New Community Garden Offers Hope

Source: Living Lutheran

Dylan Pyeatt and Coleman Yoakum wanted to be more than just a homeowner when they purchased their duplex in Pontiac, Michigan, they wanted to be witnesses for Christ. Posting in front of their new home a sign with Micah 6:8 on it, “Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God,” the pair wanted to be a part of community transformation.

“Everyone wants a better neighborhood,” Pyeatt said. “[In 2011] we didn’t have a plan. We had a vision, but not a plan.” 

Initially meeting while in college at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas while volunteering with a local prison ministry they fell in love with missions. Pyeatt said, “We got [the inmates] excited about studying the Bible. It was great.” 

Moving beyond just interactions in the corrections center they began engaging the community.

“We had no plan and no money,” Pyeatt recalled. “Just a soccer ball. So we decided to take the soccer ball [there] and see what happened.” 

Initially playing soccer primarily with the just kids, they soon began to develop relationships with their parents and organized a group to begin to fix broken or damaged property in the area while relationships continued to grow organically.

As a result of more neighborly interaction, the community began to improve.Yoakum still wanted to do more. He said, “It would be cool to do this in a bigger way.” So after college, in 2011, Yoakum moved and began learning more about neighborhood revitalization initiatives in nearby Detroit.

After purchasing the Pontiac home, other college friends moved into what was being called “the Micah 6 house.”

After raising more than $100,000 for renovations Yoakum and Pyeatt noticed they were living in a food desert and decided to act. Partnering with local residents they launched a community garden to provide fresh vegetables.

“It wasn’t just folks from the outside coming in to help,” Pyeatt said. “Everyone in our community helped. Because that’s what Micah 6 is all about.” 

Today, Micah 6 is bustling with local families participating in the garden program and tending the plants. With help from surrounding congregations, Micah 6 offers Bible studies for all ages and meeting Alcoholics Anonymous ministries. 

In what started as just a dream of two college students, now stands as a thriving testament to the hand of God at work in this community.