Has God ever felt quiet to you?
God is always present and near. But that doesn’t mean it always feels that way. Throughout the course of one’s lifetime, there may be long stretches of silence and seasons that feel unusually dry.
Sometimes, our relationship with God can feel like going
What is a savings group?
Sometimes called savings groups, sometimes called Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), these are savings-led microfinance groups that work to combat poverty. For those unable to benefit from a formal financial institution, these groups offer participants an opportunity to save, grow their money, and take
God created the earth and declared it good.
And it truly is good.
If you’ve ever found yourself amazed by the beauty of a National Forest, reenergized by a weekend spent hiking, or surprised by how intricately the human body is designed, it’s hard to disagree.
That’s not to say
Fefela stands out in her community for her hard work and dedication to restoration.
In fact, Fefela might never sit down. During our team’s visit to her community of Los Piños, she was up and moving the entire time, making sure that everything was running smoothly.
The community of
Integrating sustainability and development provides many benefits to female farmers
Plant With Purpose is deeply committed to addressing the root causes behind poverty and environmental degradation. An amazing thing about addressing root causes is discovering how they affect so many issues.
Take, for example, women’s empowerment. Gender based inequality may
For Isaya, poverty took many forms
Isaya lives in Tanzania, where he and his neighbors once lived in poverty. They didn’t just lack money, however. They also lacked trees, enthusiasm, and the awareness of how to improve their situation.
The barrenness of the land around him left Isaya concerned about
Plant With Purpose is eagerly looking forward to the upcoming book release from our friend Matthew Sleeth. Matthew is a medical doctor who came to faith partly through noticing how trees constantly resurfaced in Scripture and in our world. His book Reforesting Faith will arrive in bookstores later next month. Enjoy an
A changed heart is the first step towards renewal
One of the biggest things that determines what we can accomplish is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. A big part of Plant With Purpose’s program is to replace false narratives that our participants have come to believe with the
Rombo isn’t an easy place to get to. You’ll need to drive for quite some time on the remote roads of Tanzania. In terms of distance, it isn’t too far from Mt. Kilimanjaro, a frequently visited and easily accessible spot. But getting from the city areas to the village of
You’ve probably already heard about the impact transportation has on the environment. You’ve probably also heard suggestions of ways you can reduce your own ecological footprint. We’re going to revisit a few of those options, while also looking at some of the other benefits you might not have considered.
The start of something sweet
Juan urged us to come a little bit closer to look at what was growing on some of the trees on his farm.
A team from Plant With Purpose was visiting Juan and some of his neighbors in his community in the Dominican Republic. For
How one Plant With Purpose supporter is using her love of running to plant more trees
Jenny Gruber is an engineer, a Plant With Purpose supporter and a marathon runner. While she had already ran 29 marathons going into the month, she wanted to do something a little bit more
It’s a new year and a perfect time to take on some new habits. Habits that help us live more sustainably don’t just help us, in the long run, they help everybody. A complete overhaul of your lifestyle isn’t easy- and usually isn’t lasting. Taking a few key steps towards
You probably already know more about these kinds of trees than you realize.
The idea of staple foods is probably a familiar one. Staple crops like corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes are an important part of many diets. Most world cuisines eat one or two of these staples almost every
In 2019, Plant With Purpose will begin program work in Ethiopia
We are extremely excited to announce that this year we will begin working with families and communities in rural Ethiopia.
In mid-2018, we were approved to begin working. We have appointed Getnet Takere to serve as the Pilot Project Manager,
Meet Ross Boone AKA Raw Spoon
This month we’re teaming up with Ross Boone, an Atlanta-based artist and illustrator. We’re also featuring him as our Supporter of the Month!
Raw Spoon is Ross Boone’s artist name- and if you’re not sure why, then try reading that sentence out loud. His
The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. It’s justice.
This quote comes from Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy. In that book, Stevenson recounts his experiences as a lawyer, working to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. His work to get people off of death row and out of
If you’re a Purpose Partner, if you’ve started a fundraiser for Plant With Purpose, or if you’ve ever donated towards our mission of reversing poverty and deforestation, you should know that your donations weren’t a hand-out. It’s more accurate to think of your gift as an investment. The financial growth
Twelve years ago, the village of San Isidro Trementina was devastated
The small, rural community in Mexico was made up of farmers. When the land was well, the crops grew and the people were well. When the land suffered, so did the crops and the people in the village.
Jah Cho’s smile is contagious
If you catch Jah Cho among his neighbors in Northern Thailand, you won’t have to wait very long before he offers up some jokes. His many stories, told in his Lahu dialect, are always accompanied with a big smile and belly laugh. Jah Cho is
Welcome to 2019! It’s an excellent time to both look back and look ahead at the many things worth celebrating and anticipating. Last year was one of our strongest yet- we are planting more trees, working in more communities, and putting more of your generosity to good use than ever
As Plant With Purpose prepares to begin its work in Ethiopia, our international team has spent time learning from local leaders and experts about its environment. The East African nation has seen a number of changes over the past year, including a new prime minister, its first female president, as
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
Christina knows the challenges of rural living
Christina lives in the village of Siha, on the western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. Though she is close to the mountain, it can be difficult to get to her village. The steep slopes and unpaved roads demand a cautious drive away from the
Plant With Purpose has had the privilege of collaborating with many unique corporate partners over the years. The wide variety of corporate partners has reminded us that sustainability is for everybody. This month, we’re happy to feature one of our long-time, creative corporate partners as our Supporter of the Month. If
When you pay attention to the news about the environment, the stories you come across are often grim. Many of them are alarming, warning about how we can’t continue our demanding lifestyles without irreversible damage to the planet.
