I sat with John, the Farm Manager here at Deep Roots, as the young people from Crafton Heights were buzzing around us engaged in a variety of tasks. Several members of the team were caring for children whose parents were on job or housing interviews; many were distributing mulch throughout the compound; still others were engaged in a variety of small repair jobs. John smiled at me and said, “So Dave, the first thing I did when we finished work on Monday was to call in some help from the members of our board. I said, ‘Ed, you’ve got to get me more supplies. We’ve got a group here who gets it. I mean, they really get it. We have to be ready for these kids because they are moving.’”
“They get it.” I was so proud to hear someone say that about our group. As we rolled into Maryland, I asked some of our team what their hopes for the week were. I heard things like, “I hope that we don’t run out of work”, or “I hope that this year we get to meet the people that we are working with”. The work ethic that these kids display, by and large, is admirable. Their willingness to engage those with and for whom we serve is a mixed bag (it’s not everyone’s cup of tea), but for some of our young people it is a real highlight.
Today, our team spent the morning weeding and mulching the remaining garden beds, exploring solutions for a water condensation problem, and playing with children. Afternoon, we had two main teams: one was crawling through the foundation of the education building removing a problematic insulation system and the other was beginning to paint the dining hall. Throughout, the group was encouraging, helpful, and eager to serve. I am delighted to be associated with this team.
Each day we take our meals in the dining hall with the families and volunteers who form the Deep Roots community, and with each meal, I’m more likely to see tables in which CHUP-sters have integrated with others.
After dinner tonight, we played another round of exciting and unusual games led by Tim, and then Karen facilitated a discussion on the parable of the sower and the seeds as found in Matthew. We sang a few songs, we talked about important things, and then we split into groups for a little free time and relaxation prior to bed.
I am as tired as I have been in a long, long time. But there is no place else I’d rather be right now. CS Lewis might say that “Aslan is on the move” amidst this group of young people, and I’d agree. Important things are happening in them, and perhaps through them.
Here are a few images from our day: