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Keep up to date with Crown of Life’s monthly newsletter The WORD. To download, click on the corresponding image or text.
 
 

Cultivating Seeds

 
If you’ve ever been to the Eagan campus on a Sunday morning, chances are good you’ve seen Darrell and Liz Isebrand. They have been staples at Crown of Life for the past 4 years, and for 30 plus years at Beautiful Savior before the merger. Darrell has always been one who is good about introducing himself and making guests feel welcome. But what you see on Sunday morning only scratches the surface of the work of this “farmer at heart”.
 
Darrell describes himself this way, “Gardening has been a part of our family’s history for over 40 years as I was raised on a farm in Iowa in the 50’s & 60’s.” That gardening is still a huge part of his life. Darrell and Liz’s backyard is pretty much entirely garden. “Our garden is about 50’ x 70’ with a large variety of veggies and fruits.”
 
Every year Darrell spends countless hours cultivating this massive garden. Why? It’s a passion. “Gardening for me is a good form of exercise. It brings me back to the basics of planting seeds and taking care of the new plants. Each seed or plant is like a little miracle.” The produce also gets put to good use. Darrell says, “A good amount of the garden produce is given to the food shelf in Crown of Life’s name. Of course, family, friends and neighbors also get to enjoy the blessings of the garden.” Darrell has made a name for himself at The Open Door, a food shelf dedicated to offering healthy food options to those in need. Several times/year The Open Door sends a thank you card to the members of Crown of Life for the donations of fresh produce.
 
While this is a passion of Darrell’s, it is only part of the reason why he gardens. Darrell goes on, “There are numerous examples in the Bible using seeds and plants as a comparison to believers and unbelievers. Ultimately God grows the plants. I just take care of them. Gardening is a lot of work but is very rewarding and the quality of the food is great.” It’s this reminder that leads Darrell to also spend time not just in the garden in his back yard, but also in the garden of Eagan (pun intended). There are plenty of souls in Eagan who need care and the water of God’s word. That’s why Darrell also makes regular visits to people who have recently moved into the Eagan area. He visits them after Crown of Life sends them a welcoming postcard in order to welcome them to the area and encourage them to check out Crown of Life if they haven’t found a church home yet.
 
At his core, Darrell is a gardener. But the garden in his backyard only scratches the surface of the kind of gardening he does.
If you have any interest in making visits to people who have recently moved in to Eagan or West St. Paul in order to welcome them to the area and encourage them to check out Crown of Life, contact Pastor Pudlo. We’re always looking for more ways to reach our community.


The Labor of Love

 
BY MARY HANSON
 
Volunteers at Crown of Life are carrying out a “labor of love” at Mission Wearhouse Thrift Store in Little Canada. This ministry has impacted the lives of people too numerous to count. The pint-sized store, blessed with a bountiful supply of donated items has become a distribution hub for a variety of ministries who serve the needy both locally and internationally. People of all sorts; from the elderly to the unborn, to those as close as the Twin Cities Metro Area and as far away as Russia and Africa, have been touched by their work.
 
The thrift store, located in a strip mall at 2756 Lake Shore Ave. in Little Canada, is conveniently located next to the New Day Pregnancy Care Center which is partially funded from store sales. Both ministries are overseen by Christian Life Ministries. When the thrift store opened in 2001 the owner offered a low monthly rent along with an option to purchase the strip mall after 1 ½ years.
 
Early volunteers from Crown of Life, like Dave Danner, Charlene Ohmann, her former husband Earl, and now deceased Chet Witz, had just begun a top to bottom makeover when an enormous supply of donated items landed on the thrift store doorstep; compliments of Wise Penny Thrift Store in Buffalo, Minnesota, which was closing its doors. Volunteers from Christ Lutheran in North St. Paul sprang into action, and by organizing a huge garage sale in the back warehouse area of the store made the first sales. Meanwhile, volunteers were scrubbing, painting, shelving and laying carpet rescued from the old Emanuel School. When the liquor store on Robert St. closed, Charlene’s son, Roger was able to purchase all the steel shelving for $20 and a note from his pastor confirming it was for a non-profit business. “Gently used” clothes racks were acquired after a telephone call alerted the cleaning crew that the racks had been tossed into dumpsters behind a nearby Hilfiger’s clothing store. Even the first cash register was donated.

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