Finding Surprising Blessings in the COVID-19 Pandemic (an update from Scott Sabin)

An update from CEO Scott Sabin

Yes, 2020 has and continues to be a challenging year but it’s also been an amazing and surprising year in many ways. Jesus has been at work in the communities that we serve around the world. The passage that keeps coming to mind is John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

We have seen this again and again. One of our core messages is that the people we serve are our partners not our projects, and that has never been more real to me than this year as we have worked side-by-side through this global pandemic. Our partners have been such an incredible source of inspiration and blessing to me.

Far from anything resembling fear or panic, our partners have responded universally with clear-eyed resolve to do whatever is necessary, to take precautions, and to move forward undaunted.

In the process, we’ve learned a lot about how our program creates resilience. The fact that people plant crops that meet their own nutritional needs makes them more resistant to the loss of income from local markets. On average, our partner families have 2 ½ months of savings, making them able to address their own emergency needs. The Plant with Purpose model aims to help people through an economic crisis like the one we’re facing today. They aren’t dependent on a bunch of Americans. Their own local teams and leaders are supporting them.

During this crisis, training has continued—led by local teams supported by phone or internet resources. Farms are still being transformed, trees are still being planted, savings groups are still meeting with appropriate modifications. Our partners have also become our teachers. As we walk together through this global pandemic, their spirit and resilience gives me strength and encouragement again and again.

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