Friday, September 18, 2009

Garden Visitors

The Garden of Hope continues to receive a steady stream of visitors since it's dedication service on June 14, 2009.  The second order of memorial plaques have now been mounted and the third group will arrive within the next month.  As we visit with guests visiting the garden, we find a variety of answers, but most come because they have lost a baby themselves or know of someone struggling with a loss.  Some guests walk quietly through the garden while others weep looking at the Hope sculpture or reading the names on the memorial plaques.  Everyone with whom we have spoken to or heard from, treasures the garden and has been blessed by its ministry.  To God be the Glory!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Garden of Hope dedication! Praise God!

The Garden of Hope board of directors and project coordinator rejoice during the dedication on June 14, 2009.  They include, from left, Darla Anastasi, Dawn Beitzel, Michele Beyer, Ken Nafziger, Dawn and Brian Waltman.
  During the service, family members shared quiet moments together as the names of babies were read by Carol Anne Hauk, Chaplin for Lancaster Women and Babies.  

Throughout the day, guests read the names of babies on the memorial wall plaques.  Plaques can be ordered at any time by downloading a form from
Over 350 guest visited the garden during the dedication drop in.  It was an incredibly beautiful day and we feel blessed in so many ways.  
Garden musicians provided music while guests visited the garden.  Guitar, flute, violin and acapella songs joined the singing birds in rejoicing over the day.
Board member, Michele Beyer, created a lovely pictorial time line showing the garden's journey that started 7 years ago.
Board member, Dawn Beitzel and her family, served refreshments in the Community Building.

Let the planting begin!

A faithful group of volunteers put on their grubbies and got down and dirty as the planted shrubs, flowering bushes, perennials and annuals in the garden.

Thanks to Chris Lacock, Wilmer Martin, Kurt and Char Thomas and kids Roman, Winston and Regan, Dawn Beitzel with kids Isaac and Teagan and the Waltman kids Matt, Megan, Micah & Malia.
Even kids helped out with this important task!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A garden gazebo!

Our garden gazebo arrived this morning!  It is so beautiful!  Many thanks to Meadowview Woodcrafts for giving us a huge discount and making it affordable for us to purchase.  Now, visitors to the garden can spend time in the garden and still escape a rain shower or the hot summer sun.   A wonderful place to sit and reflect, pray and seek God's presence. 

It's time to plant!

It's time for landscaping!!!  We picked up our first order of shrubs from Longview Nursery. Tom and Kathy Wiedman grow their own plants and ordered others from a wholesaler.  They gave us a great price!!  Thanks also to Ken's Gardens for donating various perennials and annuals for the garden!

WJAL News 8 visits the garden!

We are very thankful that Lori Burkholder of WGAL News 8 saw a recent article about the garden and wanted to cover the story.  She was so open to everything we had to share and we were blessed by the opportunity we had to share the message of the garden with so many people.  God has blessed us with articles in each of the papers, WJTL radio and now WGAL.

The Hope Sculpture is finally home!

For the past 5 years since the arrival of the Hope sculpture, team members have moved the sculpture around to different businesses, churches and ministries to create awareness about the garden.  For the past several years, the sculpture has been in a temporary garden at a local church.  Last Monday, with the help of some muscle power, the Hope sculpture arrived at it final home - 30 Springhouse Lane in the Watson Run development located off of route 772 just east of the town of Intercourse.  (Behind Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant)  Welcome home!
Leaving its temporary home at The Church at Timberline.  

Final Grading

Last week, once again, a group of volunteers gave up a five hour block of time to help do the final grading on the garden.  Hard stoney soil was hauled away and new topsoil was brought in.
Many thanks to Rodger Beitzel, Ryan Leik, Wilmer Martin, Brian Diller and project coordinator Brian Waltman.  Also, thanks to Siegrist Plumbing for the use of their dump truck and skid loader and to C.B. Hoober for the use of their tractor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stamp it!

(pictures appear starting with most recent) Laying down large, patterned rubber mats create our chosen pattern as Jared tamps the surface with a large rubber mallet.  While watching the whole process, it is obvious this crew knows exactly what they are doing. 
Once the concrete had set, Jared dusted the surface with a powdered colored mixture that would be pressed into the crete during the stamping process.

Once the concrete was poured, Dale used the bull float to make sure it had a smooooooth finish.
As the concrete flows into the walkway form, Eddie makes sure every corner is full and level

StampCrete supervisor, Mike Witmer, watches as stones are dumped for the walkway foundations.

