What an amazing message from one of LifeBUILDERS' volunteers, Sue Ulmer. These are true LifeBUILDERS restoring Detroit and a vital part of Detroit's revitalization.
On a record-breaking hot September morning, 23 members of First English Lutheran Church headed over to the Regent Park neighborhood of Detroit. With weeders and shovels in hand we went to work doing fall clean-up in the LifeBUILDERS community garden.
Dividing into teams, some of the team picked the remaining produce in the community garden, some cleared out and bagged the old vegetation, alot of us weeded, some sprayed to prevent additional weeds, and some mulched.
In the midst of the work we talked, laughed, and got to know each other in new ways. One of the joys that morning was filling 6 bags to overflowing with the last of the tomatoes, beans, peppers, and herbs from the garden. We distributed the veggies to the neighbors and were rewarded with smiles and thank-yous.
After a long morning's labor we were able to stand back and see the transformation! The raised beds were ready for spring planting, the weeds were gone, and the property looked neat and tidy with mulch spread evenly around the walkways.
Before heading back for lunch we toured a bit more of the community. We saw what God is accomplishing to bring hope to this community through donations and funding, volunteer hours, and neighbors helping neighbors. A new athletic field, lots of renovated housing, and the future site of a community center and a Head Start campus all were evidence of a neighborhood moving forward.
We cooled off at the LifeBUILDERS gathering space called The Branch and had a simple lunch together. Conversations revolved around the morning's service project. Some of the comments were... "a great experience, I forgot about my own problems for awhile, how encouraging to see all the good things happening in Detroit, let's come back and do something else."
Before departing for the afternoon our pastor taught us a camp version of AMAZING GRACE. We know it is because we've experienced God's amazing grace in OUR lives that we wanted to serve our neighbors in Detroit on that hot Saturday. We're already thinking about a spring project back in the LifeBUILDERS community to continue to share His love and amazing grace!