Hope in a Shaky World

Written by Plant With Purpose on March 24, 2011 in General

By Stacie Tharp, PR and Events Intern

I recently watched this video of the tsunami following Japan’s massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake. As I watched, I couldn’t grasp what I was seeing. I don’t understand what the man in the video is shouting. I can’t comprehend what it would be like to watch my entire community destroyed. I can’t fathom how terrifying it must feel to be standing there helpless. There is no way to know the fear running through their veins. The desperation. The shock. The sorrow. The loss. My mind doesn’t absorb the hundreds of images flooding the Internet that speak of the destruction done to both Japan’s people and its land.

In the amount of time it takes me to brush my teeth in the morning, whole houses were swept away by the current and submerged beneath water. Dozens of cars crushed together as if they were aluminum soda cans.

Disasters like this remind me just how small I am. They prompt an overwhelming sense of helplessness. And it’s not just the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It is a war in Libya. It is genocide in Darfur. It is child sex-trafficking in many countries around the world.

It was just 14 months ago that another devastating earthquake rocked Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and claimed over 200,000 lives there.

Yet over the past year, Plant With Purpose has seen tremendous growth in Haiti. Immediate relief efforts saw the farmers we work with plant 240,000 trees, construct 360 miles of soil conservation barriers and thousands of Haitians were employed in our “Cash for Work” program. But beyond that, Plant With Purpose continues its work in Haiti today, as it has for the past 14 years, to bring environmental restoration, economic renewal and spiritual transformation. Entire communities are being transformed as men and women are empowered with the opportunity and tools to lift themselves out of poverty.

In seeing Plant With Purpose’s work I am reminded there is hope when disaster strikes. Hope entered the world centuries ago as Jesus came to heal, redeem and restore the entire world in its brokenness. It continues today as Christ-followers live out the greatest commandments: to love God and love others as yourself.

Yes, there is still much work to be done in both Japan and Haiti. The road to recovery is a long one that requires commitment. People in both countries are still without food, shelter, and adequate medical care. But in Haiti, we see hope growing, one tree at a time.

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