God’s Little Acre

skate collage


“Lifting peoples’ spirits by showing them they have  friends who are willing to help them will ultimately allow them to reach out of poverty.”  Jas Singh

This is not the first time I’ve posted about Jas Singh.  A simple man with big dreams and day by day he is making his dreams come true.  His only goal in life is to feed the poor.  Not only is he feeding the poor, he’s taking a whole community along for the ride.  He has a database of 1100 volunteers who help him run the farm so he can produce the food needed to feed the less fortunate.  His goal in 2014 was to produce 500,000 pounds of produce from 70 acres of land to donate to the local food banks.   Jas sustains himself by growing and selling crops on the side for very little income.   He has big shoes to fill but he doesn’t see this as his lone mission, he sees the bigger picture and he sees his goals achieved by a community.  He does it with volunteers and the support of a large social media community whom answer his requests every time he calls out for help, whether it be sowing the fields, harvesting the crop or setting up an ice rink.  We don’t often get cold enough weather for an outside rink in this town, but when the temperature drops Jas takes to Facebook to appeal for help to flood the fields, for donations of generators, lights, speakers and music, barbecues, hot-dogs, hot chocolate – you name it he gets it as his army of volunteers answer his call.  The general community comes out as well and share his pledge on Facebook with as many as 58,000 views.  The weatherman said last week that we would have a cold snap, so Jas answered the call and his rink was ready by the morning of December 31st.  The sun was strong so the boys and I headed to the farm by 10:30 am to get as much skating in as possible before the ice started to break up under the heat of the sun.  We skated until 1:30 in the afternoon and left as the ice was getting soft.  I read later that a thousand people showed up that day all enjoying a day of skating with their families, eating hot-dogs and drinking hot chocolate.  The skate was by donation as Jas is raising money so he can seed his land to grow the crop he plans to donate to local food banks.  His mission is simple but an incredible up-hill battle as he faces daily challenges.  His secret to facing these challenges is that he doesn’t face them alone – he has many supporters and for this he is humbled.   For more about Jas – read his story here:



“We take it for granted we know the whole story – we judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines.”

Axle Rose

As I stood at the counter listening to “Rita” tell the couple before me the rules and regulations of the campground, I couldn’t help but feel anxious and annoyed.  As I moved toward the counter to book my site, Rita flashed me a big smile and she was missing her two front teeth.  “Great,” I thought, “this campground looks like its seen it’s days and so has Rita – been around the block I’m sure.”  I put down my visa and barely listened to what she was saying and back to the trailer I went.  In fairness to Rita I was really annoyed with my husband and I was taking it out on Rita by being withdrawn and moody.  I wasn’t myself and in fairness to me, it had been a particularly long day.

I woke up that morning to the sound of the truck moving under the trailer to hitch up.  Drew poked his face in the door and said, “wake up baby we’re out of here.”  My hair was all over the place and after not sleeping for three nights I had finally fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning and I was deep into it.  Half asleep, I stumbled down the stairs out of the upper bunk and I threw on some pants, shirt and shoes and made my way to the truck where I crashed as Drew drove out of Barkerville.   We decided to drive from Barkerville to Kamloops and spend a night and then head to Cranbrook the next  morning.  By the time we reached Kamloops we had been driving for about six hours.  We had no reservations in Kamloops and to our surprise we couldn’t find a campground in the heart of Kamloops.  I kept telling Drew to stop and ask someone but he refused, kept driving in circles.  Finally, I insisted he stop and he turns to me and says – “why stop, I find these locals useless?”   I said “ok – keep driving in bloody circles and see where that gets us – talk about useless.”  He finally stops and we find out there is a campground  two minutes from us and the campground is attached to a wild animal reserve park.  As we drive I see a big sign for a campground and an animal reserve park that says that the campground is just a few miles down the road. Drew suddenly makes a sharp turn because he sees this run down campground on his right and heads there.  “Where are you going, the campground is a few more miles.”  I don’t think he even heard me as he drives straight into this campground that is essentially the kind of campground we’ve all driven by and say to ourselves “thank God I’m not staying there.”   Drew pulls up, jumps out talks to Rita and then comes back to the truck and says, “go pay Rita – $36.00 for the night and it includes hot showers, full hook-up.”  I was stunned, he didn’t even talk to me just grabbed it.  I was about to say something or more like I was about to have a huge fight with my husband and I looked over to see Rita standing near.   I didn’t want to be rude so I shut my mouth and walked to the office.

