Trees and Christmas are signposts towards Hope

Trees and Christmas are signposts towards Hope

If you planted a tree for every tree mentioned between Genesis and Revelation, you would easily end up planting quite a large forest.
You’ll find a bush that burns without burning up, a court held underneath palm trees. You’ll find Jesus in a garden hours before his death and mistaken

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Parenthood vs. Poverty

Parenthood vs. Poverty

Being a parent means wanting the best for your children. This simple desire is present in parents no matter what part of the world they live in, and it allows parents from California to the Congo, from Haiti to Hollywood to relate to each other.
While all families want these

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The significance of a social fund

The significance of a social fund

Savings groups help rural communities grow out of poverty through their own resources. As members gain the opportunity to save their money, that money is then lent out to reinvest back into the community through small businesses, livestock, education, and other means.
Alongside that activity, however, groups also gather a

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Matthew Sleeth: What trees teach us about resurrection

Matthew Sleeth: What trees teach us about resurrection

The following post has been adapted from an article by Matthew Sleeth for Christianity Today. You may read the full version here.
Trees are found all throughout Scripture
Every major character and every major theological event in the Bible has an associated tree. The only exception to this pattern is

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Here’s what families hope for in Tanzania

Here’s what families hope for in Tanzania

35,958.
That is the amount of families currently working directly with Plant With Purpose across eight countries. As we seek to grow and expand, its important to look at what families experience on an individual level.
A typical family in Tanzania is a good representation of the hopes and worries

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Grateful and sustainable: keys to a sustainable holiday

Grateful and sustainable: keys to a sustainable holiday

Many people associate Thanksgiving with consuming large amounts of meat, the heaviest travel days of the year, and spending most of the day recovering from overeating by watching sports or TV shows.
Nothing about that is very sustainable, yet gratitude and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Being a wise steward of our

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Say hello to Señor Cheo

Say hello to Señor Cheo

In his village, there were no banks. And that was a big problem.
Palmarito is in the rural Dominican Republic. Like many rural parts of the country, the community lacked banks.
This wasn’t just an inconvenience. Having somewhere to save your money makes a big difference in economic wellness. Having

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To the ones who keep showing up

To the ones who keep showing up

Trying to make an impact on the world isn’t an easy task. While change is possible, the process isn’t linear. There are ups and downs, setbacks, and moments of discouragement that every person who tries to make an impact faces.
That’s why a key trait of people who make a

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Eat more sustainably. Eat every part.

Eat more sustainably. Eat every part.

Eating every part of produce items is a valuable habit to help reduce food waste.
Just about every person is guilty of it in some way or another; we waste a lot of food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household in the United States tosses out about

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A new outlook- and a new look- in La Represa

A new outlook- and a new look- in La Represa

In the central hills of the Dominican Republic sits a community that has been part of the Plant With Purpose family for many years. La Represa has become an exciting example of what kind of change is possible when we invest in holistic change.
Once they faced a situation familiar

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A STORYteller’s notes

A STORYteller’s notes

A couple weeks ago, our team had the opportunity to go to STORY Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. As far as the conference goes, it’s so unlike other conferences that it’s a bit hard to describe. In short, it’s a place for people who believe that a well-told story can change

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The reason we love Purpose Partners

The reason we love Purpose Partners

Purpose Partners make our world go around
If you don’t know what it means to be a Purpose Partner, well, hopefully you’re new to Plant With Purpose because we like to talk about our Purpose Partners a lot. We celebrate them.
Purpose Partners are the reason:

Our partners

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John Mark McMillan on Caring for Creation

John Mark McMillan on Caring for Creation

John Mark McMillan: Creation care is an act of love
John Mark McMillan is a widely-respected music artist. He is also passionate about how the environment impacts people. This fall, Plant With Purpose has had the privilege of teaming up with John Mark McMillan on his seventeen city tour. The

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What is silvopasture and why does it matter?

What is silvopasture and why does it matter?

What is silvopasture?
Silvopasture is a farming method that has the potential to relieve some of the planet’s biggest environmental problems. Estimates suggest that has the capacity to reduce carbon dioxide by 31.19 gigatons of and the potential for over $650 billion in economic savings.
Millions of rural farmers around

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We can’t forget to celebrate hope

We can’t forget to celebrate hope

The communities where Plant With Purpose works are some of the most difficult places on the Earth to live.
As much as our stories focus on change and how a better world is possible, they are also incomplete without a reminder that our group members live very difficult lives.

