Hannah Wise is a Gen Z disciple movement leader. The MCECR is partnering with her as she seeks to develop a movement of multiplying disciples among the Gen Z age group in West Central Ohio.
It seems like you can’t turn on Christian radio and not hear Brandon Lake’s newest song “Graves into Gardens.” This reality led me to a train of thought months ago. I thought, “What’s so great about a garden that we are still singing about it thousands of years later? What secrets does God have waiting for us deep in the dirt that we missed by trading a garden spade for an iPhone? And what does this mean for the next generation the Lord has called us to disciple?”
For those that don’t know me, I’m Hannah Wise, a new face around the Missionary Church, and excited about seeing generations run after the heart of God. Last winter I felt a deep stirring to start a garden in the upcoming Spring. I happened upon Beth Moore’s most recent book at the time called Chasing Vines, and fell in love with God the Gardener. I loved the idea of having a garden but had little to no clue how to do this, so I tapped into a group of Jesus followers. Thankfully, they had passion for Christ and green thumbs when it came to maintaining His creation. I mean, how hard could it be to turn .25 acres into a garden… right? Well, what I didn’t know then was that there would be such a great need for not only the produce, but also the discipleship that happened in each row.
I spend the majority of my time meeting with young women and teaching them about Jesus, but what happens when our main coffee joint is shut down for a pandemic? The Lord leads you to do a new thing.
Pretty soon into gardening I was made aware that I couldn’t do it on my own. There simply was too much to plant, water, weed, and pick. I was able to hire 2 young women from the surrounding area at my day job. Then later on in the season, I had my other students out to tour the area along with a few young families. I was given the opportunity to watch as these young followers of Jesus planted seeds, picked vegetables they hadn’t even heard of, and fell in love with gardening. But you may still be wondering… where is the Jesus part of this story? It is in every seed.
While working side by side with these ladies I got to hear about their world, the one they saw shifted on its axis. I was a willing partner when it came to tackling hard choices and tough calls. And each day God would open a time where we could talk about Him. How could we not? There we stood, covered in dirt and hoping for a harvest. We discussed wheat and chaff, mustard seeds, and the garden that started our fall. Not only could we discuss the parables Jesus outlined in scripture, but we could physically walk out many of the lessons with our own hands and feet. Personally I’ve learned that once you have shoveled manure onto a plot of land, you take Luke 13:6-9 more seriously.
The very soil beneath our toes was fertile ground for the Gospel to spread. During the pandemic we were able to keep discipling (social distancing included) and feed nearly a hundred people from 1 garden. What started as a stirring of the Holy Spirit deep in the middle of Winter flourished into the development of a network spanning from Tipp City to Piqua, and on to Sidney.
Please continue to pray that the next generation seeks God’s heart and discerns God’s truth in our world today. Thank you for your support and prayers as this grass roots movement matures into a beautiful harvest.
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