Growing Project. I keep hearing that term, but what does it mean? Does growing something mean I have to put a seed in the ground, water and fertilize it so life springs forth? Since I would consider myself a “city girl,” growing something isn’t at the top of my list of skills and I can definitely attest to having that well-known “brown thumb.” Upon moving to Michigan, I soon learned that I was in the minority when it came to growing something. Then I began volunteering at Foods Resource Bank and found that term “growing project” just kept popping up everywhere. It was then I decided I needed to know more about what a growing project really was.
I remembered the Parable of the Sower. I thought this must be about growing projects. It talks about planting seeds. I re-read Matthew 13 where it tells of seed falling along the path and in rocky places, soon to wither, be choked out and die because it had no root system, (that was the kind of growing I was familiar with!) but it also told of the seed that fell on the good soil and produced a crop, 30, 60 or even 100 times what was sown. Is this what is meant by a growing project?
I then was reminded of something I had discovered during a recent Bible study. I was reading in Luke 19 where it tells of the Parable of the Three Months’ Wages (you may know it as the Parable of the Ten Minas). Here we are told of a nobleman who gave his servants the amount of 10 minas and told them to “put it to work” until he returned. One of the servants hid his money away for safekeeping, afraid he might lose it and be punished by the nobleman for not returning the full amount to him. Several other servants took the money and invested it so the money had grown interest for the nobleman. Is this what is meant by a growing project?
I think perhaps both of these are examples of growing projects. The dictionary says growing means increasing or intensifying. The Foods Resource Bank website (www.foodsresourcebank.org ) says “a growing project is a group whose members work together to share resources to raise money to support communities overseas working to end hunger.” This could be seed, machinery, land, livestock, etc. It also says “each member plays a unique role and contributes to the growing project in different ways by offering what they have.” Maybe you don’t have land or livestock. Maybe you’re not physically able to “work the land,” but you have other gifts or assets like your creativity, your organizational skills, your communication skills, financial investments or just good old fashion elbow grease.
Perhaps instead of calling this a growing project I should think of this as “growing a project.” This city girl may not be able to bring a seed to harvest, raise cattle or run a combine, but I can “grow a project” to organize a dinner, deposit some money, bake some pies, set up an auction, knit some scarves, or anything that might increase or intensify the ability to raise money to fight world hunger. Now when I hear the term growing project I will think of the sower who had a crop 30, 60, or 100 times greater than what was sown. I will think of the servants who were not afraid to invest their assets. I will try to be more intense with my creativity and organization skills, more invested in working to end world hunger. What can you do to “grow a project” to benefit the FRB support of communities overseas working to end hunger?
by Judy Dayton