I grew up in the desert mountains of Tehachapi, CA, the land of four seasons. My horizons were always bordered by oak tree forested hills, windmills were a familiar sight, and the incessant wind kept the air clean and populated the hills with wildflowers. My family lived in the city proper, but half of our back yard was always planted with my father’s meticulously planned vegetable garden and my mother surrounded the house with colorful flowers year round.
At Azusa Pacific University I majored in Global studies, immersing me in Los Angeles urban life, living a simple existence in Chaoyang China, and trying to converge my global and local knowledge while learning about sustainable living. Such experiences compelled me to find a way to live more responsibly in relation to the earth and all the creatures thereon. I had a dream to plant community gardens in low income neighborhoods. Every vacant lot, I saw potential for growth and education, beauty and connection. But, I could not find work to keep my rent. Even more, I realized I had no idea how to start a community garden, and would not be able to live the lifestyle I wanted to in the community I was in.
One of my Global Studies program directors, Frank Romero-Crockett recommended the Abundant Table to me, and as I read over the mission statement, the goals and values resonated within me. I saw opportunity to live into my values with a supportive community that would also be spiritually stimulating.
This is the story of how I came to live and work with Abundant Table,
but I must not leave out that all during the summer before I began the internship, I struggled to find work, and wrestled with possibilities for the fall season. I remember the Abundant Table being the one opportunity that seemed to fall into my lap, and unfold effortlessly. I remember the reassuring feeling in realizing that the way had been made for me. All I had to do was follow the path.
I’m not usually one to post verses or proclaim faith on public forum, but I want to share a verse that I had meditated on through college and began to see in new light as the internship with the Abundant Table came to fruition: We are God’s craftsmanship, created to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10). My way to the Abundant Table certainly seemed prepared for me, and I’m not one to turn down a feast.