Lenten Reflections: ‘The earth is the Lord’s gift’
This year Episcopal Relief & Development’s Provincial Coordinators are sharing their reflections on select devotionals from the 2013 Lenten Meditations booklet. In this blog Nick Moga looks at the Lenten meditation from Sunday, March 3, 2013, page 25. Below is the scripture being referenced and to the right you can click to view the whole meditation.
Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
— Genesis 2:9
On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.
— Ezekiel 47:12
In his Lenten mediation, Léonidas Niyongabo shared the importance of the reforestation work being done by Episcopal Relief & Development and the Anglican Church in Burundi. It took me back to the trip I took to El Salvador in 2004 with Episcopal Relief & Development. We visited much of the country, but stayed and helped in the village of El Maizal, near the Pacific Coast. With the support of Episcopal Relief & Development, the people of this area were growing new types of plants and trees in order to work towards commercial success in the world market.
El Maizal was a village built in partnership with community members and Episcopal Relief & Development and the local diocese in 2004. It was developed as a co-op teaching farm with a training center, orchards, greenhouses, corn and bean fields, a bakery, a sewing program and a rural house project. Much like the reforestation project in Burundi, it also has incredible cascading effects to help raise people out of poverty, lifting their lives and their spirits.
Back then I saw that the community members in El Maizal lovingly cared for their crops. They made sure they were placed to get the best sun exposure and were watered regularly. They saw their future in the plants and talked about a better tomorrow, where they could provide improved conditions for their families. The children helped after school and were very careful around the new plants. The growth of the plants mirrored the growth of their lives. Through them, I felt such closeness to the land, an experience I had never had before in my life. As the plants matured and produced fruits and flowers, the majesty of God’s blessings were made known to all.
Nick Moga is an Episcopal Relief & Development Coordinator for Southwestern Virginia.