Friday, February 1, 2013

How Shall We Unfold?

Taking this out of Draft Originally published in June 2012 as a report ~ Please read The Feasibility Study :) 
 A Koru - unfolding the fiddlehead fern ..In New Zealand, 
the Maori see the Koru is a tohu (symbol) of divine inspiration from nature  ( ) 
Outcome: What the Feasibility Study revealed is that any plan we developed needed to unfold in sustainable ways.  We needed to bring a solution forward to aid orphaned children (trafficked/ transnational) that focused on three distinct areas:                                      1. Sustainable Earth (care for creation)                                                                                    2. Sustainable Structures (organizational, educational, and architectural) &                                       3. Sustainable Lives (children and community) and then bring them together in one holistic plan that could move forward in stages of development only as each one proved fruitful (with some overlap, of course, because )  
1.  Sustainable Earth:  This is the care of creation, knowing we don't live as separate entities, but exist in constant conversation with all around us; connected to everything. Sustainable earth supports and aligns itself with sustainability practices, organic gardening (non-hybrid, non-GMO), and  permaculture values- an organic hologram.
  • We need to locate our endeavor to support the children onto fertile land which can be made sustainable, and either has a renewable and abundant water resource, a spirng, deep well, or build a water reclamation tower. 
  • In this case, we will grow Frankincense, and other Torchwood trees for their resin, oil, and other botanically based products.  We shall also create a garden that is both beautiful, instructs, and feeds.
  • In an ideal world, this could be as much as 45-50 acres or as little as 1-5 acres. The frankincense et other trees, for a short time, can be mobile and in containers. In fact, homes, stores, and cars have been used as temporary green houses. Soon, the whole enterprise needs to put down roots, literally!
  • The Social Enterprise should make decisions based on love to God, the planet, and the neighbor- not just for the sake of self-perpetuation- i.e. "a conscious corporation." It should be environmentally sound (green)/ socially responsible (just)/  and of useful service (good). The enterprise needs to be healthy, and aligned with other sustainability, perma-culture, quality of life values. 
2. Sustainable Structures: With today's technology and digital based learning, education can take place in-town with the public school system, or as home schooling with open-sourced learning.  There also exist green solutions to housing and energy, which have formally been unsupported, but that is changing.

  • All architecture should be sustainable and so a search was one for the right kind, that involved renewable and cost effective materials, and was energy efficient or used alternative energy (solar and wind) including exotic energy (cold fusion, or free energy, et al)  
  • We found two ideal architectural solutions. Cal Earth and EarthShips. More can be learned here: and  These structures are affordable, available, durable, renewable, comfortable, beautiful, doable, and sustainable. 
  • It was also determined that to be truly sustainable, the home needs the support of an eco-village with enough land to support groves of fruiting and nutting trees, and a garden, plus provide a water-source (either spring-fed, deep well, or water-reclamation tower.)   
  • Some sort of Social or entrepreneurial enterprise is necessary with a service or products which can provide the necessary revenue to increasingly sustain the Home. Our tradition sets experimental agronomy as fitting, and in this case, we think Moringa, and Frankincense ( ) and derivative botanical products fit this bill. We believe monastic history sets a precedent for a bio-dynamic winery (small reserve for Holy Supper) being a proper enterprise, as well as communion bread. Museum quality art pieces/ projects are a good endeavor and fit the eco-tourism and humani-tourism calling card. 
  • This business undertaken, should provide learning opportunities, internships, interaction with the larger community and world, plus provide creative opportunities for educational scholarships and micro-businesses without being over-taxing on those involved. 
3. Sustainable Lives: As Providence would have it, we think we've found a very viable and meaningful timeline and business to provide increasing support to the Home.  
  • The ideal care for children, to have truly sustainable lives, should be a permanent life-long home, in a family setting, with the unconditional love of two parents, and a whole host of other loving community, and staff such as exists at Loving Arms Mission in Nepal, with Kent Rogers and his wife Shovah.  
  • The other important feature along with unconditional love in a family setting, is keeping children connected to their extended surviving family when appropriate, and keeping children connected to their community and culture, such as their language, food, songs, dance, and play. This enterprise needs to be properly scaled to fit needs, circumstances, and location.  

