“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” is a trite saying that many use to explain coincidences. When it came to having repair work done at Guido Gardens, this saying proved itself to be true. Just ask Andrew Stallings of Pembroke.
One day, Stallings took his car to Metter Ford for service. He and his wife and grandchild rode around Metter, specifically to Guido Gardens. They had heard of Guido Gardens but never had the opportunity to actually visit. On that day, the Stallings walked around the garden and admired the beauty of God’s creation. On their visit, they met Dr. Larry Guido. Actually, they met Bella, Guido’s dog, who is his constant companion. The Stallings’ grandchild was captivated by Bella and played with her while the adults talked.
Stallings talked with Guido about the beauty of the gardens. He also talked about the desire to help Guido Evangelistic Association with the chore of performing some upkeep to the structures found in the garden. Guido was thrilled because he is aware of the many needs that always exist by virtue of having a 3-acre garden with multiple structures and thousands of visitors each year. To say Guido was receptive to Stallings’ interest would be an understatement.
The Stallings left Guido Gardens with two things. One was a commitment from Dr. Guido to go to Pembroke Christian Church as a speaker for their third Sunday evening praise and worship service. The other was a plan for helping spruce up Guido Gardens.
Because of the Stallings’ desire to help the Guidos, Andrew Stallings went to the board of his church to ask that they commit to helping with Guido Gardens’ maintenance. The board agreed to support the project with both money and time. Boy Scout Troop 141, sponsored by Pembroke Christian Church and led by Scoutmaster Levi Marriott and Assistant Scoutmasters Lonnie Dombrowsky and Bill Bodmer, decided that they, too, would get involved.
On Nov. 1, Boy Scout troop 141 and several men of the Pembroke Christian Church headed to Guido Gardens to complete their first projects. The Scouts decided to rebuild a privacy fence that encircles an air-conditioning unit and some unsightly electrical equipment that is required for the Nights of Lights. The men of the church, under the direction of church elder Bill Bacon assisted by Mike Crosby, took on repairing the rotting wood on the garden’s tea house. Throughout the coldest Nov. 1 that anyone could remember, they worked diligently into the night to complete their work.
After this project was completed, the group returned to their home church in Pembroke and told others of the many opportunities for service that exist at Guido Gardens. Immediately, another elder of the church, Bob Floyd, volunteered to travel to Metter to remove a dead tree from the grounds. Within only a few days, the dead tree was gone. Mark Crowe and others volunteered to return to complete renovations to the pergola that serves as the stable for the manger display during the Nights of Lights. Still others said they would come and spend their time caulking, priming and repainting the structures that have been repaired.
All of this is happening this month in anticipation of the Nights of Lights from Dec. 18-31.
Additionally, the men of the church plan to work as volunteers in the parking lot during the Nights of Lights. Stallings says he will be calling other churches to challenge their men to also volunteer to provide this service.
To volunteer at Guido Gardens, especially during the Nights of Lights, call 912-685-2222. The Nights of Lights will be held Dec. 18-31, from 6-9 p.m. at Guido Gardens, 600 N. Lewis St. in Metter.