Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How Does Your GARDEN Grow?

My Neighbor's GARDEN is sprouting green! The new apple trees, bush cherries and red raspberry canes are popping out little leaves all over. And on Thursday, May 11, the double-dig of Bed #1 was completed!! It was a perfect overcast and breezy day, so those last 16 rows took about the same time as my first 4 rows in the hot sun. What a beautiful sight the airy 100-square-foot mound of dirt was as the final shovel-full of dirt dropped to the ground. I quickly planted some marigolds at each end to discourage insect pests and dropped in a couple types of tomatoes mixed in with some basil (to improve the growth and flavor of the tomatoes, plus repel flies and mosquitoes). As of today, the watermelons and sweet potatoes are planted. I just need to start the cabbage in a flat for later transplant to finish this bed ... then onto Bed #2.

Don't miss a great opportunity to learn how to do this yourself! It may sound like a lot of work, but I call it the "workout for the untamed"! Who needs a gym if you have a garden?! Come on by, I've got an extra shovel waiting for you. For more information, contact Deb Cruver at

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Next Health Club at Zarephath Meeting: June 12, 2006

During our first meeting on May 8, we discussed 6 of the 7 "Components of Total Health": Rest/Sleep, Exercise, Air, Sunshine, Personal Hygiene, and Attitude. We found out that total health isn't just the absence of pain and symptoms, but the point where our bodies are functioning at 100%. In order for us to do this, we need to address these components in our lives. We took home some suggested "baby steps" as an encouragement to implement what we learned.

Next month, our focus will be on the 7th component -- the big doozie -- Nutrition! Americans are the most overweight and under-nourished people in the world. Let's discover why that is and what thought patterns we might need to change in order to help our bodies function as they should. We'll cover some basic biology and physiology to find out what fuels we require. PLUS, we'll get another recipe to take home as well as the monthly book review so you can explore some of these issues on your own.

Mark your calendar now for Monday, June 12, 7-9 pm at the Main Building Reception Room in Zarephath, NJ. For more information and to sign-up, contact Deb Cruver at

Monday, May 08, 2006

Progress Report

So much is happening in My Neighbor's Ministries; it's time for an update!

My Neighbor's HEALTH

What would you do if you were offered an empty state-of-the-art hospital on the Caribbean Island of Antigua?! Well, if you are part of the leadership team of Zarephath Health Center, whose purpose is to meet the medical needs of the uninsured and poor, you'd thank God for this incredible opportunity! Read more about it at:

The "Health Club" at Zarephath launched its monthly gathering with a focus on the "Components of Total Health." The next meeting will be Monday, June 12, 7:00-9:00 pm in the Main Building Reception Room at Zarephath. Topic: "Nutrition: What's Food Got to do With It?" More info: write Deb Cruver at

My Neighbor's GARDEN

The workday was a great success! Hard-working volunteers cleared and planted deer-resistant perennials along the north fence border, cleared the first garden bed and installed an arbor entrance. Also complete is the installation of 5 semi-dwarf apple trees, 2 bush cherries and 3 red raspberries. In the works is the transplanting of an evergreen privacy barrier as well as a waterline out to the Garden. If you're interested in learning to double-dig, I've got four rows completed and plenty to go ... grab a shovel and come on over! More information: Deb Cruver at

Work Team's trip to DESIRE STREET

Our 5-person team came back with wonderful stories and pictures, telling us about their experience serving in hurricane-ripped New Orleans. They're presently working on their own blogsite. I'll update you when that is complete so you can find out more about what they did and their upcoming return trip this summer. Thank you for your gifts and prayers! They accomplished much, but there is so much more that needs to be done!!

Progress continues on all fronts, including My Neighbor's HOME, My Neighbor's PANTRY and My Neighbor's CLOSET. Keep checking back for more details as these ministries continue to grow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NEW!! "Health Club" at Zarephath

Beginning Monday, May 8 (2006) we are launching a monthly gathering for those interested in learning more about the incredible bodies God created for us. It will be a mix of nutrition, biology, physiology; exercise how-to's; "Food for Life" meal preparation; Q&A; health evaluations, guest speakers, etc. Something for everyone! Join us as we meet in the Main Building Reception Room from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. We'll continue to meet every 2nd Monday. For more information, contact Deb Cruver:

Friday, March 31, 2006

Garden work day: April 29, 2006

My Neighbor's Garden has scheduled a spring work day for Saturday, April 29, 2006 from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. The Garden is located on the corner of Weston Canal and Randolph Roads in Somerset, New Jersey.