Growing Frankincense fulfills all that is above, and lets us begin in a timely way, with what ever funds we have, small or large, and lets it grow-forward as fast and as functionally as resources allow. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

All Glory - 47 Acres & a Thirty Second Conversation with God

I learned recently that the word "obey" or "obedient" comes from a word that means "to lean in and listen" As in, the process of being obedient isn't a one time thing, its a process.
So that is what I try to do... lean in and listen.  I try to listen to the God that is still speaking...

One morning, in 2007 or so, I heard... that hypnogogic state, just before waking- almost like a dream, but you are already awake, already taking deep breaths... In that state I'd learn to trust an inner guidance (albeit reluctantly and not without protest and perseverence.)

"Ask for forty- seven acres....." 
God?  Is that You?  Really?  Forty seven acres?  Not Fifty, not forty-five - but 47? Acres?  My mind quickly raced through a dozen lightning speed possibilities and protests.

I am very stubborn, so I began arguing right away with "Upper Management."
What would I need or do with 47 acres?  I'm not sure I heard you correctly. Did you say 47 Acres? What's that about? The Home, for the Children.   Oh, hmmm...  Really? I thought, resisting, checking my consciousness to see if i was dreaming or awake.

"Yes." came the response. 
"That's mighty specific..." I responded mentally- defiantly, one can even say arrogantly. (What way is this to speak to the Divine Power?)  I kept trying to figure it out in a rational way...

"Why so specific? That's a lot. It sounds really greedy.  Besides, what will I do with those forty seven acres?  We had recently undertaken the restoration of a 125 year old historic Rock and Rose Garden and so I knew what it took to take care of this one small corner lot.   Acknowledging that, and still questioning: "And you want me to deal with forty seven acres?  I don't think so!  WHY do I need forty-seven acres?" (spiritual arrogance to be this defiant. I admit it)  "Because it will need room to grow." came the sensible (but challenging) answer. 

And as if I were being chastised/ further challenged, the answer came with REITERATION and more SPECIFICITY, but not more CLARITY. He added: "Ask for 47 acres ...with a spring on it"

Not to be deterred from my line of questioning for the God of Heaven 'n Earth,  I asked "Why!? Why do we need a spring?!  I protested, And almost as soon as I'd asked, it was clear--  Because the children will need and deserve clean, clear, and abundant water. "Oh. Well.  Yes. Of course they will."  This was my first clue that this whole thing would have everything to do with sustainability. Long term stability, and a future for children- for His children - long after I am gone.

"This is not just for the present (not your plan) This is my plan. for my children. for my tribes. for other generations - for a time after time.  Yet, this conversation is taking place lightening speed ...
God has God's ways. so specific, yet still so mysterious, cryptic even. I know this scenario pretty well. The Lord wants to guide me, ask, lead, give me sign-posts on the journey, but not coerce, or take my freedom away. He wants me to be led through my heart, so I'm fully on-board- to make CHOICES and get others to join in with choices of their own.  

"Right, OK. But how will I know where to look where is this 47 acres I kept on protesting (I'm diligent in my quest to be in control.)  You must know, Lord. You're telling me something very specific - Please help me out... I don't mean to be rude, but please Don't be so Cryptic!
I don't necessarily need a Sign... (although a literal sign would be nice; I don't mean that God)  Just a little help; I need to know Providence is looking after me- some coincidence, serendipity, as I go forward... I want to be faithful/ obedient, but gosh Lord, you know how hard it is to make the right choice sometimes... So much information and so little to go on.  I'll do the best I can with the information I have... But I'm not sure. I'll need some confirmation."  

I will give all Glory to you. I just need to know. 

And so just to be sure... He repeated but then added something (this took all of a few seconds, btw.) 
Ask for 47 acres with a spring on it so that you will know I AM in it." Oh, wow, I'm sorry that IS You.  I'm so sorry.  No one has authority to say the I AM except You, Lord.  I will do it, I will at least begin the search.

"Woah, I thought, still reeling a bit from the specificity of that message. Tell you what... You are telling me something very pointed, so as a matter of trust, I am going to tell other people, to record it, so that when it happens, when I find it, when it is done, it will all be to your Glory, Lord ~ There were many who were told this story. Many. In person, by email, over the phone, etc...

