Weekly Reflection: Reaping A Harvest

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

When God called him to prepare a home for vulnerable children, Benson Mungai didn’t start by looking for kids. He planted a garden.

Today, in vivid contrast to the dry and dusty landscape, that garden spreads out for acres in front of Nipe Tumaini Children’s Home in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Rows of beans, onions, and spinach stripe the fields, and trees hang heavy with fruit. The store room is full of dry beans and maize from the previous harvest.

Benson and his wife Eunice founded this home with a vision to create a safe place where orphaned and vulnerable children would receive love and holistic care, with an additional focus: “We believe sustainability is the way to go, for any project or organization to succeed,” says Benson. Through farming and irrigation, Nipe Tumaini is working toward growing enough food to feed the kids and staff, with surplus to sell in the local market.

Rice & Beans Month has helped these promising ideas become a reality by purchasing a drip irrigation system and a 10,000-liter storage tank. “This is a semi-arid area,” Benson explains. “We are so grateful for the drip irrigation, because with very little water we are able to grow crops. Slowly by slowly we are moving forward, planting more. So it will be amazing for the kids!”

The cycle of tilling, planting, watering, and harvesting lasts through many seasons, and ends only to begin again. In the scripture passage above, Paul makes it a metaphor for our spiritual lives. What encouragement does this verse hold for you, as you persevere in spite of weariness? In addition to actual crops, what “good” is being harvested at Nipe Tumaini? Drop by drop, the children’s home is nourishing soil and souls. In Swahili Nipe Tumaini means “give me hope,” and that is exactly what the children’s home is doing for vulnerable kids who are now thriving. Consider the relationship between “the good” you are sowing and “the good” Benson is sowing. What harvest do we all hope for?

God, we thank you today for the physical nourishment that comes with the harvesting of food, and for the strength gained from hard-earned spiritual harvests as well. Help us persevere, toward our individual and collective good, trusting your faithfulness through every season. Amen.