Retired school principal Paul Sabel’s garden is a huge blessing – not just for him and wife, but also for some of the world’s poorest.
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Browsing through handmade treasures at a country market, you can easily sense when you are buying love. Vendors spruik a cornucopia of local goods all created with care, from hand-knitted beanies to fresh-baked delicacies.
As you amble among the stalls of South Australia’s south coast markets, you might unwittingly buy a little pot of love in the form of a plant, nurtured in the beautiful Port Elliot gardens of local green thumb Paul Sabel. In buying one of his plants, bouquets or cartons of eggs, you are passing this love to some of the world’s most needy people.
Unbeknown to Paul, his market profits, faithfully sent off in a monthly cheque to Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS), have been adding up. More than 15 years of dedicated market sales have totalled more than $350,000 of love in donations.
Since retiring in 1999, the former Lutheran school teacher and principal has spent most weekends at South Australian country markets. He and his wife of 53 years, Annette, have nurtured a wide range of prize-winning plants and flowers on their 1 ½ acre retirement haven in Port Elliot.
Paul had heard of the fabulous work of ALWS through his brother-in-law, the late former ALWS Executive Secretary Sid Bartsch, so he began selling his plants at the local market to raise funds for the LCA’s overseas aid and resettlement agency.
‘ALWS supports people who often have very little hope’, Paul says. ‘In our country, if people have a disaster, there are places and people that can help. But in these countries, there are often no places people can get help. With ALWS, we know the money gets there.’
Why does he do it? ‘I love the garden … and it has a real purpose, it gives me something to get up to do every day. You have got to like what you do and it could be anything – whether craft, or even repairing things, it could raise money. We have received many blessings from it. Apart from the exercise and being active all the time, we have gotten a lot of pleasure from it.
‘We are all God’s creatures and we all need to be looking after our fellow man as best we can.’
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