How do you measure seasons of friendship?

Is it through life changing events like weddings and the birth of babies?
Or common celebrations like birthday parties and backyard barbecues?

For Boe Boe and Jeff, their friendship often revolves around the seasons of the church garden.

“I have my garden and I have my church; I feel like I am a part of Mosaic,” said Boe Boe.

Boe started gardening on a plot of land at Mosaic Christian Community in east St. Paul, when Mosaic joined Arrive Ministries’ Church Refugee Gardens program five years ago.

“Before we started the gardens at Mosaic, people thought our building was closed. When we launched a church at Mosaic and launched the gardens, it was a way to tell the community ‘Hey we are open and we want to be a part of the neighborhood and community,’” said Pastor Jeff O’Rourke, with Mosaic Christian Community.

A little part of me came back alive – I love to garden, it is a part of my Karen culture…
It wasn’t just the church building that was given new life through the gardens.

“A little part of me came back alive – I love to garden, it is a part of my Karen culture, but I hadn’t gardened since being in a refugee camp (in Thailand),” said Boe. The Karen are a people group that come from Myanmar (formerly Burma).

Boe and his family are now dedicated members at Mosaic Christian Community. They are one of a handful of Karen families that arrived in Minnesota 5-7 years ago, that regularly attend Mosaic.

“They are a part of our lives and we’re a part of their lives. We celebrate weddings and birthdays parties together, as well as hospital visits and funerals,” said Pastor Jeff.

Pastor Jeff said the church refugee gardens helped Mosaic launch their mission of mobilizing and equipping the community of Christ into a lifestyle of hospitality.

…sharing their harvest with us, and inviting us to do life together
“Everything we do at Mosaic is about engaging strangers, inviting them to be guests, and equipping them to be hosts. They in turn are hospitable to us, sharing life with us, sharing their harvest with us, and inviting us to do life together,” said Pastor Jeff.

That’s what makes this friendship immeasurable in its worth.

 

 

Arrive Ministries’ Church Refugee Gardens Program seeks to build friendships between churches and refugees through gardening. This is an opportunity to get to know new neighbors living in your neighborhood and to assist them in getting familiar with American culture. The Church Refugee Gardens provide refugees with a connection to their past and to their future while helping them put fresh food on their tables. Learn about the Church Refugee Gardens here