Collaboration: A Plant With Purpose Core Value
Written by Becky Rosaler on July 15, 2014 in General
This blog series explores the six Core Values of Plant With Purpose: Faith, Collaboration, Stewardship, Sustainability, Empowerment, and Innovation. In this series we’ll share how these values play out across our international programs and how they inform our approach to community development.
On a rainy April afternoon, I hopped out of a four-wheel drive truck and onto a muddy road that dissected the community of Zumbador, Dominican Republic. Awaiting me was a small crew of community members sitting in a circle filling plastic bags with dirt. Each bag received a seed, the small beginnings of a future anchor for the surrounding hillsides. Once the next species of their community tree nursery had successfully been nestled into dirt, we headed up to a hillside farm together.
The large community farm was colored green by a low-growing oregano crop that grew as a ground cover. Tackling this vast expanse of reforestation is just one example of the work that Plant With Purpose’s partnering community groups, known as reforestation brigades, can accomplish. Rather than a farmer going at a task alone, community members gather and work together to plant farms and hillsides. On that rainy April afternoon, our group from California was joining them to incorporate orange trees into this agroforestry plot. Working together made the task of planting 300 trees easy. Everyone had a role. Everyone worked hard. And within a few hours, all the seedlings had been strategically planted. This sense of teamwork I experienced in the Dominican Republic hit me again today.
This afternoon, an overwhelming sense of gratitude hit me as I realized that Plant With Purpose has some really great friends! Our office was abuzz this morning as volunteers worked together to prepare a mailing for our Planting Hope Gala. My daily phone conversations, email messages, and social media posts all speak of the collaboration that has made Plant With Purpose the organization that we are today. I think about our field partners. The praises and prayers that come in every month speak to the collaboration that is taking place with other nonprofits, research institutes, government entities, churches, and schools. Collaboration has become such an integrated value for Plant With Purpose that going at something alone just doesn’t make sense.
Paul writes in Romans: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Collaboration, working together, being a part of the body of believers continues to move Plant With Purpose forward as we pursue community development. And we are forever grateful for these partnerships that bring transformation for the rural poor.