Strength in Diversity – A Spiritual Lesson from the Farm

Written by Becky Rosaler on December 27, 2012 in General

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of visiting Leoncio de los Santos’ agroforestry farm in the community of Kilometer 61, Dominican Republic. We observed plant after plant growing together in harmony.


The pineapples were established in contours anchoring the soil to the hillsides. The pigeon pea trees were placed throughout the plot—a legume fixing nitrogen in the soil, which is a nutrient that the other plants need to succeed. Citrus and banana trees providing shade for coffee growing below. Oregano—harvested and sold at market—was plentiful. Compost piles in the middle of the field sped up the breakdown of organic mater for fertilizer. Dead branches lay in lines to act as soil conservation barriers. Chickens found shelter in the shade of the plants while eating bugs and leaving manure.

imageTo an understanding eye, this plot worked in unity. Each shoot had its purpose and there was a dependency on one another for the success of their growth.

Jesus was a master at taking common everyday surroundings and experiences and turning them into life lessons. I think he would have found a lesson that day at Leoncio’s agroforestry field in community of Kilometer 61.

This plot planted with diversity reminded me of the unique roles which we play in this field of life. As believers, we constitute the body of Christ, individually functioning but dependent on one another. Paul talks about the body of believers: hands and feet, eyes and ears, all growing up into Christ, the head of the body.

“… we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Ephesians 4: 15-16

The more I understand the natural world around us, the more I am in awe of our Creator. Complex systems—an agroforestry field or human body—of parts interacting together so that they are stronger as one instead of standing alone.image

Plant With Purpose values collaboration—working together to better the lives of all those involved in this system of an organization. As we move into 2013, we thank you for the part in which you have played towards healthy growth—growth of families, fields, farmers, communities, churches, donors, and ultimately the body of believers.

To read an additional post on Spiritual Lessons from the Farm, click here.

Photo credit: Jonathan Bell of Live 58

Leave a Reply