We’re celebrating a successful first season of Plant With Purpose’s Grassroots Podcast! While we’re on a little break right now, feel free to go back and listen to any of our past episodes here! And if you’re not totally sure where to start, here are a few quotes from our guests to spark some inspiration.
Matthew Sleeth on the role of trees in Scripture
“Trees are the way God chose to tell his story in the Bible. Trees are the most mentioned living things in Scripture other than God and people. There’s a tree on the first page of Genesis, a tree on the first Psalm, a tree on the first page of the New Testament and a tree on the last page. Every major character of Scripture has a tree associated with them, and every major theological event has a tree marking the spot.
The Bible refers to itself in Proverbs 3:18 as the tree of life. So it’s how God chose to tell his story. If you opened the Bible and read the first three chapters and highlighted every sentence that has a tree in it, you’ll have highlighted about a third of the opening of the Bible.”
Scott Sabin on staying hopeful
“We must remember that although we have a role to play, although we are participating in God’s redemptive work, hope does not depend solely on us, but the world does not depend on me.
I’m going to be faithful in what I’m doing, but that’s not what my hope is built on.
I think remembering that is important. And remembering again at a micro level the families that have their lives transformed. The woman in Haiti who says “I’m a new woman because I was able to buy a donkey to take my things to market.” That makes what we do worthwhile at every level on every day.”
Abdul Ada on the connection between living and a healthy environment
“Most of the people on the island where I was born rely on the ocean for a living. One thing is the fisheries and another is tourist. People go to these places for tourism because they have nice coral reefs. These coral reefs are home for turtles and schools of fish.
The beaches are not polluted, they’re pristine as we like to say.
For people to sustain themselves, they need a good environment to attract these goods and services.
So there are no boundaries between people and the environment, it’s all together. There’s no distinction there. So by taking care of the environment they are taking care of themselves. Me helping my community take care of the community is me taking care of myself too. It’s all connected.”
Dezo on reversing the cycle of poverty and deforestation in Haiti
“Yes, it’s possible. It’s not something I’d call easy, but it’s something we see in the places where we are working. We see poor soil become good soil. We see poor people have their lives improve- they go to school, they eat better. It’s possible and we’ve started doing that.
Haitian farmers cannot avoid natural disasters. The thing to do is to teach people to understand the risks of catastrophes, so they can create things that help them lose less during a disaster. For example, if there’s heavy rain, good planning can help protect animals, cows, goats, everything. And you can plant trees or protect your houses with trees, save money so you can restore things that get broken or damaged. These are things we teach to people in the community to prevent significant suffering.”
Phileena Heuertz on how contemplation plays a role in environmental care
“Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden light. When I consider the state of our world and the concern of the future for our planet, it feels very heavy. It can be depressing. Jesus said his burden was light.
What I've found is that through contemplation, we can enter in to the life of God that is involved on our planet. It's the difference between thinking it's up to us and learning how to partner with the Creator who cares more than we do. How to serve and work in a way that is in service of the good of the planet while relinquishing control and attachment to outcome.
When we're operating out of union with God, we want to control the outcome. We have to realize the outcome is out of our control, so how can we partner with God with the bit that we can do. That's where it's at. It's learning to find the easy yoke, even in such huge complications and challenges that we're facing as a planet.”
Nick Laparra on being patient with results
“For my own family, for my kids who are four, six and seven, and for my wife and my community… For me it’s the reminder that I may not get to see the immediate result of the work I’m doing and that’s fine. I’m in this for the long haul, so I want to make change over the course of my lifetime, not just things that I can see tomorrow.
There are some things I can see right away, there are behaviors, there are effects that we do. But the majority of things are not.”
Grassroots is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and a wide variety of other podcast players. Or you can listen via the player on our page. Don’t forget to leave us a review and share with a friend!