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The Need for Trees

The Need for Trees

People need trees, and trees need people.
What would happen without trees? In many parts of the world, people would suffer greatly.
Trees fix soil with vital nutrients. Trees fix beneficial nutrients in the earth which enables other plants to grow, including vegetables and crops needed to feed people and

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Saving the evangelists with wings

Saving the evangelists with wings

A little devil is in danger.
By “little devil,” we mean the Black-capped Petrel, a charming bird species that boasts sleek black wings and a white underbelly. The seabird lives off of seafood, spending most of the day soaring over the ocean in search of fish to feast on. At

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“You have a beautiful home”

“You have a beautiful home”

Recently, some members of our team paid a visit to Haiti to meet participants from our program. The trip was meaningful and brought to life many aspects of Plant With Purpose’s program. Our Creative Director, Philippe, shares about an encounter meeting our friend Gernita.
The community of Fonds Verrettes is

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Hope in a Weary Land

Hope in a Weary Land

Where is the most difficult place on the planet to survive?
You could certainly make a case for a few of the countries where Plant With Purpose works.
Experts frequently mention the Democratic Republic of the Congo among the most difficult countries for someone to live. Frequent episodes of

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Nurserymen understand the need for trees

Nurserymen understand the need for trees

We don’t do anything alone. Plant With Purpose has been blessed by the generosity of so many different kinds of supporters, from churches across different denominations to innovative companies and startups to passionate individuals. Each month, we love to feature a new partner who has made our work possible. This

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The Eye of Water

The Eye of Water

It started with a different vision.
About twenty years ago, a visit to the community of Ojo de Agua, “the eye of water” in Mexico’s Mixteca region would have looked quite different. The steep hillside would have been brown and dry.
For years, the people of Ojo de Agua relied

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Why diversify? Just ask Arfanio

Why diversify? Just ask Arfanio

Diversify!
Visit any farmer field school across Plant With Purpose’s international programs, and you’ll find people enthusiastic about why you should diversify your crops and income.
Why? To put it simply, diversity is strength.
In many developing countries, farmers have been encouraged to over-invest in a single cash crop.

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The Pastor and the Problem Solver

The Pastor and the Problem Solver

We’ve been so excited about what’s been happening in our Democratic Republic of the Congo communities.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is undoubtedly one of the most challenging places to live. It is among the most difficult countries to be a mother. Conflict and unrest has threatened the

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Strong people in a vulnerable land

Strong people in a vulnerable land

Haitians are forced to deal with the reality of natural threats.
Haiti is not only a country with many political and economic struggles, but it also has to deal with the fact that it is located in one of the most vulnerable locations when it comes to natural disasters.
As

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The art of taking a deeper look

The art of taking a deeper look

Noticing is a spiritual act
Fred Rogers once said that “appreciation is a spiritual thing,” and that’s an idea that has a profound impact on what we believe and how we live.
All throughout scripture, we’re encouraged to engage the world with a profound set of gratitude and wonder at

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The Way of the Problem Solver

“We will be known by the problems we solve,” says Jeff Shinabarger, the founder of Plywood Presents.
Plywood Presents was a gathering of nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, and purpose driven creatives in Atlanta that our team had the opportunity to attend. The gathering’s strong focus on solving the problems that

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Statelessness, Status, and Solutions: A unique challenge in Thailand

Statelessness, Status, and Solutions: A unique challenge in Thailand

Statelessness is a serious issue for many populations in Northern Thailand.
Last month, the world’s attention turned to Northern Thailand, as a difficult and bold rescue operation sought to free a boy’s soccer team that had been trapped in the Tham Luang Cave for over two weeks. After surviving for

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The climb up Kilimanjaro and out of poverty

The climb up Kilimanjaro and out of poverty

A team from Plant With Purpose recently climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

About a month ago, a group from Plant With Purpose took on the challenge of climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group included Executive Director Scott Sabin and Board Chair Cindy Outlaw, along

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The changed life of Pablo

The changed life of Pablo

Ruta 1 transects the Dominican Republic from north to south. While it is a major road, an hour away from it sit a number of communities that are quiet. Rural. Often overlooked.
Maizal is one of these communities.
Here, you won’t find any banks, any grocery stores, or any major

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What is environmental freedom?

What is environmental freedom?

Environmental degradation rids farming families of their ability to make choices
The connection between people’s freedom and the environment isn’t one made very often. For an overwhelming part of the world’s population, however, the ability to make decisions hinges on the health of their ecosystems.
Freedom is the ability to

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How to support local communities while traveling

How to support local communities while traveling

Does tourism help or harm local populations? That answer is as varied as the list of places to go and things to do.
Do a couple of quick searches on Google, and you’ll find lots of examples of locals bemoaning instances where tourists have trashed nearby natural spots or

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From Myanmar to her own backyard, Na Kuh creates change

From Myanmar to her own backyard, Na Kuh creates change

Conflict drove her family from Myanmar into Thailand.
“We walked from our village into a border area, then into Thailand,” Na Kuh recounted to us. “There were two or three families together, with our children. It took us about a week to enter into that border area. While we were

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There’s a reason God placed us right where we are.

