Life in the garden, Lira, UgandaRich Stigall
Life began in the garden. “In the beginning,” you know the story.
“The Lord God planted a garden… “
God, Creator of the universe, bending down and scooping the soil in his hands. King of Kings, digging in the dirt and sowing the seeds of a perfect earthly paradise with his fingers. Everlasting Father, celestial gardener — personally planting Eden to flourish, nurture and bless his children. The creative genesis of all beauty and life grew from the work of God’s hands. God smiled and pronounced it good—so very good!
Have you ever wondered how beautiful that first garden must have been? I close my eyes and try to imagine the splendor of Eden—garden paradise, lush, fertile, tropical, rich. Miracle growing—life to the full-abundance, flourishing in the garden.
There is something special—heavenly about a garden. It hearkens us to a primal beginning, a feeling of connection, a sense of home. Some say they feel closest to God in a garden…
Our US team traveled over 8,120 miles to experience that special closeness. Transported from Kansas, USA to Lira, Uganda, our team finds itself in a wondrous explosively growing garden. It is teeming with life and smells rich and ripe. Betty, Lira’s Father’s House Coordinator & Social Worker, proudly escorts us on a personal tour through the rows and acres of cultivated soil of the amazing Father’s House garden. Explosive growth—rows of tenderly cultivated crops in every ripe hue of green, orange, yellow. The garden is supplying most of their food and surplus for the community.
After our foray in the fields we sit down with the Mamas to talk about what the Father’s House means to them. Our team is planning a community art project mural that will showcase their ideas. One of the women smiled and shared, “The Father’s House—this is our home. A home in our culture always has a family garden. It is a place where we work together, digging, planting and caring for many different crops. Harvest is a time of celebration that we share together in the fruit of our labor.” Another laughed and added—a home also has animals: chickens, turkeys, goats and even sometimes a cow! We would love to have them all. We all then shared our favorite fruits and animals—very fun.
The vision emerged of a panorama celebrating family working in the garden together. We now had a plan for transforming. It is our home, and a home has a garden, and animals and children working together. Digging and harvesting. Over the next couple days the shared vision transformed a once blank wall into a living story of life together at home and shared in the garden.