to stand down) and planning for the AGM.  More prayer support here please.

Thanks to the Lord for a couple of new people attending the plot recently, came via word of mouth.  Colleagues in my ‘day job’ also planning to refer people to the project.

This role takes much of my time and energy.  Please also pray for wisdom for me as I decide on priorities in my life.

Thanks.

Success!

E-mail in my inbox says:

“Congratulations! I am delighted to inform you that following this months Grant Committee meeting, you have been awarded a grant from Keep Wales Tidy.”

Woo and indeed hoo! Pond, hedge and compost bins here we come.

(Also, please continue to pray for us as we take significant steps forward. I get a little anxious (understatement!) at times and need to know that God is in control. Thanks.)