Date: 04 January 2009 23:13:56
Although my attempts at monthly updates and target setting have fallen by the wayside recently (Jan Target: Resume monthly progress posts!), I could not let this opportunity to look back over this last year go by unnoticed. So...
WORKING ON THE PLOT
At the beginning of the year, we had the excellent assistance of Chris from BTCV and his volunteers. This, combined with occasional help from my friend Jon, enabled us to clear the botton plot and plant a few crops. Sadly, the loss of Chris' help and other matters led to a slack period which meant that the only successful crop, apart from the potatoes, were the weeds. This was soon rectified by the return of one of the BTCV volunteers and another very useful volunteer. Due to sterling work by these guys most Monday afternoons since September, the bottom plot is now very well dug over and looking great.
Another boon was the help given by the Global Exchange (VSO) volunteers which endabled us to clear the top plot by the end of November. The day of the Big Dig saw their random, but nevertheless effective, digging skills put paid to all the concerns about our losing the plot due to lack of attention. Two other volunteers may also be added to our number as a result of their involvement in the dig. Overall, the day was alot of fun; involving much laughter, alot of mud, some hard work the consumption of a vast amount of soup and tea!
The two current regular volunteers and myself also sat down at the end of this year to plan a layout of the two plots and put together a seed order. It was nice, at that point, to sit in a lovely warm cafe, and we have some good ideas for the coming year (see forthcoming post!)
ADMIN, FUNDRAISING AND THE LIKE
Despite a few problems initially, the Chestnut Fund grant that we applied for via BTCV came through and proved very useful. It enabled us to supplement the money from a generous donor the previous year and purchase the necessary insurance for our work. The Chestnut Fund also provided basic tools which have helped things to get underway. In addition, we are now in contact with a local Communities First worker who has provided us with alot of information and support. She is currently in the process of sourcing other funds which, if they come through, will be very useful in implimenting future plans,
This year also saw the formation of a Management Committee and the appointment of Trustees. One result of the Trustees meetings is that now have our own bank account (to put all the lovely grants in!) These meetings have been really productive and provided a focus and support for the administrative side of the work. Consequently, we now have a constitution, have registered as a business limited by guarantee and are looking at options for a logo for Sustaining Life. Another vital function provided by the committee meetings is the fact that they can keep me from going off on tangents!
It has become obvious to me, as I have been typing this summary, that much of the focus to date has been upon what we have done in a very physical sense. Whilst that is not a bad thing, I personally do not want to forget who I serve and why I am doing this. At the end of the day, it is not about growing nice crops and making me look good! It is about honouring the Lord and serving those he has given us. Please pray that we do not forget this as we progress into 2009, and join us in thanking the Lord for how far he has brought us already.