This week I am in the Dominican Republic with World Vision. I have been impressed by how hard World Vision works to help communities better themselves and become self-sustaining.

It isn't about giving them fish – it is about teaching them how to fish.

And the difference is remarkable.

We visited a community garden that was run by 15 men and 15 women.

The garden was started because the community approached World Vision and said, this is something we need. We need healthy food for our children. We need a way to generate an income for our family.

We need to make a difference.

And what a difference that garden has made.

It probably had close to 40 different types of plants in it including various spices, aloe, lettuce and carrots. The group spends at least four hours a day working in the garden.

They sell the produce within the community.

They take some home every Friday to feed their families.

World Vision goes into a community with the intent that within 15 years, the community's situation will have improved enough for World Vision to leave it.

It's about teaching them to fish, I mean, garden.

It's about teaching them to have self-worth.

It's about demonstrating the love of Christ.

Blessed are those who love the poor.

The garden has been such a positive experience that the men and women want to go into other communities and teach the people how to start their own gardens. They dream of going "into the city" to sell their produce. The next garden is also going to farm fish.

Because of a garden, they are dreaming.

Oh, and did I mention, the team of people who run the garden all have children and grandchildren who are sponsored by World Vision?

Child sponsorship is one way you can make a difference in the lives of these people. It helps bring educational opportunities, medical care and meet the needs of families- so they can do things like start a garden.

DSC_0128_2 For a limited time, people who sponsor a child through World Vision while we are on this trip, will receive a limited edition, Faith, Hope, Amor Lisa Leonard necklace. Our prayer is that every time you wear it you will be reminded of the child you sponsor. The necklace was inspired by Corin 13:13 and brings English and Spanish together – just like we are doing in the Dominican Republic. Please help a child today.

  • oh amanda

    Beautiful post, Jess. The garden was inspiring. And when they sang a welcome song to us they ended it with “Glory to His Name!” They were giving glory to God for their garden. For the abundance that was growing in their lives. Gorgeous.

  • We are THAT family

    What a beautiful project to see….Praying for your team.

  • Dawnette

    My husband and I are child ambassadors for World Vision. In February, he went with them to Guatemala to see an area development. There they had tarted a tomato and a mushroom greenhouse, very profitable for the community. I love World Vision and appreciate their dedication to helping others live not just receive.
    Enjoy your experience!

  • Laura@Life Overseas

    Isn’t it amazing when you can experience the love of Christ translated into practical help for people who aren’t in a place to help themselves. We are currently living overseas and are struck again and again by the necessity of impowering people to take part in their own betterment, instead of just getting a hand-out. When the impoverished taste hope, they naturally want to share it–and that is a powerful thing. Thanks for writing about your experience.