“Cultivate”- transitive verb 2a. to foster the growth of” Merriam-Webster Dictionary online
“You cultivate what you celebrate.” Buddy Hoffman, a dear friend of Peace of Thread who passed away in 2016, often quoted this common saying. At Peace of Thread, we celebrate friendship, and we work to cultivate it. Nowhere was that more obvious than at our April 14th fundraising concert.
It’s appropriate that the concert took place at Garner Farm in Lilburn, Ga. The farm is owned by a couple named Paul and Jessica Vaughn, and cultivation is their life. They grow vegetables, blueberries, and muscadines on their land and raise chickens to provide eggs. This wonderful couple opened their home and yard to Peace of Thread because they too have a passion for refugees.
The concert was fantastic! Lanterns lit the way to a yard full of people sitting on picnic blankets and enjoying uplifting music. Inside the house, there were yummy desserts to eat and exquisite treasures for auction (including a plaque with Buddy’s saying on it). There was an atmosphere of friendship and peace, the shalom that Peace of Thread so prizes. God helped us raise over $18,000, which we will use to continue empowering refugee women!
But the best part was that Anisa* and Noor* were there. Our friends who came from desperate circumstances and are now thriving. We walked with Anisa hospitalization for pneumonia and have recently seen her become a U.S. citizen. Noor has been with Peace of Thread since its beginning, and now she trains women herself. We were honored several months ago to help her tell her story to the media. Anisa and Noor are just some of the women we’ve cultivated friendship with over the years through visits, meals, and conversations.
The word “cultivation” implies hard work, diligence. It gives us the mental image of someone bent over, covered in dirt. Just like growing plants, building and maintaining friendships can be a messy process. But when we see the people we care about growing strong in their new lives, cultivation becomes celebration.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
Read more about Anisa in the May 27, 2016 post “Peace of Thread: More Than Just Purses”
Read more about Noor in the June 18, 2016 post “A Different Story” the July 15, 2016 post “Now I Am Strong”