In the spring of 2012, after I had been volunteering for several months as a tutor at Micah House Oxford, I suddenly noticed something. A vacant patch behind the paved play area had once been a garden. There was nothing planted, just a few wild spinach plants growing, so I went over to nibble on them. Immediately, I was joined by several curious children, eager to know what I was doing. Soon they were nibbling too. I asked them if they would like to start a garden there and was surprised by their passionate response.
That day, I began to explore the idea of bringing the garden back to life with the help of the children. With their eagerness, the generous help of other volunteers, and my experience, we now have a very attractive little place to enjoy flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Rather than developing a garden for them, I chose to develop the garden with them. The process took a bit longer, but the children now have a strong sense of identification with their garden. In addition, they have learned a tremendous amount, as the desolate area had turned from bare dirt to glorious abundance under their care.
Although most of my adult years were spent teaching algebra, my original dream was to be a farmer. At Micah House, God has been very gracious to give me opportunities to share both math and gardening with these precious children. And although I am “retired” (a word, which by the way, does not appear in the scriptures) I am compelled by God’s grace to share my faith, my blessings and my talents with the next generation. Micah House has given me the opportunity to do just that, right in my own city.
A more recent interest of mine has also found a welcome reception at Micah House. About ten years ago, I began a puppet ministry with a good friend. With her encouragement and support, we have developed over thirty different gospel plays. I have been thrilled to be able to share them with the children at Micah House, and I have taught them puppetry skills. We now have a number of very enthusiastic little puppeteers, and it provides them a unique opportunity to minister to one another.
Micah House is such a delight. It gives me great joy to share my faith and my skills with this marvelous collection of adults and kids.
~ Carolyn Morehouse, Micah House Volunteer