This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Looking back at how faR wE’vE coME
fRoM hopEfUL bEginningS in thE DoMinican REpUbLic
Planting Peace and Bananas in Burundi 100 Issues of The Sower
Director’s Corner Breaking News
environmental solutions to Humanitarian problems
environmental solutions to Humanitarian problems
tHe sower issue #100
Scott Sabin and Eldon Garcia, formEr country dirEctor in thE dominican rEpublic Plant With Purpose, a Christian nonprofit organization, reverses deforestation and poverty around the world by transforming the lives of the rural poor.
This is the 100th edition of The Sower, a fact made even more remarkable because we only publish it quarterly, and in the early years we struggled to do even that. looking back over some of those issues, I am reminded how many people were involved in building the tremendous foundation that has allowed us to have the success we enjoy today. Dozens of people simply moving forward on faith, using their god-given talents, and giving of themselves for others. People like Tom and Theresa woodard, Don and Doris adrian, roger Conover, Ken Sauder, Duncan McColl, laura ambrose, and many others. I am also reminded of the Dominican farmers who were willing to take a risk on what we had to offer, back in those early days: Demetrio Suero, elodino Fulcar, Dario Baez, and many others. Some of those first farmers have since passed on, but quite a few sons and daughters of those pioneers have also worked with us, and today they enjoy more abundant lives. I am also reminded of the very faithful supporters who have been giving since before I got here 20 years ago, and who continue to give faithfully, every month or every year. Thank you! So it is with a debt of gratitude to this broad partnership of farmers, ministry staff, volunteers, and supporters that we announce an exciting achievement this quarter: a 10-million tree milestone! This
achievement is shared by many, with special credit to partnering farmers , who are the heroes of this story. They have defied the expectations of the world, which often sees the poor only as victims, if it sees them at all. Instead they have gone from being agents of deforestation to agents of reforestation, restoring fruitfulness and life to the hills where they live. of course, it is important to remember that the trees themselves are only a tiny part of what Plant with Purpose is about. Instead, we celebrate the dramatic reduction in waterborne illness that has come about as the result of planting those trees, and the increase in soil fertility and crop yields that has occurred because of them and the sustainable techniques with which they are associated. we also celebrate families who are experiencing greater prosperity through Village Savings and loan associations. and we celebrate those who have a greater love for neighbor and greater understanding of god and god’s kingdom as a result of their work with Plant with Purpose. That, too, has been made possible by the faithfulness and collaboration of this broad partnership of famers, staff, volunteers, and donors, both past and present.
ExEcutivE DirEctor: Scott Sabin email@example.com DEvElopmEnt DirEctor: Doug Satre firstname.lastname@example.org markEting anD EvEnts: Becky rosaler email@example.com
stay connEctED: 4903 Morena Blvd. Suite 1215 San Diego, Ca 92117 Ph: 800.633.5319 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: plantwithpurpose.org Tw: @PlantwPurpose Fb: facebook.com/PlantwithPurpose
email meDia@plantwitHpurpose.org to learn How you can: • Share your Plant with Purpose story • host an event • Become a Plant with Purpose advocate
leave a legacy. Please consider including Plant with Purpose in your wills and bequests. Contact Doug Satre: email@example.com.
Scott Sabin Executive Director
copyright © 2013 Plant with Purpose
Cover image by Shaun Boyte
SaVE thE datE
planting Hope gala
octobEr 12, 2013
Sunset, Silent auction, and Cocktail hour on Mission Bay live auction and Fund-a-Need auction Proceeds go toward empowering the rural poor to improve their lives and land. certificates for fine dining, vacation retreats, or airline miles. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make a donation.
inSpiRing StoRiES of tRanSfoRMation
we are currently procuring auction items and are looking for items such as gift
relevantMagazine.com and an interview on our local NPr affiliate, KPBS. Then Doug Satre traveled to Nebraska, the homeland of arbor Day, to accept the arbor Day Foundation’s national good Steward award on behalf of Plant with Purpose.
upcoming vision trips growing stories togetHer
Plant with Purpose has become San Diegobased Sundance organic’s exclusive giving partner in their new Buy 1 / grow 1 campaign. For every orange, lemon, grapefruit, or avocado grown and sold by Sundance, a donation will be made to plant a fruit tree through Plant with Purpose. During the life of that tree, thousands of pieces of fruit will be produced to provide food and income for a family.
If you haven’t visited one of Plant with Purpose’s programs, we’d love for you to prayerfully consider joining us. Contact Doug Satre for more information: email@example.com.
