This guest blog was written by Elizabeth Pulliam, one of our CAN-DO interns this summer from Concordia University-Texas.
Within my first couple of days at Camp Restore, I noticed a charming potted flower plant outside
our cafeteria entrance. What caught my attention about this plant were its deep purple blooms that
came out in the morning. I found out recently that this flower is called Mexican Petunia and is common
in New Orleans. After finishing work at one of our sites, I passed by my favorite plant that evening only
to find it completely bare of flowers and all its blooms fallen around the pot on the ground. At first, I
thought this plant mutilation was due to a recent thunder storm, but I found out later that this was a
normal occurrence for the plant. Mexican Petunia is the type of flower that blooms new flowers every
morning after shedding its old blooms from the day before.
What a great example this little plant is setting for all of us here at Camp Restore! Second
Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come.” We are given new life through Christ. Our old Adam is gone and forgotten
because Jesus has made a new life for us and continues to restore us every day. It can be difficult to feel
any kind of life in us when we drag ourselves back to camp from a work site at the end of the day. No
one said working for the Lord was going to be easy, but God takes care of us by giving us the strength to
carry on one more day. Just like our little Petunia plant. It will always be withered at the end of the day,
but every morning is a new and beautiful creation.
We staff at Camp Restore as well as all the volunteers that come through our ministry are
spending each day in restoration. We are restoring the city, restoring community, and in the process,
we are the ones being restored. It is amazing to see how God takes something that was once broken
and devastated and makes it new again.