I have a garden at the church property. It’s been a lot of work. I have been battling weeds, too much water, not enough water, bugs and insects, heat, and more weeds. It’s harvest time now. The watermelon are wonderful. The eggplant have been plentiful and rich. I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with. Put a little peanut butter on them and they are edible. The butternut squash remain on the vine ready to be eaten at a future date. I have way too many tomatoes and peppers. I can only make so much salsa. Going to try to make some BBQ sauce this year too. The potatoes are still growing. No hurry to dig them up yet—they store best connected to the plant and residing deep underground.
My favorite part of the garden has nothing to do with vegetables. It would be much easier to buy them at the Farmer’s Market or one of the grocery stores. I like the people the best. I usually do my work early in the morning. Grandpa Adolf trained me. You can take the boy away from the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy. I stop by at night sometimes too. A different crop of people garden at night. The conversations are priceless. It’s so cool to be part of a community that shares and helps each other out.
Something else is growing at the property: a big building. It’s never been easy. I remember sitting in the living room of the white farmhouse on the southeast corner of 180th and Harrison on a warm fall day in 2009. He laughed at me when I made him an offer for his 18 acres of land. We looked at land all over Southwest Omaha. Made a few more offers. Nobody took us seriously. WE were finally blessed with the perfect plot of land at a fair price.
WE had two capital campaigns and raised millions of dollars. So many people worked so hard. So many families committed and sacrificed to make this dream of ours come true.
The building team has been at it for three strong years now. They listen to the church. They listen to God. They have prayed. They have been disappointed and discouraged many times. They make tough choices. They have been so faithful and their work has been excellent. They aren’t out of the woods yet, by the way. A few more tough meetings and choices exist.
All this dedication, work, and faithfulness will be worth it and then some. You will be the people who were responsible for building a church campus in our part of the city. It will continue to grow and evolve. It will be here for from this day forward. It will allow us to invest in the next generation, reach new people, build leaders and families, save the lost, help the hurting, and serve the poor.
It’s never been easy. It won’t be easy. But it’s totally worth it and then some. I’m grateful for all of you!
Read more of Craig’s blog at craigfinnestad.com