I've always been a tree lover. Let me be clear--I'm not a tree hugger. I don't believe in preserving trees at the cost of human comfort, safety, and prosperity. But I do appreciate the beauty of trees, and what they do for the atmosphere and soil, etc. I come by this honestly. My dad spent many hours planting groves of trees on our farm as a young man. He too valued trees.
Near the end of summer 2007, Larry and Sallie, friends of mine, planted a Bradford Pear tree in my yard, at my request of course. Last spring was its first season in my yard, and it had a dozen or fewer blooms on it. But this year it has outdone itself, perhaps due to all the rain we've had. I'm looking forward to the day that it gives enough shade to protect my living room from the sun coming through the south window. By the time it grows that much, I'll probably have moved on elsewhere. Knowing that might happen, I'll enjoy my little Bradford Pear and admire its courage. Such a tiny, little trunk bearing so many graceful flowers.
This week part of our missionary crew went over to the east side of the state so that the director of BI might expose more pastors on that side of the state to the work and ministry of BI. There was a pastors' luncheon, followed by an explanation of our ministry. I understand the food was delicious--including pork roast, sweet potatoes, and a vegetable blend done to perfection.
Speaking of the east side of the state, I'm sure you've heard of Chrysler's bankruptcy. While one might think that would not have a profound effect on what happens on our side of the state, may I enlighten you? I heard on TV yesterday evening that the greater Grand Rapids area is the sixth largest supplier of auto parts for the Big Three. At the present time, I'm aware of one of our deacons and three trustees, plus several other church members, having lost their jobs. That of course has a profound impact on our ministry and on missionary support. But God is faithful, and it is to Him we look during this time, as at all times.