Those stories are important, and it’s important to heed their warnings, but
Plant With Purpose is heavily committed to the use of community savings groups. Across seven countries, over 1,200 savings groups regularly meet. Community members can bring the cash they’ve been able to save, investing that money by purchasing shares. When they’ve accumulated enough in savings, they can then take out a loan
Christmas fast approaches! If you’ve got plans to put up a tree this year but haven’t done so already, it might be just the right time to get a plan in place. Figuring out how to sustainably select a Christmas tree can be a little confusing at first. After all,
Poverty is a serious threat to many families
Millions of families around the world live in poverty, but their hopes are pretty similar to the hopes of most other families. Parents want to be able to put their kids through school to get a strong education. Children hope to grow
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
At the end of each year, many of us try to turn our focus towards gratitude. We reflect on what really matters in our lives. We take inventory of blessings. We go around the table at Thanksgiving to share what we are thankful for, then reinforce our gratitude in family
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
When we live sustainably, we live compassionately.
Sustainability is both and act of selflessness and humility. When we choose to practice sustainability, we do so realizing that the things we do affect far more people than ourselves. It invites us to consider our own interests less than the interests of
Worship has no boundaries
A big part of spiritual renewal is learning that we shouldn’t compartmentalize our relationship with God within church walls. Our faith isn’t just for Sundays. A vibrant, robust faith impacts every single thing we do, from church to work to life at home. There are no
Can it be done?
Using planet-friendly products is a great way to live sustainably. From reusable straws to alternative hygiene products, there are so many opportunities to swap out some of your daily use items to ones that do less harm to the environment.
There’s just once concern that comes
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
This summer, Plant With Purpose has had the treat of having a team of highly skilled and mindful interns around our San Diego office. These interns bring with them unique perspectives and rich experiences.
Our Communications Intern, Caillie, was drawn to Plant With Purpose by her concern for some of
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
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
Living sustainably is living the way God intended. It takes grace.
Sustainable living is a good thing. You already knew we wholeheartedly believe that.
But living in a way that protects creation and honors its Creator isn’t just a good thing to do. It’s so much more than that. Living
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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,
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2018
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.
Jah Cho has seen how hard life can be.
In Northern Thailand you’ll find dozens of small villages where several ethnic minorities live. Many tribal groups have never been granted national citizenship. Many have faced persecution from the state. It isn’t uncommon to find older adults willing to talk about
For years Khamsee was unable to put food on the table.
Much of Thailand has grown internationally familiar as the country has boomed as a tourist hot spot in recent years. Cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai see the bulk of visitors. Many of the country’s rural areas, however,
Solutions that really last are the ones driven by locals.
When people are full-fledged participants in the process, lasting change begins. There are many cases where an organization or think-tank enters a village with a technology-driven innovation that seems guaranteed to eradicate disease, prevent droughts, or halt poverty. The local
Emma provides the world with a valuable crop – coffee.
As a farmer in Tanzania, she produces between 300,000 and 400,000 vegetables each week. Emma works extremely hard, digging trenches and harvesting her crops by hand. Chief among her crops is one that millions of people around the world find
Violence plagued the village of Poblete, and disrupted Juana’s family.
Juana, her husband, and their three children lived in Poblete, located in one of Mexico’s poorest areas which suffered from widespread violence. For years, the village experienced tension and crime. When environmental damage caused its farms to produce less food,
Without trees, the rural poor are often stuck in a cycle of poverty and environmental loss.
The conditions of poverty create a strain on land, and exhausted land threatens the livelihood of the farmers who live there.
This was a scenario that challenged Eleuterio, a seed producer in Coatecas Altas,
Plant With Purpose committed to showing up.
Few events stand out in the memory of Plant With Purpose’s executive director Scott Sabin like the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. As news broke on that Monday in early January, the organization had to quickly figure out how to respond to an
Marcos and Maria are a couple full of joy.
The community of La Joya is nestled an hour away from Piedra Blanca in the Dominican Republic. Those living in living these rural areas often lag behind the rest of the country’s economic development. As the Dominican Republic experiences economic growth,
Good intentions often produce harmful results in Haiti.
Haiti is a hot spot for charity organizations and well-intentioned people wanting to help. The country is often recognized by its poverty as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and the victim of natural disasters. Unfortunately, the presence of these good intentions
Poverty and deforestation are harsh on vulnerable populations.
For generations, the community of La Joya in the Dominican Republic relied on farming. Good production of coffee and graperfuit allowed pig and cattle farmers to produce enough for their families and people. This all started to change as deforestation began and
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