Stewarding blessings to the community

Lisa Goudy
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Greg Simpson (right), president of Simpson Seeds, presents Joe Dueck, founder and director of Joe's Place with a donation of $6,051.05 from the participants of the 2014 Restore Our Land Seed Blessing that took place on April 15.

Restore Our Land Seed Blessing event donates $6,000 to Joe’s Place

Greg and Maureen Simpson believe people will reap what they sow.

At their annual, and non-denominational, Restore Our Land Seed Blessing on April 15, between 90 and 100 people brought seeds and came out to pray and bless the seed. Those people also donated $6,051.05 to Joe’s Place.

“Good farming practices, great new equipment and research and good weather and add in our faith and you get this wonderful crop which we are thankful for and so we just pray and ask God to bless the season, bless the seed,” said Greg Simpson, president of Simpson Seeds.

“As Christians we are blessed to give blessing to others and so we want to be a blessing to the community. When we were contemplating what would be a good place to … sow seed, what better place than sowing into the next generation? Joe’s Place is just one of those places that need financial help.”

He said the donation is an example of people’s generosity in the city. Joe’s Place doesn’t receive any government funding and, through donations, the youth centre puts on activities for youth and can help transform their lives.

“I do believe the fabric of this nation is family and so we really want to do whatever we can to preserve it, support it, uphold it as a core value and I think Joe’s Place is just one of those places that helps build into family,” said Simpson. “(People) want this to be a city of hope.”

Joe Dueck, founder and director of Joe’s Place, said the donation means a lot to the centre.

“To have the farmers and gardeners of our community come together and just donate money … that’s pretty amazing and encouraging,” he said. “It makes a big difference to the youth of the city and all the programs that we run for the youth.”

He added there is “no end” for the needs of the money in positive programs and summer retreats. Joe’s Place also has a leaky roof and staff members hope to repair the leaky overhang soon.

“We’ll spread (the money) around and make sure that it is used efficiently and effectively to make a difference in the lives of youth,” said Dueck. “There’s so much potential in youth. They’re the future of our city. These are the future leaders and business owners and employees. So we want to make sure that we’re investing in them and anything we can invest into youth today is going to be a huge payoff in the future.”

Simpson and his wife started the Restore Our Land Seed Blessing event in 2002 in the “midst of desperation” during a drought.

“It basically got our attention and since then we just thought let’s just start to press into what God is saying,” said Simpson. “We started to contact other people and there’s many that felt the same way and so we started to gather together and seek God for answers and pray and … it’s not just the farming area, but in every aspect of the city life.”

Those aspects include politics, health, education, military, business and media. He estimated 90 per cent of people spend 90 per cent of their time at work.

“That’s where we want to be effectively bringing the gospel, which means good news,” said Simpson. “He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives and if you go back and study the life of Christ, He was a marketplace teacher. Most of His miracles were in the marketplace as he walked through towns and villages and met peoples’ needs and that’s really, I think, what He wants us to do.”

Attendance at the event has grown since it began.

“It just really started to teach us more about what this means, to steward what He’s given to us,” said Simpson. “We seed the land from previous generations … and then hand it off to the next generation.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

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