This past weekend we had the privilege to speak at our home church, Resurrection Covenant in Chicago. We have been active at “ResCov” for 7 years now and it has been a very central part of our lives. As missionaries we want to find creative ways of connecting people in the US with people in Ecaudor. Often times missions is seen as a one way street where people, resources, prayers and ministry all go from the US to the country of service (Ecuador). One thing we hope to do as agricultural development workers in Ecuador is plant fruit trees, especially in communal areas like churches.
It was a very meaningful experience for us to be able to plant an apple tree at our church here in Chicago; we hope it will serve as a way for people at our church to feel connected to what is happening in Ecuador. It is also a symbol of how we want to stay rooted and connected to the community of people who have been so important to us. What a blessing it was to do this alongside our friends who already have been and will be investing in us. We hope it will be a tangible reminder for people to pray for Ecuador and the many farmers and people we will be working with. We see our ministry as not only to Ecuador but also with our supporters, church body and anyone we come into contact with. We also intend to plant a tree at Deergrove Covenant Church in Palatine, the church I (Erik) grew up at.
As we planted the tree we read through Jeremiah 17: 5-8 which is a text we hope to use in the future when we plant more trees, and hopefully in multiple languages! God is good.
This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.