Sharing Pearlington

A subsidiary Blog of our Main Blog, located at and presenting words and images of Pearlington. Sharing the series: "Focus On..." * "Back Home Again" * "A Volunteer's Tale" and other human interest stories.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Joye of Gardening

During the week of June 3-9, I was privileged to visit and work in Pearlington. A group of 55 from Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky brought several skilled construction crews along with others with willing hearts and hands. Because it was National Garden Week, I had inquired about sending a team to do landscaping and gardening and was so excited when that idea was accepted wholeheartedly. That week was given the emphasis of "Bloom in June." The Garden Clubs and the Master Gardeners of our city, along with other friends and gardeners, had donated to a fund to provide us the means to purchase trees, flowers, shrubs, and supplies to plant in community areas and homes there. We brought with us small garden tools, gardening books, garden notebooks and cards, 60 of our church cookbooks, and bags of goodies we had called "Calvary Cares Kits" - full of toys and other special treats for children and adults. We were also able to purchase locally things such as watering cans, garden hoses, and pots of blooming flowers - all to give away.

Our stay at the Recovery Center provided us the opportunity to get to know other team members better and was enhanced by the wonderful cooking team that accompanied us. They provided us with delicious food throughout our stay. It was such an exciting time!

Our garden team consisted of 12 members. Throughout our stay, we worked to provide small "pockets" of beauty so the people there could find a soothing place for their eyes to rest - an oasis type spot. We recognized that before the storm, this had been a beautiful place to live. Our prayer is that it will be again soon. We were able to plant shrubs and flowers at a few homes. Hopefully we can return and continue our gardening for others in town. I suppose before we arrived, I had envisioned making more of a visible difference. I was so discouraged on the Thursday before we were to leave, as I looked around to see how much more needs to be done. My heart was broken. I only pray that those who follow us will pick up where we had to leave off and that the trees and plants we placed there –especially those at the Fire Station and the Recovery Center - will stand as constant reminders of our visit. More than anything else, we wanted Pearlington to know how often we have prayed for them and how much we care about them.

In Pearlington we met lovely, gracious people who have the same needs as we do – a comfortable, safe home, surrounded by loving family and friends. I was allowed the privilege of meeting some of the people whose stories I had read on this website. I had thought about and prepared for my visit for so many weeks, speaking to clubs and organizations to solicit funds, and then the time there just seemed to fly by! As a group, we are humbled at what we have seen and heard and are amazed at the strength, resiliency, and determination of the people we met. We only hope we made a difference.

My prayer for you comes from Isaiah 58: 11-12

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations: you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."

God Bless You, Pearlington. I have fallen in love with your land and your people.

My life will be forever changed.

Joye Smith
Lexington, KY


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