Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

Stewardship in Action: Heather and Spencer Babcock

Stewardship in Action:

Heather, Spencer, and Kai Babcock

Designers and Educators at Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community

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Heather, how did you and your family end up living in a remote part of India?

Spence and I love to serve. We also love to travel. In 2009 we set out to spend a year exploring Asia, and discovered this organization working to serve the needs of Monpa children in the Himalayan foothills (the Monpa people are of Tibetan heritage). We ended up staying for 4 months of that year. This is our 2nd visit to Jhamtse Gatsal, and we intend to be here for a full year.

How does environmental stewardship relate to what you do at Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community?

Jhamtse Gatsal has a goal of working towards self-sufficiency in everything they do, and of being a resource and beacon for the surrounding region as they learn. They currently grow much of their food in organic gardens, supply some of their power needs with solar panels, and in general try to live very simply. They are also exploring additional power options such as wind, learning about natural building methods, and better ways to grow nutritious food. By working on design and promotional projects for the community, I feel like we are supporting their goal to be good stewards. Our biggest project right now is a much-needed overhaul of their website, which will help them bring in funds and better volunteers to share skills and knowledge.

What have you learned about environmental stewardship while at Jhamtse Gatsal?

The Tibetan Buddhist lifestyle practiced by the people here, of having respect for all beings, and of living a life worthy of progression in the next, perfectly aligns with my thoughts about how we should be living our lives and treating God’s creations. I am always learning how happy a simple and respectful lifestyle can be. Something I learn daily, though, is that none of us are perfect. Living and being our best selves, and in harmony with all that we are given is a goal and a process to work towards. I love being here, and sharing in that mutual journey.

Why is environmental stewardship important to you?

I was fortunate to be exposed to wild places pretty early in my life. Seems like we always lived on the edge of a neighborhood, and so I would spend all the time I could out playing & exploring, listening and observing, collecting critters, and generally just being a part of what I found around me. I’m grateful that Heavenly Father’s love for us can be seen so clearly in the beautiful world he gave us to live in. I learned to love all creations, and I learned to love the spiritual influence that can be found in natural places. That love has turned into a strong desire to nurture and protect this great gift.

How does the Gospel affect how you think about the environment? 

I believe that God created all things, and so if we love our Creator, we will be active about taking care of this Earth that we have been given stewardship over, to the best of our ability. It’s a process; we are constantly learning better ways to do things, and the results of our actions. But when we are open-minded, humble about changing our ways, and always aiming at love and respect for Heavenly Father & His creations, we try.

 

To find out more about the Babcocks, see their fantastic website with a telling name: http://itch2live.com.  Also see the Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community website here.

This is the second of a series of profiles of Church members that exemplify stewardship in some aspect of their lives.  We hope to show the diverse and wonderful ways that Church members show respect and wise use of the earth’s resources.  If you would like to suggest someone to highlight in the future, let us know