My Planting Channel
by Ho Leng Li
Daily, I am challenged to be creative about meals to meet the growing appetite and demands of my growing sons and unspoken high standards of my husband. (Why? He has been overly exposed to restaurant-style food due to his constant travelling and his many business social functions)
I considered myself least fussy in my family when it comes to food. I love soft diet but to the ever growing male members, they need variety and meat dishes to feel like they have eaten something ‘sensible’.
The only pork and chicken flavoring I was exposed to is dark soya sauce. Surely there is something I can create on my own for my family that originates from ‘Mommy’!
Lately, I discovered that I’m especially keen to look at recipes that use herbs and spices. Very quickly, my fridge was stocked up with variety of spices from MasterFood. However, these bottled spices are rather expensive and I started to explore fresh herbs like fresh basil for the spaghetti. Soon again, I found them too expensive for a small pack enough for just one meal.
One day at Thomson Nursery while shopping for some plants for the house, I was elated to see small pots of sweet basil, Thai basil and mint going at $7.50 each. “That will be it! I will grow my own!” the thought flashed through my mind.
My yard area started to fill with pots of herbs and spices for cooking needs. Then I grew more adventurous and daring – asking neighbor for herbs and spices they grow in their houses.
Thankfully, my helper, Juvelyn and I love to have plants around the house. Juvelyn has good experience with plants from her rural hometown surrounded by lush greenery and mountains and watching her father worked as a farmer growing various crops. We began exploring a new area of common interest in our relationship.
Once, when my father came over to visit, he noticed the plants I had bought and soon got very interested in the plants too. He shared with my uncle (the one undergoing kidney dialysis) who is enthusiastic about plants as well. My uncle took the initiative to supply me with small paper cups of papaya, rambutan, longan and pandan plants whenever I visit him. He would be scouting out plants, nice pots and planting tools for me. I was touched and developed a greater interest in my plants.
I felt that my bonding with my uncle grew quite quickly as we would both open up our conversations about plants and not straightaway on his health and dialysis condition whenever we meet.
I find it extremely challenging to be adopting a direct approach of sharing the Gospel with my uncle and with any of my extended family members, so many of whom are not saved yet.
Aunt Esther’s and my families are trying to witness to our unsaved family members and certainly on our radar screen is my uncle.
Though unexpressed, I can strongly feel the trust my uncle has in Aunt Esther and in me (the only Christians in the family) with helping him in arranging his necessary medical needs and other ad-hoc needs respectively.
I thank God for providing such a way of bonding with my uncle that through ‘the planting channel’, I can have a continuous channel of witnessing Christ’s love and care for him. I pray one day God will give me the courage to share with him the Gospel directly.
I pray I will continue to be fruitful for the Lord in this new year and all the years of my life as I fearfully kept in my heart the message by Pastor Matthew Yong taken from Luke 13:7 – “….Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none; cut it down; why cumbered it the ground?”
(Edelweiss Issue 9: February 2013)
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