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Sowing Seeds and Planting Life in Prison

Our first section of the horticulture program, Introduction to Horticulture, is quickly coming to a close and before our exam on Tuesday, we had a discussion about the book we’ve been reading in class. I asked the students, “why did I make you read this book?”

The answers were mixed. Some enjoyed the book, others didn’t. Here are their abbreviated responses – Michael: no idea. Curtis: stars relate to plants. Kaden: to help us form our own opinions. Michael: to make us interested in science and help us think for ourselves. Waylon: help us understand science better. Dominick: I have no idea (I later learned that he’s been telling EVERYONE at Burruss about the book and loves explaining the different topics). Xavier: I thought you were trying to be funny, but I think you were trying to help us understand the scientific side of horticulture. Four students would recommend the book to a peer, three said they wouldn’t.

“Here's why I made you read this book,” I responded. “This book is about creation. I want you all to understand creation. I want you to understand how complex it was, how you were made, where you come from. How God had a grand design for you, a masterful and perfect and beautiful design. I wanted you to understand that there is someone that cares for you so much that He’s been thinking of you for a millennium. That you are made of greatness and that you can be great.”The class was silent. Heads began to nod. The gravity of the book began to set in. Buford, the teacher’s aide spoke up. “This book showed me that we are all connected, that when we lose something, it hurts us all. There is more to the universe, and more to each of us, than we think. That’s what this book taught me.”

I thought because they were locked up, these kids might not understand some of the more complex subjects. I was wrong. They’ve excelled. One student, Marquavius, missed the first three classes because he was in the administrative segregation unit. I thought he would never catch up. On Tuesday, he was one of four students to earn a perfect score on his exam. What a joy!

Thank you for supporting HeartBound's programs and guys like Marquavius, Buford, Xavier, and Michael. Your donations are empowering these men to love life, love God, and love learning. You are helping us plant life in a barren environment.


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