That You are a very Present, Living God.
Who has governance over our lives, directs his children. loves them and keep them.
So tell I did. And I'm telling it in this blog.
Here is one verbatim email I sent to a colleague, dated Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 @ 9:15am  after I'd puzzled over it many months and spoken to people (mostly family and close spiritual friends) about it what it means:
 The land the orphanage will ultimately be built on will have a spring-fed source of water- this is for the future and [because] they [the children] must have access to clean water.   We will make it an oasis of beauty, usefulness, and conservation, for learning principles to live by, [for] important immediate access to healthy food.  Hopefully, before I leave for my [sabbatical], I will meet with someone in Mexico to learn about the protocol for acquiring land grant from Mexico Govt.  now here is a daring thing.  Am I wrong if I believe the LORD told me it should be quite large 47 acres with a spring so that I will know the LORD is in it. That's a lot to ask for!  I dont mean to be so specific, but I tell you that is what I heard.  I believe it should back up against a natural preserve where ever that is-- so that the children can continue their own conservation and they will not be in danger of encroachment or it being taken from them for development. Now where this place is I have no idea. We need to be close to town but away from town. ??
And a month before I had to move from Mexico in 2012 - just 22 miles away from home, in a place I tell you I'd passed maybe 9 times on day trips, this is what I found...? Big as the side of a house. 

I was shocked, amazed, grateful (I wasn't crazy!) and even terrified. Especially terrified to call about it.  We were driving very fast, and you cant return easily on the quota (toll road) so, I went back the next day to get the number off the sign and see who I could talk to and see the land. Wondering what to say. 
And Yes, ever battling the sceptic, naysayer in me, that this was meaningful and yet, maybe it had no bearing on me or my plans- It was just a coincidence...

That's when I saw a small sign on the side of the road about 3 miles prior to the 47 acres sign. It said:

This was Unbelievable!  But I did believe. At least I was encouraged! 
I had been faithful and I was being guided. And here was proof that God intended to answer prayers.
After so long, and so many disappointments on this journey, I was cautiously hopeful. 

It took me a month to call, But as if to underscore that the LORD meant business, And just in case i doubted, here is the sign that was there the next month (it was apparently a ChalkBoard sign and the person who puts it out there, had changed the message out. This time it read: 

God is good! 
Yes, I did ask for the 47 acres. 
Sort of, I asked after it.  Asked the price. Told my story
8 mil. hmmm. Pocket change for some, but 
slightly outside my price range or anyone I know, right now.
Still, I asked if I could meet the seller, the person behind this "sign" 
a nice man, hardworking business man.
I was almost out of personal resources and would be gone by then, to another state, to make my "bread and butter."
This is where it stands except to say the number on the sign is "no longer in service."

 In the conversation, I commented that while conventional wisdom says sell land for all its worth and let it be developed,  The deeper wisdom says skip the old paradigm, and leave a legacy, in honor of closely held values, and keep integrity with the way the land is already being used, and has been used for so many years (to grow flowers.) 
OK. So- while I don't think for a minute that I can afford this $8 million dollar piece of property in Baja... I do have confidence something creatively concrete will come of this. 

As the owner and I discussed, it may not be this piece of land, but  this experience may be leading to it. 
That is,  could be the piece of property that leads me to "next steps."

I do think the LORD wanted me to be faithful about asking.  

I am now in Arizona as a next step to earn some "bread and butter" as a teacher, still listening, still looking for the right parcel of land where ever it may be, even if an acre or two and starting with first things, a biblical garden, then perhaps a longterm sanctuary for endangered Frankincense Trees...

Thats all for now, but still obedient, "leaning in and listening..." 
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Crowdsourcing Funds- FIELDS of FRANKINCENSE

This is the IndieGogo Fundraiser we did in 2012 - Have a Read.  We didn't raise much, but we LEARNED a lot.  AND e used those very special funds for two precious Frankincense trees. We now have a total of six trees and some seeds. 