There’s a reason God placed us right where we are.

Our homes are no mere coincidence.
How often do you think about the reasons God has placed us in the physical locations where we live? Some of us might think about this quite a bit, especially if we’ve undergone a major transition or if we felt led to our current

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Environmental solutions come from leaders who listen

Environmental solutions come from leaders who listen

Five voices we should listen to as we take action to care for creation.
Good leaders are good listeners.
We don’t always listen like we should.
Noisy conversations online and in the media show that people are anxious to be heard. The demand for good listeners is high, the

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Harambe! Harambe!

Harambe! Harambe!

What does it look like to come together as one?
Picture a stone church on the top of a small mountain.  In front of the church are garden beds, and just outside its entryway is a large patio.
On the patio are a couple dozen chairs arranged in a circle.

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How a healthy environment can keep fathers with their families

How a healthy environment can keep fathers with their families

Fatherhood is extremely important.
This Father’s Day, we’re taking the time to remember the importance of dads.
Studies make it pretty clear that the presence of a father or father figure plays a big role in a child’s eventual success. Children with involved fathers, stepfathers, or father figures are far

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For Julius, sustainability protects a family legacy

For Julius, sustainability protects a family legacy

Julius’ farm is one of the most vibrant sites in his village.
The village of Rombo sits high atop of its Tanzanian watershed. In one of the highest parts of Rombo, you’ll find a large farm growing bananas, sugar, cabbage, amongst a variety of other crops. The area surrounding the

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For these hilltribes, change begins in the backyard

For these hilltribes, change begins in the backyard

In Northern Thailand, ethnic minorities are creating much needed sustainable change by starting right at home.
Life isn’t easy for the hilltribes in Northern Thailand. As ethnic minorities, many of them are subject to various forms of persecution and discrimination. Many of them are refugees and can remember a time

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Results, processes, people: All of it matters

Results, processes, people: All of it matters

When working with teams that cross different cultures and other boundaries, it’s important to value results, processes, and people.
Plant With Purpose values constant learning and continual improvement. With the goal of learning and improving our internal processes, we recently conducted a staff retreat in Southern California.
One of the

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Keys to a sustainable summer

Keys to a sustainable summer

Summer gives us an opportunity to develop and strengthen sustainable habits.
For many of us, this has been a long awaited moment. I’m talking, of course, about the beginning of summer. Whether that means freedom from the demands of a school year, more opportunities to leave your jacket behind at

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Carolina and the courage to dream

Carolina and the courage to dream

As a young girl, Carolina pleaded with her father to allow her to go to school.
He had not planned on sending any of his daughters to school. School fees were far too expensive and he believed home was the place for women. Immediate needs dictated life. Barren and unproductive

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Rising up to face the three big threats

Rising up to face the three big threats

Plant With Purpose exists to respond to three of the biggest threats that face our planet right now.
Environmental degradation. Poverty. Spiritual despair. These three crises aren’t just concepts, but active threats to the lives and well-being of people all around the world.
These three issues are so deeply connected.

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This community in Haiti is a hub of entrepreneurs

This community in Haiti is a hub of entrepreneurs

When you think of hubs where entrepreneurs and start-ups are birthed, places like Silicon Valley, Austin, or Manhattan may come to mind. In rural Haiti, however, is a village where new economic opportunities, innovation, and empowerment have enabled a community of entrepreneurs to create better lives for themselves and their

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Celebrating the moms who have it the hardest

Celebrating the moms who have it the hardest

We remember the moms in places where raising children is extremely difficult.
There are some places around the world where motherhood is extremely difficult. In many of the communities where Plant With Purpose works, moms have to overcome poverty, food insecurity, disease, and conflict in order to make life better

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DRC: The urgency of unity

DRC: The urgency of unity

Right now is a volatile time for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In February, The Economist issued a magazine cover picturing a Congolese soldier with the headline Heading back to hell: Congo in Peril.
This is a headline nobody wants to see.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

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Time to do something

Time to do something

The environmental threats to our Earth demand that we do something and take action!
Every year, the Earth loses enough forest to cover land the same size as the country of Panama. At this rate, it will be less than a century before its forests are gone completely.
The needs

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Environmental stewardship is a spiritual calling

Environmental stewardship is a spiritual calling

Sustainability isn’t a chore, it’s a calling
Future generations will be living the world we shape through our actions. Today, there are many reasons to be concerned.
People all around the world are consume resources that are disproportionate to their population size. A recent study done by Washington State University,