After I paid for the site, Rita says to me “check out is 11:00 am but feel free to stay as long as you need tomorrow.”  “If you need to sleep in, sleep in she says, I don’t push people out of here, I want them to feel like they’re at home.”  I have to admit she sounded very sincere and as I walked away I was feeling guilty for thinking so harshly.   I mentioned in Negative Ways Baby that I hadn’t had a shower in four days as the showers in Barkerville campground were $1.00 per minute for a cold shower.  I boiled water and sponged bathed in the trailer instead.  I was dying for a hot shower and Rita told me that she doesn’t charge for showers and that her bathrooms are squeaky clean as she believes in pure hospitality.   “Clean bathrooms and free showers is something I can give from my heart,” she says.   The first thing I do upon entering the trailer is grab a change of clothes, soap, shampoo, towel and head to the bathroom.  The bathrooms were located right beside the trailer and housed in a mobile trailer.  The first thing I noticed upon entering the bathroom was that I could probably lick the floors they were so clean and the same cleanliness was applied to the sinks, the toilets and the showers.  The shower was lined with a cute shower curtain giving it a bit of a homey feeling.  I dump my shower stuff on the counter and I notice by the back of the sink Rita put little china knickknack flowers, just like the ones my mother use to leave in her bathroom.  I jump into the shower, not only is the shower hot, it is hot from the moment that you turn the shower on and no timer to turn the shower off.  Not having a full shower for four days, this shower felt like I was in heaven.   I was singing and praising the name Rita while I was in the shower.

That evening we had plans to visit some friends who are now living in Kamloops.  We head over to their house and the first thing Kathy says to me upon greeting her is, “are you staying in the wild life reserve campground?”  “No, we are staying in a little gem just down the hill from there, you know the one by the train tracks and it’s a mix of mobile homes and trailers.”  The look on Kathy’s face was priceless and she says “Oh God you’re staying there?”  “Ger,” she says, they are staying at the campground down the hill, you know the older campground?”   I could tell what Kathy really wanted to say was,  “you know, the ones on the other side of the tracks.”   The look that passed between Kathy and her husband said, “are you two crazy?”  “Well I said, Rita keeps some pretty decent showers and clean bathrooms and right now I’m grateful to be staying somewhere with hot and free showers.”  The conversation turns to the boys and what we’ve all been doing for the past few months and no more is mentioned about the campground.  We got back to the campground after midnight and all was quiet.  Slowly and quietly we made our way to bed and we all crashed and fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow.  With all the negative feelings I had in Barkerville and no sleep, I was finally in a better frame of mind and welcomed the peaceful sleep.  About two in the morning I woke up to a rumble and I wasn’t sure what the sound was, I could feel it more than hear it, the ground seemed to be moving and then I realized it was a train coming through and that damn train sounded as if it was going right through the campground.  One of the houses we lived in when I was a kid was not far from the train tracks.  Not quite as close as the tracks by the campground,  but I could hear those trains at night when I was a little girl.   I learned to use the rhythms of the train to help me sleep and as the train passed our trailer park the rhythms of the tracks lulled me back to sleep and I did not wake up until the next morning, refreshed and ready to go.

I dropped by to see Rita the next morning to tell her we were on the move and thank her for her hospitality.  I ended up having a half hour conversation with Rita and as I was leaving she called out, “I hope all you folks drop  by here again if you ever come back by this way.”  I called out “for sure Rita, if I’m heading through this town again, I’ll stop in to see you, your showers are to die for.”   With that comment she gave me a huge smile showing me the gap in her mouth where she’s missing her two front teeth and I realized I quite liked Rita, I like a woman who is who she is, been around the block and back and she’s not afraid to show it.   Her book cover might be a little rough, worn and weathered, but her inner pages are filled with warmth, honesty and generosity.

campsite in kamloops



The poinsettia is the world’s renown Christmas flower and many homes will be decorated with this beautiful plant this Christmas.   Did you know that the poinsettia was an unlikely choice to become the Christmas flower?   It is found only in Central America and blooms just a few weeks in winter.  The ancient Aztecs extracted a purplish dye from the plant for textiles and used its sap to treat fevers.  The poinsettia would have remained a regional oddity were it not for Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US Ambassador to Mexico in 1825.  A physician and botanist, he sent some of the beautiful plants to his home in South Carolina and began growing them and giving them to friends.

There is a Mexican legend about the plant, in which a little girl was devastated because she was too poor to take any gifts to her church’s nativity scene.  An angel appeared to the despondent girl and told her to pick a weed, take it to the altar and wait.  The child did as the angel directed.  When she placed the weed before the Christ Child, it had been transformed into a tall beautiful plant bearing brilliant scarlet flowers on the top – the poinsettia.

The poinsettia’s medicinal properties reflect the healing Jesus, its deep red color reflects the cross he was born to embrace; its blooming in the middle of winter mirrors the love of God dawning in our sin and alienation, its legend exalts God’s Spirit of generosity and compassion.

..taken from Daily reflections for advent & Christmas – waiting in joyful hope 2012-2013.