As a church planter, I deeply desire that a local church will be planted in our Northeast Madison community. It is exactly such a desire that causes Chrissy and me to plant in the community garden. May I welcome you to Troy Gardens – where the nations come to garden.
Troy Gardens is a community garden in which the gardeners look like our community – Black, White, Asian, wealthy, blue collar, and poor. It is a place that we will work a 20’ x 20’ plot in the intentions of meeting and understanding the peoples of our community, thereby building relationships for Gospel ministry. Already, God has opened the doors of conversation in great variety. We have talked at length in the situation of sifting through extremely broken English and hand gestures, but also with a graduating student of horticulture from the University Wisconsin.
For me, Troy Gardens is a return to my interest for gardening. A one-time horticulture student, avid gardener, and produce farmer, this is the first time that I have had an opportunity to garden in over one decade. But there is a passion for another kind of tillage that fills my desire – plowing, sowing, and watering for souls.
We realize that the results of our tillage in Madison, is in the hands of our sovereign and loving Heavenly Father. In fact, we rest in Paul’s plain words to the church in Corinth that explain the harvest in a God-centered view. 1 Corinthians 3:7 – So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. However, such rest causes much joyful toil, because the Lord of the harvest invites us into the labor of His certain harvest. Matthew 9:36-38 – When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;  therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Yes, the soil is hard in Madison. Sin has compacted and poisoned the soil. But we may rest and toil joyfully – Jesus is the Lord of the harvest. And the one who owns the harvest, calls us to pray for laborers. Will you pray yourself in? Will you pray for others to come and labor in the fields of Madison, Wisconsin? Perhaps, you are one of the laborers!
Did I mention how the Red Village Church Little League Team is doing? Well…I guess, I need to share that soon – check back!
Laboring for the eternal joy of all peoples in Madison, Wisconsin
John and Chrissy Klein
2 Corinthians 4:15 – For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. ESV