Building relationships through service... Spring has Arrived in the Garden! In 2015, K.E. Little Elementary School in Bacliff was selected as the site for a community garden that would be the start of a successful partnership between the school, Lighthouse Christian Ministries, and community volunteers. Initially established by Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, the garden enjoys the talents and gifts of countless volunteers who have instituted many innovative horticultural techniques. The two-fold mission for the garden was to establish an outdoor laboratory for the students who attend K.E. Little, and to provide fresh produce for LCM to distribute to the Bay Area community. The spring planting has been accomplished with tomatoes, lettuce, kale, spinach, collards, cilantro and bush beans. In other beds we have cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers. The newest venture for the garden is creating a butterfly and hummingbird habitat where the students and community can visit and experience first- hand the wonders of nature. “All beds have been planted and warm weather is helping everything to grow. Lettuce and kale are taking off and some tomato plants are already four feet tall,” Don Hogarth, our resident gardening expert, announced last week. “We should look to start harvesting in late April. Also, many monarch butterflies have come and gone from our new butterfly habitat. The garden is thriving. Amen!” Blessings: Rosita Lopez For most of us, graduating high school is a right of passage we simply take for granted. But for others, high school graduation never happened. Rosita Lopez was one of those students who never experienced the joy of walking across that stage and receiving a diploma. But she never gave up her dreams of completing her education. After working at the same company for more than 20 years, cutbacks dictated layoffs and Rosita found herself without a job. That’s when she realized she needed that high school diploma in order to qualify for a new position. She found the Lighthouse GED tutoring program and immediately enrolled. With all her life experiences, she rapidly progressed through the program. When asked to speak about her experiences in the LCM program to the newer students, she had this to say. “First, don’t wait until you’re 63 to begin this program,” she said with a grin. “These teachers gave me their personal time after class, I was able to send them emails on the weekend, and they sat and prayed with me when I needed it most. If you do your part, these ladies will not let you fail.” Approximately 25 students participated in the Lighthouse GED Tutorial program in 2018, and along with Rosita, three other students passed their exams and graduated from the program, finally experiencing the excitement of accomplishing something so many of us take for granted.