An eye for color

Janelle Witmer, a customer rep. from StampCrete in Leola, was a tremendous help when it came to choosing the color and pattern of our walkways and Hope sculpture foundation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Skilled Hands - Skilled Work

Day after day, we are amazed at what God is doing with the construction of this garden!  Last week,  Elam Lapp of E.L. Masonry and Gid Lapp, worked to lay the block foundations for the memorial walls.  This week we were so blessed to have five crew members from E.L. Masonry come and spend eight hours completing the memorial walls with the split face block.  Praise God for generous businesses in the area who continue to invest in this ministry!
Building the memorial walls was time consuming and tedious. Above, Brandon Martin smooths the mortar joints.
Robert Stewart, carefully positions one of the final blocks on the supporting pillar.
Larry D. Mutzabaugh shows that jobs like this require skill that only comes from years of practice!
Craftsmanship was the name of the game as Juan Salasar makes sure every joint is even.
This was not regular project as the walls needed to be constructed with groove on each side of the pillars so the mounting wall could be slid in to place.  It took a precision finish - and that's what we got.  All eight wall side were positioned without a hitch.

It was a hot day for the crew including Amos Fisher who was in charge of providing each of the layers with mortar mud that was just the right consistency.  Awesome work guys!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mark your Calendars! June 14th, 2009

Do you have your calendar marked for June 14th for the Garden of Hope dedication?  Don't forget!  Guests are welcome to drop in between 4:00-7:00pm and a short dedication service will be held at 6:00pm.  If you haven' t received an invitation, you can see details at  At our website you will also find an order form to order memorial plaques for families who have lost babies.  Questions?  Call 768-7137.

Working until dark

Working well past daylight, Junior Miller, Eric Holland and Daniel Fisher helped backfill and tamp the garden grounds around the memorial wall foundations. 

Before leaving for the evening, the guys helped, Project Coordinator,  Brian Waltman move the blocks into position for the mason to use the following morning.  All of the grey block and split face block needed for the garden, along with the sand and cement, were donated by New Holland Block.

A community effort

The Garden of Hope is truly a community project.  Not only did the community help raise the funds for the Hope sculpture, but they are coming together in a mighty way!  Praise God!  After a week of rainy weather that delayed backfilling in the garden, the soil finally dried out enough to continue the work.  In the above picture, Vince Anastasi uses special equipment to prepare the soil in the center circle for grass.

Vince and Darla Anastasi and Wilmer Martin made sure everything was neat and smooth.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A strong foundation

Once again, early in the morning, skilled men arrived at the garden to help with the construction of the Garden of Hope. Gid Lapp and his brother Elam Lapp, owner of E.L. Lapp Masonry, quickly got to work with the task of building the memorial wall foundations on the footers that had been poured yesterday.
Unlike the footers, the foundations could not get wet. Dark clouds threatened throughout the morning, but the two men raced on trying to beat the weather.

Over 100 large blocks needed moved to be within easy reach of the masons. Thanks to Alvin Esh and his son Taylor, all the blocks were moved within an hour and the masons were able to continue laying without even pausing.

Wanted to get the foundations laid before the rain, Gid and Elam didn't even stop for a mid-morning break! Elam's three year old son, Javelle, however was happy to eat the snack. He had a grand time playing in the sand pile, stone pile and dirt pile. What more could a little boy want?

Four foundations laid, ready to cure. No rain. Perfect. Thank you again God!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A busy day!

Early in the morning, a crew of five men arrived from Scenic Ridge Construction. It didn't take them long to begin digging the footers for the memorial walls.
The men worked quickly and steadily as the threat of rain continued to loom over head.

We are overwhelmed at the amount of volunteer hours that local businesses and their employees have donated to the garden. Pavers, concrete, block - worth thousands of dollars - all donated. May God bless those who are blessing the community and honoring the lives of the precious babies.
Once the footers were dug, they were ready for concrete. It was a muddy mess, but the crew continued on, making sure each footer was poured and leveled according to the blue print.

The crew from Scenic Ridge finished up before noon, just before the sky opened up and poured rain. No problem. The footer were all set and the rain wouldn't hurt them a bit. Once the crew cleared out, the block truck from New Holland arrived.

Using a radio controlled lift, the operator maneuvered huge piles of regular block, split face block, sand and concrete onto the garden grounds.

Brian Waltman, garden project coordinator, spent most of the day at the garden coordinating the work and pulling together all the loose ends.

Early in the afternoon, Brian put in a call to Siegrist Excavating to have several scoops of topsoil delivered to the center of the garden circle.

While Kyle Siegrist, the backhoe operator, brought the soil from several blocks away and was able to dump it in over the pavers, leveling the dirt was left for Brian to do in the down pour. Of course, Ivory, the dog could help supervise.
With four scoops of top soil in place and leveled, the small area is ready for prep work and planting grass. If grass can start growing now, it will save on the amount of sod needed later.
It was amazing to look back over the day and see how all the work that needed to get completed without a heavy rain - got completed! When it did rain, it did not compromise any of the concrete or delay any of the other work. Thank you God! Please make sure you have plans to join the Garden of Hope dedication on Sunday, June 14, 2009 from 4:00-7:00pm with a special dedication service at 6:00pm. If you have any questions about the dedication, please call 717-768-7137. For questions about the construction of the garden, please call Brian Waltman at 717-615-7472.