Save Endangered Frankincense :: Save Endangered Children

HomeTribe is currently creating a Sanctuary Oasis to save endangered Frankincense (presently only in containers as we search for dedicated land. Once the trees are secure the sale of propagated trees, resin, and products will help sustain them and also one day help support (endangered/ trafficked/ orphaned) Children

HomeTribe: We're a small but growing group of concerned individuals who are coalescing around this cause to help restore a little innocence to the earth.  We'll make a place of belonging and safety for a few of the very precious "least of these" which humankind has put at risk, and all but abandoned: Frankincense and Children.  Both are endangered on the planet.  Both of these correspond to Innocence and by paying attention to one, we can also improve conditions for the other. That is the beauty of wholeness and unity consciousness.  

  • "Find someone who's doing something good and right, and help them do it faster, better, and more efficiently."

WHAT: "Fields" of Frankincense 

We're creating a Biblical garden, with a small eco-preserve for endangered 
Frankincense (Torchwood) trees. It's the order of trees like Frankincense and Myrrh, that produce fragrant, oily resins, and key medicinals spoken of in the Scriptures... along with the other precious holy oils like Balm of Gilead (commiphora gileadensis known as "Gold" in antiquities,) and Agarwood trees (aquilaria) the source of Oudh, one of the most heavenly scents on earth.   

All are endangered, some critically so, or increasingly found only in specimen gardens. Pure biblical Frankincense, Boswellia Sacra, the source of royal hougari comes from Oman. Those groves are environmentally threatened by climate change and human conflict. The hundred year old trees are stressed, over - tapped, abused, poisoned, poached, and trafficked... And what we do to the Frankincense, we do to children. 

But in this garden and safe haven, we will protect and nurture both. We'll propagate, and proliferate the Frankincense and other Torchwoods to share with all. Once secured and abundantly propagated, we will use the mature trees to help secure an inheritance and brighter future for children ...especially endangered, trafficked, and orphaned children. 
One of the best places we can help each other reconnect, and open our hearts to childlike awe and wonder again, and renewed sense of innocence is in the midst of nature. 
                                                                  Kisses From Heaven 
One of my perks on the Indiegogo fundraiser - a print of Kisses from Heaven: 
Restore Innocence - Save Frankincense :: Save Children

What do we need?  To put down roots - literally. 

                Frankincense seedlings, from a rare collection, are ready and waiting to be sent. Yet, we need all the accoutrements necessary for gardening and experimental agronomy in order to properly and safely receive them.   
                We need a larger space; land, a greenhouse, water, a classroom, the trees themselves, container pots in various sizes and kinds (clay, plastic, smart pots, etc) for cultivation and for growth. We need to move some dirt around, so we need all gardening tools, other implements, and equipment, hardscape/ softscape elements, grow-lights, bees, butterflies, worms, seeds, companioning trees, and other biblical plants and herbs, electronic equipment, and education materials.
                If you would like a complete garden list, I've made one. If you want to see a business plan, I've written one, with a projected three-year budget. 
                If you'd like to donate land itself, we’d be grateful for 1-5 acres which numerically, means: "a certain small something, not much but enough to build on" or upwards to 50.  

Why Frankincense? -

    We're focused on Frankincense, pure biblical Frankincense - Boswellia Sacra (not b. Carteri from Somalia, or b. Serrata from India) - because of its history, and universal importance.  Frankincense is universally recognized around the globe as beneficial and valuable by all cultures and traditions for its spiritual, natural, and medicinal qualities, as an expression of good will, and source of wellbeing, peace, and enlightenment.
   Frankincense being so universally loved and in demand gave rise and cause of the world's first global economy, and was the reason for our first peaceful trade routes and treaties. For those reasons, Frankincense sets an important, even priceless precedence. 
   Frankincense is a banner tree for all humanity: A tree of abundance, good health, peace, and unity - symbolizing the best of human endeavors.
   Frankincense has historically been the gift of royalty-acceptable in every realm, and it is still a fitting gift to royal houses, or heads of state, popes, ambassadors, and other world dignitaries.

Cluster of Frankincense Flowers.        Note the tiny finger like leaves  & cupped hands
These first leaves to form are the first hint that Frankincense is a precious gift 
and represents a form of innocence.   

    The wise men carried Frankincense to the baby Jesus in his Nativity, because they believed him to be the King of kings. Yet, it transcends borders, barriers, and ranks of all kinds. We must not let this bridge-builder go on being endangered. 
   If the above isn’t cause enough, Scientific research is now re-discovering how Frankincense works at the DNA level to accomplish its good work.  Researchers believe it may be an effective treatment for some cancers. 
  Frankincense is part of the new post 2012 paradigm - One word for a newly awakened and aware human race and its Economy of Grace: Frankincense.  It is a priceless gift placed here for all God's children.

