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The sound of jubilee: 1971-2021. Tearfund 50th anniversary celebration.

Hannah blog 2

The Good Life

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It’s been four years since our family made the move from New South Wales to Tasmania. Four years since we found a double block in a town on the coast and started working to turn the bare grass in our backyard into a productive edible garden.

This autumn, we’ve been busy preserving our third summer harvest. We had kilos of tomatoes this year that had to be picked and cooked into sauce. We grew butternut squash too, our first successful pumpkin crop.

Next week, I’m sure there will be more to do. But thankfully most of the garden jobs are a joy.

Heading outside to pick greens for a salad as the sun sets in a pink sky doesn’t feel like work. Neither does sitting out the back, cracking hazelnuts and watching the wind send yellow leaves from the pomegranate tree dancing to the ground. It feels like the good life.

‘Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders;’ is how the writer Wendell Berry puts it, ‘we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence.’ In the garden, I’m reminded that the God I worship is the one who makes the sun rise in the sky. That our God who sustains us also fills our days with light. Outside it’s also clear that this is what God wants for all his people—a good life, healthy and abundant, with strong relationships and a deep connection to him.

As I reflect on what this ‘good life’ means for me, and my family, I give thanks for what we have, but I also take some time to reflect on what this concept might look like for others living in countries around the world. Countries where food is not so plentiful, poverty is present and life is very difficult, sometimes a struggle to survive.

Hannah Alexander
Hannah blog 3
Hannah in her garden in Tassie

As I reflect on what this ‘good life’ means for me, and my family, I give thanks for what we have, but I also take some time to reflect on what this concept might look like for others living in countries around the world. Countries where food is not so plentiful, poverty is present and life is very difficult, sometimes a struggle to survive.

I think about women like Adanech in Ethiopia, baking flatbread in her kitchen. Bread to sell for a business that this incredible mother of five has built up with support from Tearfund’s local partner. For her, the good life is working hard on her business that provides her with an income she can use to put enough food on the table for her children, and start to plan for their future.

Hannah blog 1
Adanech from Ethiopia

I think about Sam and Lena from Papua, proudly tending their vegetable plot. Growing beans, cassava, sweet potato, corn and spinach to nourish their children as well as the children of other families who buy their produce at the market each week. With support from Tearfund’s local partner, this couple is deepening their connection to the earth and to each other and with food to eat and a source of income, life is brighter. Their children now attend a local school and Sam has started studying at university.

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Sam and Lena from Papua

As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt around the world, we need to remember God’s promise of hope and goodness more than ever.

As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt around the world, we need to remember God’s promise of hope and goodness more than ever.

We need to step into God’s vision of a world where people hunger no more, where the land is restored, where children can play and grow up healthy, where communities have hope and a future.

As followers of Jesus, we know that everyone, no matter what circumstances they live in, is invited intto this vision of flourishing.

Together, let’s continue to take action and give generously so that everyone can experience the good and full life God has promised.

Hannah is a Tearfund supporter, teacher, blogger and mum of three who lives in Tasmania with her family. She writes at http://www.ouryearoutdoors.com

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