Cosme in the Dominican Republic

My faith has come from difficult moments

Sometimes it’s the hardest moments of life that produce the most growth

If we were to list out the most meaningful things we’ve done throughout our life and then make a second list featuring the most difficult things we’ve ever done, I suspect we’d find a good amount of overlap.

Things that are worthwhile are rarely convenient. The things that hold value are like diamonds, birthed out of pressure. Things like raising children, building a community, or starting a purpose-filled business don’t happen easily, but they can be incredibly rewarding.

In our friend Cosme’s story, being able to heal his land and provide for his family are major victories. But they required a lot of effort.

For years and years the land that Cosme lived on was unproductive. It got so bad that at one point, he had to leave his family to go to Santo Domingo where he could work as a bus driver. The land had been in his family for generations, and leaving it behind wasn’t an easy choice. But Cosme needed to feed his family and as each subsequent year resulted in less food, he knew it was time to go.

But while he drove passengers on his bus, he believed things could be different.

The key is learning from adversity

So much learning happens amidst adversity and challenge. Jim Collins points out that, “when things are easy, you don’t grow!” This was true in Cosme’s experience.

 

Four years ago, he returned to his rural community and joined a Plant With Purpose group. He decided that it might be possible to restore his land, but it was going to take a new approach. He came in open, ready to learn.

 

In his group, he learned how to diversify his crops. His group leaders explained the importance of crop diversification to the group and the value of having different harvest times for each crop. They also mentioned the return of biodiversity to the region and the conservation of water resources. 

Cosme shares a moment with his mother.
Cosme shares a moment with his mother.

Cosme also realized how important coffee could be to the long term health of his land. Cosme harvests the coffee and then sells the beans to big coffee companies, such as Café Santo Domingo. Last year he harvested 100 lbs of coffee and sold it for 8,000 pesos or approximately $175. As a group we then prayed over his coffee crops and for a bountiful harvest. Cosme and his family “pray as a group so that these dreams can become true.” 

Cosme came to realize that things could be different, with a little innovation and a lot of faith.

There is a great reward for those who persevere

“This is a special moment. Lord Jesus is with us. When I came here [the farm] I saw something beautiful and different. God gives my son strength. We have little resources, but the Lord is working with us. We are grateful,” Cosme explained.

His story serves as a reminder of Paul’s message to the Roman church- “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

Cosme continues to keep his focus fixed on the future, and what’s possible for his son. “This is a special moment,” he shares. “Lord Jesus is with us. When I came here [the farm] I saw something beautiful and different. God gives my son strength. We have little resources, but the Lord is working with us. We are grateful.” 

As Cosme continues to plant trees and learn more sustainable agriculture skills, he thinks back to times when life was much more difficult and remembers the value of innovation and perseverance.

“When I came here to our farm I saw something beautiful and different. I thank the Lord because he gives my son strength to improve our farm and our family. When he leaves in the morning he asks Jesus to be with him. It isn’t easy with little resources to have such an amazing farm.”

Plant With Purpose exists to help you support farmers like Cosme be the solution to our planet’s ecological problems. Through focusing on the spiritual roots of environmental challenges, we see transformation take place at every level. Want to partner up? Sign up to become a Purpose Partner here!

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