Seeds of Grace

The first grade class was walking down one of the many paths on the 106 acre campus at the Cloud Forest School. Passing between grassy fields and countless tropical trees of varying heights, Milton, the environmental stewardship professor, shared bits of manna to the students as they walked.

The first grade class was walking down one of the many paths on the 106 acre campus at the Cloud Forest School.  Passing between grassy fields and countless tropical trees of varying heights, Milton, the environmental stewardship professor, shared bits of manna to the students as they walked. He pointed his machete toward the neighboring field and shared that this whole area was once a mighty forest with trees tall and strong.  People came and used axe and chainsaw to clear the land creating a very hot place in the dry months and muddy area in the wet months.  Lost were the homes of the Coati, Monkey, Toucanette, Bell Bird and Motmot.   Like so many other places in our country and world this place had no trees.  He then pulled from his pocket a handful of seeds, a variety the first graders had collected from another part of campus: ficus, mahogany, and two of the 30 species of avocado represented in Monteverde.   He asked the class, “how many of you have gathered these kinds of seeds, planted seeds or transplanted young trees into the earth?”  All of the children raised their hands.   Milton smiled and said “it was children like you who planted these many years ago” and pointed to the side of the trail that had young, but strong looking trees.  Vivian, the student aid, added, “Yes, it was thirteen years ago because my class planted these.  I think I planted this very tree” and she touched one of them with care.  It takes a very long time to heal a forest just as it takes a long time to raise a child or heal a broken relationship.  The tree can grow with a seed, with compassion, with education and tenacity.  We can learn from Milton, Vivian and a group of wild first graders that even those places that seem irredeemable can be replanted with the seeds of generosity and grace.  May it be so in your lives and in our church starting today.  Starting now.  You hold them in your hands and in your heart, the seeds of grace.  How will you use them?

(Prayer and Mission Moment by Rebecca & Scott Hardin-Nieri)

Mission Partners in Costa Rica:
Asociacion Centro Materno Infantil "Mi Tia"
Departamento Ecumenico de Investigaciones (DEI)
Iglesia Evangelica Presbiteriana Costarricense (IEPC)
Iglesia Luterana Costarricense (ILCO)
Universidad Biblica Latino Americana

More information on Costa Rica:  http://globalministries.org/lac/countries/costa-rica/

Global Ministries Missionary in Costa Rica:
Rebecca Hardin-Nieri, a member of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ft. Collins, Colorado, serves as a volunteer with el Centro Educacion de Creativia (www.cloudforestschool.org) and is a critical presence with the Monteverde Friends Meeting in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Scott Hardin-Nieri, a member of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ft. Collins, Colorado, serves as a volunteer with the Quaker Community at the Monteverde Friends Meeting and el Centro Educacion de Creativia (www.cloudforestschool.org) in Monteverde, Costa Rica.