Lost in all the news of our own first-world problems is the ongoing drought that has stricken Haiti for the last three years. This article does a good job of describing the connection between this drought and deforestation, from the perspective of the people who are living it everyday.
As I have often said, the problem is not one of ignorance, but rather desperation. The farmer in this story talks about cutting trees as a survival mechanism. Without the safety net that Plant With Purpose savings groups provide, the few remaining trees become the safety net.
The farmers we work with are suffering from the same drought, but that far have been able to turn to the members of their savings groups for mutual support, and to their savings accounts for emergency funds.
Today is a special day at Plant With Purpose. Indeed, the first Friday of the month always is. That is the day we have all set aside with our partners around the world to spend time in prayer for one another.
Throughout the month we work together as one team to bring hope and opportunity to the destitute, to steward God’s creation and to share the good news of the Kingdom of God. We are very much together in spirit. But one day a month we are even more reminded of our fellowship as we lift one another’s burdens in prayer. Our Director of Field Operations, who has many years working in secular organizations, marks this as one significant difference. He often refers to it as our secret weapon.
Some of the prayers we shared to day included prayers of thanksgiving for Paulette, our cook in Fonds-Verrettes, Haiti who was told by local doctors that she would lose her leg after an automobile accident. However, Carlos and our Dominican Staff stepped in and helped her to get surgery in the Dominican Republic, where she is now recovering well and being visited and encouraged by her Dominican colleagues.
We also prayed for:
- The wedding of Felix Kiruhura, our environment technician in Congo (and one of my companions last month on our trek through the Kakumba watershed.)
- The launch of Plant With Purpose’s international fellowship program. There were prayers for the fellow going to live in the Dominican Republic for a year, and for the graduate student who will be spending time in Mexico.
- Jared White, our Africa program officer and his wife Doreen as they go through the often difficult visa process to move from Uganda to San Diego.
There were also a lot of prayers for specific communities and projects.
Common themes for all of us included:
- Prayers for peace and political stability. Elections are or have been a concern for all eight countries.
- Prayers for rain, or an end to drought. The families we serve practice rainfed agriculture so the importance of reliable rain cannot be emphasized enough.
- Prayers for health – many of us are dealing with illness or injury.
We also prayed for each of you who support Plant With Purpose. In fact, it was Luis in Mexico who exhorted us to remember and pray for “Every heart that gives with joy to support the work of Plant With Purpose. May God continue blessing you.”
We would love to have you join us each month. If you are interested in joining our prayer team just contact me and we will send you our monthly prayer letter.