Grow. Go. Sow
End of an Era for the Jellymans.
By Lynda Jellyman
By the end of 2017 Keith and I will have been at Eastwest just short of 21 years, having come to Gordonton in February 1997. We’ve seen a lot of change and growth in that time.
When we arrived there was one staff house and one partially completed student accommodation block on site. Keith, with then-principal Pat Myers as well as lots of students, helped build most of what is here now – 4 accommodation blocks, 5 houses, the classrooms, dining room, kitchen and auditorium. Keith’s latest project has been a 10 square meter straw bale building in the contemplative garden, which should be finished by the end of the year. Trees around one meter tall when we planted them are now 15-20 meters high! The camellias of the contemplative garden have grown from 30 cm to a solid hedge up to head height. Garden beds have been planned and planted. An orchard of 56 trees was planted 3 years ago.
We’ve also seen our student numbers grow – from our first intake of four students to groups of up to 50 going through. By the end of the year Eastwest will have had more than 400 students study and live here. And we’ve seen the students grow – in confidence and competence in English, in their relationships with others from different cultures, in their knowledge of God and His word and His heart for the nations. Keith has taken groups of students to Waikeria and Springhill prisons for the last 10 years. He’s loved it and enjoyed seeing the often initially wary students grow in confidence and their ability to minister to the prisoners.
We’ve seen our own children grow. Simon was three and Kate 9 months old when we came to Gordonton; they’re now 24 and 21. Lastly, we ourselves have grown and been enriched by our experience here. We thank God for all the staff and students who have been part of our lives and thankful that we have been able to play our part in His story at Eastwest College. We’re not sure what 2018 will hold but we know the One who holds the future.
Photos: Above- part of the contemplative garden that Lynda designed and has nurtured
Below left- when the Jellymans first started to work at East west.
Below right: The Jellymans in 2017