Three generations of women in the Dominican Republic have benefitted from sustainability.

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. Environmental issues contribute to poverty and spiritual despair. Broken relationships and a lack of hope can lead to poor stewardship of environmental and spiritual resources.These three issues are fundamentally and deeply connected.

These issues are also root causes of many problems, from increasing conflict and violence to human rights abuses. When people migrate out of a sense of desperation, they become extremely vulnerable to incidents like human trafficking, criminal activity, or being taken advantage of by a loan shark.

Plant With Purpose addresses these three issues as a single cause, because it is impossible to address one without dealing with the others.

When healing happens in any one of these areas, it has a positive impact on the others.

Na Kuh & Ja Buh tend to their farm in Thailand
Na Kuh & Ja Buh tend to their farm in Thailand

The way we treat creation is an economic and spiritual issue.

For rural farming families, sustainable agriculture isn’t just a sector. It accounts for the way people spend most of their days, and the way they’re able to feed their families.

Environmental degradation results in vulnerability to disaster, famine, and low farming yields. Unhealthy soil means that over time, a farming family will grow fewer and fewer crops. Fathers and mothers will struggle to adequately feed their children or to give them a better future by paying for school fees.

Farming is also the way most people in a rural community will spend their working hours. As a daily activity, it the setting where their spiritual lives unfold. Like the rest of us, the way a farmer approaches farming reflects his or her spiritual perspective on work. An unproductive farm may take a toll on a farmer’s sense of purpose.

Pierre meets with other savings group members
Pierre meets with other savings group members

Economic growth contributes to environmental health and a sense of agency.

When people see their lives improve, they grow encouraged. They can make decisions that are better for their environment and their spiritual lives.

One of the biggest contributors to deforestation and soil infertility is economic desperation. Rural farmers around the world will often burn down vegetation in order to try and clear land for farming, or will sell their trees as charcoal to make quick cash. While these may solve an immediate problem, they often create further problems down the road. Empowered families no longer have to choose between the present and future.

The ability to provide well for one’s family, to put children to school, and to start new businesses is spiritually invigorating. One of the first things many farmers express gratitude for is the ability to tithe or to give back to their community. Giving a generous spirit the ability to help others is the sort of generosity that multiplies.

A team in DR Congo studies Scripture and Creation Care
A team in DR Congo studies Scripture and Creation Care

Spiritual renewal brings a level of ultimate importance to environmental and economic activities.

If a person lives in a lush and healthy environment and earns a comfortable income, but continues to make spiritually poor choices, what good does that do? Plant With Purpose partners with local churches so this isn’t the case.

A person who overcomes years of struggle is suddenly surrounded with previously unavailable choices. When people are holistically empowered, they grow motivated to use their new resources and opportunities to help others. They desire harmony between their families and neighbors.

A complete spiritual perspective doesn’t simply limit experiencing God to church, but also to life at home, at work, and in the community. The way farmers care for the environment reflects the way they encounter God through creation and through work. We believe that people who believe in a Creator should be the most motivated at caring for creation.

Plant With Purpose focuses on the connection between different aspects of our work. We invite others to participate in bringing holistic transformation to villages around the world. To partner with us on a monthly basis, learn about becoming a Purpose Partner!

Philippe Lazaro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Every $10 invested in our program brings $30-$100 of opportunities to a rural village.