Written by Plant With Purpose on August 12, 2014 in General
By Rylie Shore
Have you ever suffered through a few months or even a few years when everything seems to be going wrong and nothing seems to be stable? How amazing does it feel coming out on the other side and finally finding a solid foundation? Whether it be getting a position after months of job searching, restoring a relationship after years of heartache, or even taking a weekend away to clear your head and relax on the beach, living life with a clear purpose and a sure foundation brings much joy and is something to be celebrated.
As Plant With Purpose reaches 30 years, we want to celebrate both our anniversary and the lives that have been rooted with a solid foundation and restored hope. Through programs that train and empower, partnering farmers around the world have been freed from the bondages of poverty and rooted in the Lord, rooted with economic stability, and have rooted trees and crops to continue restoring the environment and providing for their families. In this three part series, we will be sharing how our three-pronged method of spiritual, economic, and environmental transformation has impacted the lives of international partners.
“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” – Aldo Leopold
If you have ever watched a commercial development go up in your hometown, you may know from experience the mixed feelings that accompany seeing new buildings spring up down the block. I grew up in the same town my entire life, and remember being a ten year old child watching my favorite hills being leveled and the trees I loved to climb being chopped down to make way for someone else’s favorite store. Though some elation may come realizing that a trip to the grocery store is five minutes shorter, there is also loss at the once natural earth now suffocated by concrete. However, because many of us don’t directly depend on the land for our livelihood, it is easy to disregard the ever-shrinking expanses of untouched land and the environmental problems caused by our lifestyle choices. In countries around the world, our international partners are striving to preserve and restore the land, and as they do, their lives are also being rooted and restored.
Through Plant With Purpose programs, Venise Maxila in Haiti has learned how rooted trees mean a rooted life. As she has started to work her land, environmental stewardship has become one of her great passions. “With the training I get from Plant With Purpose, I understand many things and this helps me to start to change from what I was,” says Venise.
“I understand it is we who are responsible for God’s creation. It is a marriage between the environment and economic activities; if one doesn’t work well the other doesn’t exist. It is this that makes me say with the plantation I have I can create a small change in my economic situation.”
As Venise has sought to care for the environment, the environment has also given back to her. Though previously she experienced economic instability, as she has learned to plant, tend, and graft trees. She has been able to start her own small business and watch as both her income and land continue to grow. Just imagine her relief and excitement. She went from being unsure of how to make ends meet to being confident that she can provide for herself, restore the environment, and encounter God in both.
It is stories like Venise Maxila’s that inspire me to be more mindful of the ways my own lifestyle is impacting the environment. As she and other family farmers are finding restoration through tending their land, I am reminded that God offers us so much hope in the things He created. By using the gifts from the earth that the Lord has given all of us, our international friends are again being rooted in both faith and purpose.
To help families stay rooted in their environment, donate to our thirtieth anniversary campaign and give to grow thirty family farms. Visit www.plantwithpurpose.org for the details and to support others like the Maxilas.