16-day, 2,000- kilometer bike ride, the concept of holistic ministry was shared with churches, a Bible college, and homes for children. In april, Plant with Purpose announced that 10 million trees have been planted internationally through the efforts of local communities. Plant with Purpose Tanzania alone has planted over 1.5 million trees since September—almost a 500% increase from what they accomplished the previous year. richard Mhina, country director of Plant with PurposeTanzania, explains, “women are the majority of participants in our reforestation efforts. … women are the ones responsible for collecting firewood and caring for their home. when we change in their mindset, we see impact. ” Keep up the good work, Plant with Purpose Tanzania!
MExico September 16-21, 2013 MExico october 21-26, 2013 DoMinican REpUbLic March 17-22, 2014 haiti May 12-17, 2014 bURUnDi June 21-July 5, 2014
10 million reasons
Plant with Purpose has hit a 10-million tree milestone, giving 10 million reasons to celebrate! on april 27, Plant with Purpose also celebrated arbor Day with an article on
riDing bicycles For Jesus in tHailanD
Bicycles are used as an everyday form of transportation in Thailand. Plant with Purpose Thailand recently participated in an initiative called Prayer Cycling. During this
planting peace anD bananas
How Farming Families are briDging DiviDes in burunDi
By Doug Satre, Development Director, and Beth Luthye, Grant Writer
paStor damiEn ShowS hiS banana plantS to u.S. board mEmbEr J.K. ShEa and country dirEctor lazarE SEbitErEKo
mention the East african country of Burundi in a group, and you’re likely to get a lot of blank stares. say that it’s at the bottom of the Human Development index or that it tops the list of hungriest countries in the world, and you might raise an eyebrow. But go on to explain that it’s the rwanda they’ve never heard of, and you’ll probably see some lights go on.
Burundi is a tiny country landlocked between Tanzania, the Democratic republic of Congo, and rwanda, their neighbor to the north. The 8.6 million people living in Burundi share the same painful history of genocide and ethnic conflict as rwanda, whose difficult history has been well publicized in the past several years, most famously through the film Hotel Rwanda. Both Burundians and rwandans have been working to rebuild their countries and their lives following violent conflict; yet while rwanda’s process has been very public and held up as a development success story, Burundi’s process has been much slower and has lacked the interna4
tional support that has fueled rwanda’s recovery. one of the people quietly helping to bring about new life in Burundi is a man named Damien.
a presiDential encounter
Damien pastors the horeb Church, located on the outskirts of Bujumbura, the capital city. Damien has partnered with Plant with Purpose to establish a Village Savings and loan association (VSla) of 25 people, who meet weekly in the church building, working to increase their savings and improve the economic well-being of their families. The church also hosts a Theology of work study. Through this curriculum, people learn what the Bible has to say about the role of productive work in the lives of god’s people. It’s a hope-filled message for those who spent years without the opportunity for productive work while languishing in refugee camps or watching as land at home went to waste during conflict. one of the ways the horeb Church has gone to work is by growing banana plants. In the post-conflict years, one of
This was more Than a poliTical phoTo op, Though, and iT wasn’T The firsT Time The pasTor and The presidenT had meT.
the great challenges for people in Burundi—more than 90 percent of whom depend on agriculture for survival—has been fighting diseases that decimated staple crops like banana and cassava during years of war. In partnership with Plant with Purpose, the church has been able to grow improved, disease-resistant bananas. They sell each plant for $1 (u.S.), providing income for the church and for community members who work in the nursery. recently, the president of Burundi visited Pastor Damien and his small church of 150 people past the edge of town. To show his appreciation, Damien present-
tHe roots oF conFlict
Farmer groups are working togetHer to create a better Future For tHeir Families anD tHeir country.
1890s: 1916: 1959: 1962: 1972: 1988: 1993: 1994: 2000: 2002: 2005:
germany colonizes Burundi and rwanda, renaming them ruanda-urundi. after germany’s defeat in wwI, Belgium colonizes ruanda-urundi. Colonial Belgians engineer social dominance of Tutsis. rwandan hutus attack Tutsis, killing thousands; many Tutsis flee to Burundi and uganda. Burundi declares independence. Tutsi-dominated army massacres 300,000 hutus in six weeks. Tutsis kill thousands of hutus; many surviving hutus flee to rwanda. Killing of 25,000 Tutsis leads to Burundi’s 12-year civil war, resulting in another 300,000 deaths. In neighboring rwanda an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and sympathetic hutus are slaughtered in 100 days. Peace talks begin in Burundi; arusha Peace accord is brokered by former South african President Nelson Mandela. refugees begin repatriation from Tanzania to Burundi; in total, more than 470,000 people returned to an already over-populated Burundi within 10 years. Burundi’s civil war ends with cease-fire agreement and former hutu rebel Pierre Nkurunziza is elected president.