Project goals include:
1) landscaping around the perimeter to discourage animal invasions
2) planting an evergreen privacy border for the residents next door
3) double-digging and planting beds #1 & #2
4) building/establishing compost piles
5) assembling, painting and installing a small arbor entrance
6) planting fruit trees and shrubs

(Bring Your Own Tools)

For more information about the work day, email Deb Cruver @ For more information about My Neighbor's Garden, see previous post below.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Helping "Neighbors" in New Orleans

Zarephath Christian Church has come alongside Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans after their devastion by Hurricane Katrina. A team of ZCC volunteers will be spending the week of April 2-7, 2006, in New Orleans assisting with the removal of debris to make room for reconstruction. The team will work during the day and experience Desire Street's "Urban Institute" in the evenings to learn more about urban ministry. If you would like to donate toward the team's trip, contact Zarephath Christian Church at 732-356-2502 or send your donation to Zarephath Christian Church, 14 Chapel Drive, Zarephath, NJ 08890 and earmark it Desire Street Trip. Visit for more information about Desire Street.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What Can YOU Do?

Have you been feeling like you want to make a difference in the world? Have you finally realized that God has created you for a purpose, but you're just not clear about what that purpose is? Why not choose one of these ministries and begin using your gifts and talents to make a difference in someone's life? Maybe you have some ideas and/or experience that could help us to really get these ministries going. We're looking for a team of men and women who are willing to answer the call to "Follow Me." And, we never turn down those who'd like to make a tax-deductible donation toward My Neighbor's Ministries. Contributions can be earmarked and written to Zarephath Christian Church. You can also pray with us that as we reach out to those in need, people will experience the compassion of Jesus.

My Neighbor's HEALTH

Presently, MNH is picking up speed with it's creative healthcare endeavor: Zarephath Health Center. This clinic offers healthcare to low-income and uninsured clients. For more detailed information, go to

In the future, we hope to offer preventative health and fitness training by certified nutritional counselors and other professionals.

My Neighbor's CLOSET

MNC made its debut in 2004 with a clothing drive to benefit Franklin Township Food Bank's "Working Persons' Wardrobe." We were able to collect slightly used suits, skirts, blouses, dress pants, etc. to give to those seeking employment and in need of interview and nice work clothes.

We also collected new and used items for the men assisted by Market Street Mission as well as for children in Nicaragua and Costa Rica during the 2005 mission trip.

Presently, we are looking for someone to coordinate these efforts to give good clothes to those in need.

My Neighbor's HOME

The desire of this ministry is to connect the elderly, single parents and other special needs homeowners experiencing minor home-related problems with a trained handy-person to fix that problem. Building contractor, Gordon Tiner, has jumped on board to coordinate this effort and is at work rallying a team of expert volunteers.

My Neighbor's PANTRY

Zarephath Christian Church collects shelf food items on a regular basis. Food is distributed to those who come to us with a need as well as to Franklin Township Food Bank. Our goal is to provide higher quality and healthier food items.

My Neighbor's GARDEN

My Neighbor's Garden has been created to train children and adults in nutrition and organic, sustainable agriculture. Currently, MNG sits on a 5-acre lot in Somerset, New Jersey. In 2005, we were able to build the structure for a prototype family-of-four garden and hope to begin growing in 2006. The garden methods used require minimal space, equipment and labor, so it is ideal for low-income families interested in growing healthier food for themselves and providing extra income. In the future, we hope to run Creative Camps offering a blend of gardening, drama and art for children. We also hope to work alongside our foreign mission projects in bringing healthy food and income possibilities to those in need around the world.


Jesus did many things as He walked this earth. He spent some time with the religious leaders of the day, but the majority of his time was spent “on the streets” as he taught, touched and healed the masses. His heart, full of compassion, was poured out to the orphans, widows, physically and mentally disabled – all those who were in desperate need of healing and hope. His invitation to us was summed up in two simple words: “Follow Me.”

This blogsite was created for anyone interested in knowing more about Zarephath Christian Church's "My Neighbor's Ministries". The idea was birthed in 2005 from the conviction that those of us who claim to follow Christ need to spend more time putting our faith in action.

In the following posts, we will share with you each ministry designed to meet specific needs. If you would like more information, please contact Deb Cruver at