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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2011-08-03 15:22:47
Subject: The Job, Continued

We bought a home in Bedford back in 1996. It was in that home that we stayed the longest while living in the USA. I remember moving in and thinking, "we've got to put some trees in the front yard". I went a little overboard and planted five trees on our 40 foot of road frontage. Distance from curb to front door was less than 20 foot. Anyway, I planted too many trees but the Lord was giving me a symbol in the planting.

Among the five trees was one of our Texas favorites: a Live Oak. It's an evergreen tree that bears acorns that in turn give jobs to squirrels and ancillary work to dogs keeping squirrels on the move. My parents told me it was a slow growing tree, but I bought it anyway. I watched that tree begin at five foot. After three years of living there, the tree had leapt to a mighty six foot. The last year of our occupation, the tree climbed to eight. We moved the next year but still drove by the house annually as it is located near our home church (Restoration). Last I saw the tree, now at 15 years of age, it reached well over 25 foot.

Long ago our home group leader, Mr. Robert Ham, told us about a tree that was watered for five years. It grew no taller during the first four years. After the fourth year, it grew several feet annually. Were the first four years awash? Or were the roots growing and preparing for the kind of growth we can count and measure? Read Psalm 1 for another illustration.

Our first five years here we've had some hardships, some disappointments, scares, seen friends come and go, and experienced our share of failures. This year we are seeing so many things come to pass that we've been praying for, I've got to ask myself if the Lord was just deepening our roots and humbling our spirits in those first years in preparation for the "harvest". At a glance, here is how your support for Hope Farm is helping:

  • Nine children have been taken off the streets and are now living at the home.
  • Another young man, formally a boy in our home has entered the air force academy. He is only months away from finishing and beginning his career as a jet mechanic, his dream since he was a boy.
  • Several soldiers rotate through here on weekend leave, experiencing a family life few have ever seen. They didn't grow up here, but they do act like it's their home
  • A single mother has a home for her and her daughter, taking care of children.
  • Another single mother, abused by her alcoholic husband, lives on the farm helping to maintain the home. Her daughter, also abused by her father, lives with her.
  • One more single mother works at the home cooking, cleaning and has a job to provide for her four children.
  • A young man works at the farm earning money that feeds his eleven siblings and mother.
  • Another man has work that supports his wife and family, which until recently was split up for economic reasons
  • Two teenage boys work on the farm raising beans and have enough work to provide food for their ten siblings and disabled mother.
  • Fifteen single mothers are able to work at a factory you supplied wiring and an oven to, supporting their children at home.
  • Paula, when not caring for babies and children, is able to teach freedom in Christ and emotional healing to so many oppressed women

I'm sure there's more, but that's it in a nutshell. My heartfelt thanks to those of you whom have faithfully supported us even when it looked like we weren't growing on the outside. Thankfully the Lord looks on the inside and has given you eyes to see that as well!


     Mark Colbath

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