learn more about plant witH purpose burunDi in tHis viDeo.
ed the president with a gift of 40 banana seedlings from the church’s nursery. This was more than a political photo op, though, and it wasn’t the first time the pastor and the president had met. In fact, the personal history of the two men is symbolic of Burundi’s own struggle with conflict and reconciliation.
even more surprisingly, that rebel leader and Damien actually became friends. eventually Damien became the pastor of the horeb Church. and the other man? his name was Pierre Nkurunziza, and he became the current President of Burundi.
many of the official government programs. ”
new growtH From garbage
Years ago, even before he was taken to that jungle, Damien battled an illness that took his sight and left him bedridden for six months. “I was not a believer in god and had become very sick, ” Damien remembers. “at that time I had a vision of a church surrounded by a banana field, and god restored my sight. It was truly a miracle. ” Today, Damien shows visitors the banana field he saw in the vision. what is today a plot filled with healthy growth was once a garbage dump. upon learning a church had plans to build on that land, hostile local authorities dumped even more garbage there. Damien was able to overcome their opposition, and today he has good relationships with his neighbors and is able to minister to them. Throughout Burundi, farming communities are coming together to bring about new life. as green shoots emerge from the ground, they are signs of a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Today, Burundians are working to bridge old divides. and as Plant with Purpose equips people like Damien, groups are learning to plant peace at the same time they plant crops like banana and cassava. land scarcity is a critical issue for farmers in Burundi, so Plant with Purpose works with groups, helping them rent land they can farm together. These groups reflect the story of Damien and President Nkurunziza: hutus and Tutsis, as well as returning refugees and those who stayed in Burundi during the war, are working hand in hand to create a better future for their families and their country. Marceline Bararufise, The former governor of Burundi’s rutana province has said, “as people work together side by side in the fields, they learn to care about one another. This has done more for reconciliation than
in tHe HanDs oF tHe enemy
as a hutu with a Tutsi wife, Damien was targeted by an extremist hutu militia during the height of ethnic conflict. The rebel group kidnapped Damien, dragged him to the jungle, and began to carry out their plan to execute him. But just as Damien was about to be killed, he turned to the executioners and posed a bold question: “am I the only one here with a wife from another tribe? If there are others, why not kill all of us instead of just me?” To his surprise the rebel leader called for a show of hands, demanding, “who else here has a wife from another tribe?” as other men slowly raised their hands, the crisis became a moment of decision. Minutes later, the leader released Damien, allowing him to live.
a year and a half into the organization’s history, Floresta was defined this way in the November 1986 issue: “Floresta is a Christian nonprofit organization created to address the basic economic problems brought about by serious deforestation. … out of the love and compassion of Jesus Christ, Floresta seeks to attack the causes of deforestation and bring some long-term relief to the rural poor. ”
looking ForwarD, looking back
C e l e b r at i n g 1 0 0 i s s u e s o f T h e S o w e r
The new executive Director Ken Sauder shared, “I want to see Floresta continue to be a program through which god touches peoples’ lives. our commitment is to respect the lives and dignity of farmers in the Dr by providing them with solid business based, self sufficient solutions. ”
Ten years after the launch of Floresta in the Dominican republic, an article titled “Floresta Travels to Mexico” in fall 1994 announced, “For many years Floresta leaders have dreamt of making Floresta’s benefits available in other countries. after some research and discussion it was decided that the mountains of oaxaca, Mexico would be an excellent starting point. ”
a file in our san Diego office holds pieces of plant With purpose’s history. Formerly known as Floresta, a shoestring, two-person operation started this adventure in 1984. a monthly double-sided letter was mailed to supporters with stories from the Dominican republic and needs for the office—things like a computer with a floppy disk drive (remember those?). the quarterly Sower now includes stories from six countries and images that connect you with 300 communities around the world.
we talk a lot about transformation at Plant with Purpose. Today, we’re reflecting on the grace and wisdom god has provided to take a dream and turn it into programs that are changing the lives of families worldwide. here are some highlights from the previous 99 issues of The Sower: The fall 1995 Sower highlighted executive Director Scott Sabin’s first trip to haiti: “This past april, eldon garcia and I were invited to haiti to see how we might assist Pere albert, a haitian episcopal priest. ”
advisory board member Dr. Tony Campolo said, “Floresta is a creative ministry for Christ. Its program is helping to regenerate the countryside of Third world countries, creating new options for employment among the poor and, most important, it is expressing the love of god. ”
In fall 2001, the Sponsor a Village program was launched with the first “Village Spotlight” on Dewotinn, haiti, appearing in spring 2002—a column that has been a part of The Sower ever since.
longtime supporter Shirley Billingsley shared “grandparents Climb Mount Kilimanjaro” in winter 2006. She wrote, “we witnessed how Floresta Tanzania is changing lives! when asked [about this experience] we tell people a little about the extraordinary mountain experience— then we tell them a lot about what god is doing through Floresta. ”
eko as the country director appeared in the spring 2009 Sower.