              "The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations."

What will it look like?      
  •    We'll begin with the preservation of Frankincense as our most immediate focal point and purpose. We'll add the other torchwood trees, and beyond the greenhouse nursery, we'll cultivate the outdoor biblical garden, and a small companion grove of fruiting and nutting trees, fragrant and flowering bushes, and other precious biblical herbs and rare medicinal plants.  Ultimately, with our 30,000 organic, non-hybrid heirloom seeds we purchased, we'll put in a permaculture food-forest to mature and bring forth their produce.
    True Balm of Gilead (commiphora gileadednsis) 
    also known as "gold" in antiquities 

         We need to locate near a natural water source (a spring, river, or irrigateable land) and for sustainability, build a water reclamation tower with friends who know how from recycled (local-sourcing) materials. We'll create a water feature with flowing water: a fountain or pool.

YOU:  I can't do it alone - How can you help?

      Saving these precious trees on the planet would be enough, but the garden preserve will act as a retreat, and outdoor classroom, to interact with students and adults. It will be a living library and visible index of love and wisdom descending out of heaven and taking shape in the world around us.  
       We will create curriculum and an educational program to raise awareness, using an open-sourced educational platform. We’ll start immediately raising awareness, designing, planting, educating, and continue networking and collaborating. 
        This is a sustainable plan to make the dream of helping orphaned children a tangible and lasting reality. Once secured, and abundantly propagated, the sales from the mature trees, valuable seedlings, saplings, oil, and derived botanical products will help secure a better future and inheritance for all children.
         We'll begin immediately working with cultural exchange and youth organizations, and ecology, environmental, and preservation groups to increase the worldwide presence, and availability of Frankincense trees. We'll create educational curriculum about all the Torchwood trees, their history, and use.

As Helen Keller once said, “ I am only one person, and alone I can do nothing, but together, we can do something, so I will not refuse to do the one thing that I can do.”

          With this fundraiser, if you elect to be part of donating just a small portion to the $144,000 goal, we will be on our way. Every little bit helps and I will make it my work to multiply your giving. 
  • We invite anyone, and everyone, to be a part of helping restore a little innocence to the earth by making a place of belonging and safety for two very precious "least of these" which we've left endangered, and all but abandoned. 

WHO: Who is organizing this?

I'm an ordained Christian minister (MDiv) and educator (BS in Early Childhood Education) awaiting her teacher certification status, by the Arizona Board of Education (my "Bread & Butter")   
I'm a theologian committed to sustainability. 

   We are a small but growing global network of indiviuals ("HomeTribe") concerned about the plight of children and the condition of the planet. "HomeTribe" pledging to help this cause evolve from its first inkling: “To protect innocence and help provide for a more sustainable future and a thriving humanity.”  They're individuals who have been steadily offering support; their skills, interest, and hard work as needed.
    I myself (Carla), am a Christian minister ordained in an ecumenical tradition (M Div) and trained as an educator (BS in Early Childhood Education) awaiting my teacher certification status, by the Arizona Board of Education (my "bread & butter")  
    I’m a theologian with a ministry in eco-justice, focusing in sustainability: *Sustainable Earth (care of creation) *Sustainable Structures (Architecture, and Educational platforms) & *Sustainable Lives (children and community.) My project draws these three areas together. 
    I've been searching for a catalyst that can springboard support to children. 
          I belive this is it. 

HOW: Proven Track record -

   Welsh Frankincense Tree Project (!project) has shown the trees can be carefully cultivated and propagated.  This took 6-8 years of careful cultivation.  They should now however be moved out of isolation and private collections and given worldwide distribution, if their full protection and benefit for mankind is to be realized.

Frankincense Plantation

    Together with others, Rev Friedrich has done a large-scale garden preservation project in San Diego, where we restored an historic garden, involved lots of people and groups, master gardeners, various community groups, neighbors, and local businesses. And cared for the relocation of a rare Kente Palm. 
   Once to a certain stage, we opened its beauty and peace up to wider enjoyment which is still going on today. It was a success and good training ground, for this project of worldwide importance.  