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The people behind the purpose: Sophie

The people behind the purpose: Sophie

One of the most exciting things that comes with growth for Plant With Purpose is adding new people to the team. Recently, Sophie Casmano joined our team to help strengthen our fundraising efforts. Sophie brings a passion for sustainability and some impressive baking skills to our San Diego office. We

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The Earth Can’t Wait

The Earth Can’t Wait

The time to take action is right now
Deforestation is a crisis that isn’t talked about nearly enough
Every second, one and a half acres of forest is cut down.
Half of the world’s tropical forests have already been cleared.
At the rate we’re going, there will be no more

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Three ways to celebrate Earth Day

Three ways to celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2018
Go outside
What better way to celebrate creation than to spend some time deeply immersed in it?
Our desire to worship swells whenever we find ourselves in awe of something beautiful.
After all, God took time to admire the world after creation.

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The WHY behind our website

The WHY behind our website

You may have noticed we’ve got a new look.
If you’re reading this post, you are most likely on the new plantwithpurpose.org.
This month, we re-launched our digital home. Our new look is meant to bring you closer to our programs all around the world. We believe strongly in the

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The world’s poorest communities dispel a major myth about the environment

The world’s poorest communities dispel a major myth about the environment

Environmental conversations aren’t only about major players.
In most ongoing conversations about the planet’s environmental issues, you’ll frequently hear the names of major actors: The United States Government, the Vatican, the oil industry, and the United Nations. These usually-controversial entities often stir up the debate of what should be given

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Let the locals lead

Let the locals lead

One of the things that sets apart Plant With Purpose’s work is a commitment to building and developing leaders among locals. Visit any of our international offices and you won’t find any expat staff members. Instead each partnering country has its own autonomous office staffed by nationals.
These offices work

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Address root causes

Address root causes

There is no shortage of causes around the world to care about. Every year, thousands of new nonprofit organizations file paperwork to start programs. For people wanting to make an impact, often the problem isn’t finding opportunities to make a difference but choosing one!
The Plant With Purpose team has

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There is no us versus them

There is no us versus them

When we see people strictly in terms of us-and-them, it becomes extremely easy to turn people into projects. Thinking in terms of “the needy” versus “the rich” is a very common tendency among charitable organizations.
We must not think in terms of haves and have-nots.
Some communities have been recipients

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Why we work in rural areas

Why we work in rural areas

In order to truly help the vulnerable, we must know and understand what their situation is like. These beliefs have led us right into rural locations in developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
These are the places where poverty overwhelmingly exists. 
85 percent of the world’s poor live

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A Farmer’s Purpose

A Farmer’s Purpose

Like much of the world, Andres relied on land to provide.
Getting to Andres’ farm from any of the Dominican Republic’s main roads takes a series of dusty streets and switchbacks. The closer you get to the farm, the more and more it starts to look like the Garden of

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What is poverty, anyway?

What is poverty, anyway?

Understanding poverty can be complex
Plant With Purpose strives for a world without poverty, where all people have the opportunity to thrive. That requires understanding the obstacles people face. We are constantly improving our own understanding of poverty to empower individuals and communities. 
Thanks to your support, we’ve

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The brutal connection between poverty and deforestation

The brutal connection between poverty and deforestation

When you live off the land, trees are critical.
In order to care for those affected by poverty, it’s important to understand what poverty really looks like. You may envision an overcrowded urban slum. Globally, however, 85 percent of the world’s poor live in rural settings and rely on agriculture to

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Discipleship & Prayer

Discipleship & Prayer

Lasting transformation doesn’t happen through economic growth or healed environments, but through reconciled relationships with a loving God. To foster spiritual renewal, Plant With Purpose equips local churches to lead spiritual change in their communities.
Plant With Purpose currently partners with over 600 churches, empowering them to disciple

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Economic Empowerment

Economic Empowerment

Plant With Purpose invests heavily in savings groups, equipping families with tools needed to manage personal finances, access loans when needed, and save. This pays off. The average Plant With Purpose family is over twice as likely to save. On average, these participants have enough emergency savings to

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Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture

In 2017, over 39 million people were food insecure, mostly due to environmental damage and natural disasters. Crops, trees, and animals are the top sources of income for rural families that rely on the land for a living. Plant With Purpose sustainable agriculture programs help families living in

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Tree Planting & Reforestation

Tree Planting & Reforestation

Trees are vital, but half of the world’s tropical forests have already disappeared. At the rate we’re going, there will be no more rainforests in under a century. But we have hope. Plant With Purpose is reversing this trend. While the earth loses forest cover, participating communities gain

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THANK YOU! Discover how your generosity made such a big impact this Giving Tuesday!