Then came the name change: “More and more you will be hearing and seeing Plant with Purpose in our communication and marketing materials, ” Scott shared in his summer 2009 “Director’s Corner. ”
In spring 2004, Scott Sabin reported, “Bob Morikawa moved to Tanzania in February 2004 to begin the process of assembling staff, establishing the organization, and beginning initial projects. ”
Spring 2007 highlighted guy Paraison in “Faces of Floresta. ” at the time, guy had been working for Floresta for ten years. he continues to serve as director of Plant with Purpose haiti, known locally as Floresta ayiti. his favorite part of the work? “The belief and determination of the whole international team in working for a better life for the poor. I suffer every time I see someone in extreme poverty. ”
reporting on the earthquake in haiti took precedence in 2010. The summer Sower shared, “Following the January 12 earthquake, edzer became involved in Plant with Purpose’s ‘Cash for work’ program. … he said he is able to get food to feed his family. ... ‘I don’t know what will happen next, but we are waiting on god and we are thankful for all he has provided for us so far. Things could have been a lot worse for us.’”
longtime supporter Doris adrian wrote “el Porvenir: Five Years later” for the fall 2004 Sower. In it, she shared, “we saw a man and a boy herding a flock of sheep, reminding me of the year our Bible school children raised the money for the first ten sheep. Now there are almost 100. This village ... was the most needy, the most desolate [in oaxaca]. Five years later, it seems so full of hope—of promise. ” In the fall 2007 issue, luis Castellanos, country director in Mexico, was introduced. his favorite part of Floresta’s work? “Spending time with the people and communities we are working to serve; listening to their needs and dreams, and with god’s help, making a change in their lives. ”
as Village Savings and loan associations were being integrated into our microfinance program, Mrs. eltruda from Tanzania shared in the summer 2011 Sower, “Before … we barely lived to survive another day. Now we are sending our children to school and learning to take responsibility. … we are using our own money to take care of ourselves. ”
In the summer of 2008, Scott Sabin reflected on transformation over time: “Christian’s father was one of the very first farmers to receive a loan from Floresta. he … remembers as a young boy of twelve, the first tree seedlings being delivered to his father’s farms, and the excitement he felt as he and his brothers helped to plant them. They represented hope and opportunity. The neighbors were skeptical. ‘You can’t eat trees,’ they said. But Christian’s father proved the skeptics wrong. ‘our family made more money on that first harvest than had ever passed through our hands before.’” In fall 2008, Scott Sabin wrote about the beginning of our sixth country program: Burundi. he wrote, “our Technical Director, Bob Morikawa, is in Burundi, laying the groundwork for what will likely be our next program. ” Follow-up articles and an introduction of lazare rukundwa Sebiter-
In winter 2012, Mr. Visnel Delva from haiti declared, “Plant with Purpose saved my life three times!”and shared experiences surrounding a hurricane in 2008, the earthquake in 2010, and a 2011 contraction of cholera.
In winter 2005, Scott Sabin shared about new work in Thailand: “Floresta’s newest partner, upland holistic Development Proj-
today, we share the news that 10 million trees have been planted, and lives are changing in 300 communities worldwide through the work of plant With purpose. and together, we look forward to the ways god will continue to transform the lives of rural farming families in real and lasting ways in the days to come.
ect (uhDP) is bringing farmers from throughout the area to learn. we were so impressed with the work and vision of uhDP in reversing deforestation and poverty in Northern Thailand that we have begun to collaborate. ”
plant With purpose 4903 Morena Blvd. Suite 1215 San Diego, CA 92117 Ph: 800.633.5319 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.plantwithpurpose.org
Become a Sponsor a Village partner for just $1 a day and give the gift of hope to communities in need. plantwithpurpose.org/partners
we use soy-based ink and 80# environment text with 80% post-consumer fiber. FSC certified.
NoN-Profit org U.S. PoStage Paid Permit 751 SaN diego Ca
people are learning to plant peace
at thE SamE timE thEy plant cropS liKE bananaS in burundi
celebrating 100 issues oF tHe sower