   Here in Arizona, we are uniquely situated in the perfect climate to ensure future success and survival of the trees. The tree is non-invasive and in fact, it’s nearly impossible to grow them from seed. Few can, even fewer have done so, and yet it has been accomplished for this project.

"Find someone who's doing something right, 
and help them do it faster, better, and more efficiently."
   Many individuals and groups will be involved in this project: Nature and Youth organizations, scouting, adventure, conservation, environmental, and ecological groups. We will also lobby the World Parliament of Religions, to adopt Frankincense as a Tree of great importance and common global interest. 
 We’re following in the footsteps of others in the Swedenborgian ecological tradition:      Naturalists John (Appleseed) Chapman, John Muir (Sierra Club) George Innes (Landscape painter) and Eliza Lovell Tibbets (experimental agronomist, abolitionist, grower of the seedless navel orange and Mother of the Citrus industry) who were also considered spiritual entrepreneurs.
   This protective Oasis, is to become a place of peace, meditation, beauty, and good uses.  No matter what though, even if we don't reach our goal, the nursery can go forward with whatever funds and means are received, just at a slower pace.  If we exceed our donation goals, we'll accelerate our plans and help to the children.

                           Moringa- "The Tree of Life"

We have also planted Moringa Oleifera and Moringa Stenopetala as valuable a Nutri-ceutical plantation.

                                           Supported by 12 Global organizations:

IF you've learned all you need to GO FUND, then GREAT! Be an angel and check out the 12 PERKS to see which level suits you! 

               If you want to learn more, please feel free to read on...

What's happened so far? 

   We have starter trees, of rare and incomparable value; they exist nowhere else on the planet in this plentiful way. They will be a gift from The Welsh Frankincense Tree Project (WFTP.) They are ready and waiting to be shipped.!project.
  Stateside, we have appropriate mentoring from my close minister-colleague, the grower and horticulturist at the WFTP.  I've been under tutelage for almost two years, but now need to be in receipt of the seedlings. We have a reliable, reputable resource for how to grow and care for the Frankincense.
   HomeTribe also has 30,000 organic, non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds for fruits and herbs. We're already creating energy for the project and community involvement until we have our own land. We've begun one beautiful community garden, and will help facilitate more.

THE CHILDREN:  Not sure what is the connection is between the trees and children? 

   There is an attack on innocence. 
  The Frankincense trees are endangered through climate change and environmental destruction, and human conflict. The groves are further abused, by being over-tapped abused, plundered, poached, and their resin and oil trafficked. 

   Like a canary in the mines, the trees are a litmus test on how we're doing as a humanity. What we do to the earth, we do to children. 
   We are experiencing worldwide devastation of the earth, its flora and fauna (by the most conservative estimates, 27,000 species go extinct every year), and its natural resources. The United Nations’ biodiversity chief in 2010 warned that nations risk economic collapse and loss of culture if we do not protect the natural world and its biodiversity. Humankind is faring no better.

    The abolitionist movement estimates 27 million individuals trafficked worldwide—mostly women and children, enslaved in forced labor or outright captivity.
    And if that wasn’t enough, there are between 143 and 210 million orphans worldwide with 2.1 million in the United States, and 10 million in Mexico (UNICEF, 2009). There is an ongoing and sustained attack on innocence that must be countered.
    Perhaps you have a desire similar to ours, to help restore endangered, at-risk children to a level of renewed hope, health, safety, and happiness, playful joy, belonging, and a regained sense of innocence.  

One of the best places we can help each other reconnect, and open our hearts to that childlike awe and wonder, and renewed sense of innocence is in the midst of nature. 
Other Ways You Can Help - Please share & 
help get the word out.

                Even if you can't contribute a whole heap of dollar$ or even a few, we still need you. We need your awareness, your well wishes, your prayers and help talking it up. We ask that you share this extremely important project with nature enthusiasts, gardening friends, spiritual folks who love peace, AND good health, lovers and caretakers of the earth, and anyone who cares about a future for children. 

Ask them to get the word out and make some joyful noise about this campaign.
Remind them to use the Indiegogo share tools!    THANK YOU!!!