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Healthy Environments Produce Healthy People and Communities

Jeremiah 17:5-8


If you want an apple tree to produce good fruit, it must be rooted in healthy soil. Healthy soil comes from the work of water, air, sun and microbes, worms and other bacteria whose job it is to chew up and break down organic matter lying in the dirt, such as leaves, grass and twigs.

A result of that process of decay and death is the production of new nutrients that are then able to be absorbed by the tree as life-giving food. If the soil around a tree lacks access to organic matter or the living organisms that complete this cycle of life and death to new life, it must depend on outside interventions of chemical fertilizers and other inputs that rehydrate, energize and restore the soil so that it can support life-otherwise the soil becomes dead…. sterile…. unable to provide a life-giving foundation.  Apple farmers often have the soil tested at least twice a year to ensure that it is healthy.

The same can be said for human beings. It is in the giving of ourselves as life-giving nourishment for one another that people and communities can flourish, becoming safe, healthy, growing and engaged.