Saturday, 28 April 2012

Summer Workday

As we ventured up the Hill on a cloudy morning, we were greeted by the adorably wet and curious alpacas who joined in on the morning’s devotion given by Peirce. As there were less than a handful of us at that stage of the day, Peirce’s reading about Gideon was an encouragement.

The friendly tenants of Pilgrim Hill.  

While we had a few items on the work agenda, the battle against the invasive thistles became the priority. These thorny and hostile weeds were attacked with some trepidation. A positive attitude and a sense of humour was the only way to approach such a large scale infestation, we informally named the area ‘Thistleton’. Perhaps the most disheartening sight was seeing hundreds of thousands of tiny seeds that had already spread before we could capture the cotton heads of the thistles. Picking all of the seeds up was impossible.

The Californian Thistle, one type of weed we removed. 

However, there were many things to be grateful for on this day. The weather was just right for weeding, that is, not too hot, windy or rainy. The rain had cleared earlier that morning and left the soil perfectly moist for pulling weeds. Although the team was small, there was a real sense of camaraderie as we tackled this epic task. Good conversations were had and word games were played to pass the time. Furthermore, a Pilgrim Hill workday is always accompanied with good food and this one did not disappoint. American hot dogs were enjoyed by all, some for the first time, complete with chilli and iced tea.

Whilst this ragtag team could be mistaken for the cast of the next Jurassic Park film, they were actually the willing volunteers of a productive Pilgrim Hill Summer Workday.

Finally, as the day drew to a close, there was a real sense of achievement. We managed to clear the entire problem area and although it remains to be seen if we have won the war on thistles, we did win this battle. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Taste of Pilgrim Hill

new season apples brought by one of our dinner guests

Pilgrim Hill Support Dinners are small gatherings designed to give friends of Pilgrim Hill a chance to ask questions about the vision, mission, design, history and progress of Pilgrim Hill and to give an opportunity for support, whether through prayer, volunteering, communications or donations. A simple, joyful meal is accompanied by prayer and good conversation celebrating the richness of Christ's lordship over all of life.

Harp music aids digestion - incidentally that is a baby in my tummy.
This is the description I give as I write, email or call people to invite them to come to our home and to glimpse - or taste? - Pilgrim Hill with us for one evening.

Twice a month, Peirce and I do that extra bit of clean up, set the table with one of our white (white = bleachable!) tablecloths, and tell the girls that friends are coming to talk with us about Pilgrim Hill. 

Eve loves to help
God has seen fit to give us a work that we actually enjoy. We really, really love inviting people into our home - people we know and people we don't know. There will be - and have been - things that are hard about the work He gives us, but this part is a joy. 

A joy that involves lots of cooking, setting up an extra table, listening and responding to questions both easy and difficult, telling our very sociable 3-year-old Eve not to interrupt but to wait for her turn, and mountains of dirty dishes in the kitchen at the end.

(Oh, and learning that people who have an allergy to shellfish can't eat Thai Fish Sauce. It shouldn't have been that hard, right?. Except for the brand called, counterintuitively, "Squid". Now you know.)

We took this the next day because it was too dark during dinner!
If you can picture yourself at our table, if you have an interest in Pilgrim Hill, if you have a concern about Pilgrim Hill (and yes - even if you have an allergy to shellfish), we'd love to invite you, on a certain Monday or Friday evening this month or the next (or the next, and so on), to sit with us, eat with us, and "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).

Maybe I'll even send you home with a song.

Note that Eve has decided to add to the evening's entertainment by a ballet performance in costume.