Thursday, July 2, 2009

Let Freedom Ring!

by Kate McElhinney

There is something undeniably magical about holidays. Today is the last day of work for this week, and around our office there is a tangible buzz of excitement as my co-workers share their Fourth of July plans and count down the hours until freedom.

As we gear up for a celebration here in America, Plant With Purpose also views this occasion as an extra special time to reflect on our programs. For us, witnessing the independent victories in the lives of the rural poor has been inspiring.

This morning, we had our own mini-celebration. There were no fireworks or flag waving, but simply a group of us gathering for prayer and praises. Today, we praised God for the restoration of peace in Burundi as the war comes to an end, for the health and sustenance of our Thailand team, and in Haiti, the financial support received by victims of the hurricanes last fall. These are big praises, indeed!

Since Plant With Purpose started working with the rural poor 25 years ago, it has been amazing to witness how the bonds of despair are broken as empowerment is restored. And the communities experience freedom in more ways than one. Environmentally, their lives are transformed as reforestation efforts replenish the land, providing abundant crops and a clean water supply. Economically, farmers become empowered through microcredit loans, which help them to start a business and generate a steady income. And spiritually, communities come together to pray for the future and praise God for his restorative work.

Although reversing the effects of deforestation and eliminating poverty worldwide can seem like huge undertakings, it is encouraging to see examples of empowerment in the lives of the rural poor. When lives are transformed and freedom is restored, then the true celebration begins! This Fourth of July, let’s celebrate the freedom of our nation, but also remember the silent victories of the rural poor in Burundi, Thailand, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This!