second chance gardenSpring is in the air! As the short winter days slowly creep into longer, sunnier ones, I can barely contain my excitement. Preparing the ground, sowing seeds, setting plants, and caring for the harvest top my favorite spring and summer activities!

Thankfully, with the Second Chance Garden, there’s no shortage of opportunities to garden. The Second Chance Garden is one of New Song’s local ministry partners. Located within the College Hill Community of Columbia, the “Second Chance Homes and Garden” are a partnership between local churches and organizations and with Place of Hope, a Christ-Centered, not-for-profit alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. The garden is located behind the seven Second Chance Homes that house people in the process of recovering their dignity and destiny through faith, work, community and care.

Last year, the residents of the Second Chance Homes as well Columbia and Spring Hill neighbors partnered together to establish a 6,300 square foot vegetable and flower garden. The Garden provided meaningful work opportunities as well as food for residents in the Second Chance Homes and College Hill neighbors. Additionally, it provided an opportunity for individuals to build relationships and be mentored in spiritual, professional, and personal matters. Together we raised hundreds of bushels of organic produce that we gave away during Saturday afternoon evangelism outreaches in Columbia and to Place of Hope.

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New Song women and children were invaluable gardeners last year. We also got to know and love on the neighborhood kids who we met while gardening. It is our desire to continue and deepen those relationships unto advancing the Gospel in this southern region, while also providing for the practical need of nutritious, fresh food. This year we are excited to be partnering with additional organizations to consistently get fresh produce to those who need it most—vulnerable children and families in the area.

IMG_9911And, this year at our New Song Women’s Retreat we will spotlight Second Chance Garden as well as receive an offering to help supply the garden and gardeners with all that’s need to keep this vital ministry going. Please prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you give and bring it with you to the Retreat!

IMG_0217If you are interested in joining one of our gardening teams, please let us know! We welcome green thumbs and novices alike. As we move through spring, we will have several special prep and planting days. Then we will have three to four teams who meet weekly to weed, water and harvest. For more information, email me at mrsjeannieprint@gmail.com. Happy gardening!

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 Jeannie Print

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