Planting Seeds

Dustin Hodel Profile
Article by Dustin Hodel
Development Coordinator

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." I Corinthians 3:6

As a Houseparent, I heard this sentiment of "planting seeds" a lot, often in the form of encouragement, and I didn’t always like it. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that was the goal — but selfishly, I wanted to see fruit in these kids! Then Jaycee came to us at Hickory House. She was young, had extreme amounts of energy, and struggled with learning. She was so lovable and yet could be very frustrating because she was slow in making progress — thinking about planting seeds didn’t make me feel better in the moment. Eventually she moved on and we were left wondering if we had really accomplished anything in her nine months on campus.

"A seed that was planted while at Gateway Woods, however small, was still there. It was just waiting for the next person to water it and for God to give it growth."

Fast forward a few years. After having no contact since her departure, she sent my wife a Facebook message: "I just want you to know I’m pregnant. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to disappoint you." Were we discouraged to hear she was pregnant? Yes. But then we realized, there had been an impact. Despite not seeing her for years, she cared about how we viewed her and she knew what she had done was wrong. A seed that was planted while at Gateway Woods, however small, was still there. It was just waiting for the next person to water it and for God to give it growth.


Dustin is currently the Development Coordinator for Gateway Woods. He also along with his wife and family were houseparents.