One of the pleasures of living on the prairies is to watch the landscape being transformed from seeding through harvest.

July ushers in an explosion of colours. In fields where canola, from the same plant family as mustard, is seeded, the terrain becomes a chest-high sea of yellow as, in the words of Mark 4:31-32, the “smallest of all the seeds on earth…grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

The seed’s miraculous potential for growth comes to mind as I read this issue of A Common Place. Small investments on the part of MCC can reap huge benefits.

In Vietnam, a day centre for disabled children affords family members opportunity to work outside the home and start small businesses. A cow bank generates new income. “It’s like we have a spark that has started burning,” says MCC partner Phan Thanh Long. It’s like a seed producing a shrub for nesting birds.

In Burundi, 107 students have graduated in carpentry, sewing or masonry through apprenticeships supported by MCC’s Global Family education program.

In 2014, I met graduates there who are owners and developers of a carpentry business that keeps them in the community, sustains their own livelihoods and gives them a chance to improve the livelihoods of others. Small investments. Big returns. The miracle of the seed.

Don Peters
Executive Director, MCC Canada

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