An Instagram post from LifeSource Adventist Fellowship recently caught our attention: “This is Bob! He is an amazing volunteer who makes our campus beautiful. He invests hundreds of hours planting flowers and landscaping our church. For all he does, we at LifeSource are extremely grateful. Thank you, Bob, for being awesome.”
It was three years ago when LifeSource members Bob and Tamara Cummings noticed the thistles and other weeds among the flowerbeds at their church while walking the campus. “That looks terrible,” Tamara commented. Knowing that Bob spent his childhood on a farm growing vegetables and flowers, she said, “You need to get over here and do something about it.”
Although Tamara was still working, Bob was retired and had time to take on a project. He approached Pastor Dany Hernandez with three plans: a $20,000 plan to make the flower beds look like new, a $5,000 plan whose ultimate goal would be the same but would take much longer to complete, and a $500 plan involving planting a mix of perennial wildflowers.
Putting in about 20 hours a week over the last three years, Bob has beautified the LifeSource campus mostly under the $500 plan. Using bulb donations from a community member and contributing some of his own money, he has planted a variety of grasses, Russian sage, crocus, tulips, lilies, iris and a mix of native wildflowers, including poppies and blue flax.
“I’m just glad it looks better than it did,” Bob says when asked how the results make him feel. He sees his efforts as just a part of a whole system of people working to bless the neighborhood. Other church members do so much, but it’s not seen. His work just happens to be visual, Bob explains.
“Neighbors appreciate it,” Bob comments, “because it helps property values.” Not only that, but it has acted as a deterrent to vandalism. Neighbors speak up when they see something going on that shouldn’t be. He has observed people walking their dogs through the campus and families who spread out a picnic lunch in the grass. He likes seeing neighbors enjoy his work. Some neighbors bring their children to the children’s classes on Sabbath morning. Bob’s hard work gives a visual invitation to neighbors and testifies to the importance of caring for the church.
Instagram photo of Bob Cummings by @lafdenver