Posted by: Philip Rushton | August 14, 2010

Bell Pepper Count Down

One of the things that Julie is really looking forward to when we move to Longview is to start a garden. With the housing market the way it is in Canada we have been forced to live in basement suites and apartments for the last few years. As a result, Julie is ready to get some land and plant some roots. So for our anniversary in June I bought her a bell pepper plant as a hopeful sign of what is to come.

This plant has taken on some unexpected symbolism. For one thing it has become a sort of visible countdown for us. When I bought the plant I found out that it would take about 60 days to produce full grown peppers. That was close to the timeline we were looking at to get our interview for my visa. Due to the bad weather in June and early July the peppers did not grow as quickly as we thought. Similarly, due to bad bureaucracy, our visa has been delayed as well. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to let you all in on the bell pepper count down. Hopefully, by the time these are ready to eat, we will be ready to move. You can track the progress of the pepper growth on the side bar. I’ll post weekly pictures of the plant.

This pepper plant also symbolizes the purpose of waiting. As we continue to endure this long immigration journey together I firmly believe that it will produce something that is both beautiful and nourishing. The apostle Paul talks in Galatians 5 about the “fruits of the spirit.” These include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control.” I often think that we overlook the significance of this imagery. Fruit and vegetables take time to grow. They do not just come out of nowhere. They require dirt, water, sun and a whole lot of patience. So in the spiritual life, good things do not just come immediately. Time and time again we see in the scriptures that spiritual growth requires us to face some dirt and learn to wait.

Already I can see some fruit come from this waiting time. For one thing we feel we have started to really bond and connect with you as a church. On a personal level I have found God growing in me a stronger faith and a deeper patience.

Soon enough we’ll be enjoying a great church and a great salad!


  1. There are a lot of parallels between gardening and our spiritual life. However, I am thinking that there is something beyond just waiting and tending the “garden” to the dilemma that befalls us with the delay of immigration. How many unusual and frustrating things have occurred? It seems that at every intersection there has been a wait. We can almost see the end of the tunnel and the tunnel takes another turn. WE NEED PHIL AND JULIE IN LONGVIEW! The need is real and growing. Yet, obsticles continue to pop up. Yes, growth can occur in many ways as we wait. However, I am beginning to believe that our waiting needs to be coupled with some intense prayer and petition. Yes, I believe that God is in control. But I also believe that sometimes situations require us to come before God with deeper levels of commitment and dedication and that out of that deeper effort, greater growth occurs. Dear Longview Community Church worshippers, will we resond?

  2. Hey Mary,

    I hear you and appreciate your ongoing concern. We would certainly appreciate the ongoing prayers of the community. Two specific things we would like prayer for is that the Senator of Washington would be able to help us expedite our interview (if you can call it expediting after 4 months!) We sent a petition to the Senator on Friday and heard back within an hour that they had sent off a request to the consulate in Montreal so hopefully this will help out our situation. Secondly, Julie’s purse was stolen on Friday with her passport and all her i.d. so she is now stuck in Canada for a month or so. We have to get her a new birth certificate before we can get her a passport at the consulate because her birth certificate is with our visa package out east.

    Thanks for your support and concern. I think a call to prayer is exactly what we need.

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