Plant With Purpose

Of the world’s poorest people—those scraping by on less than $1.25 a day— 70 percent live in rural areas. Most depend on the land for survival through small-scale farming. But due to environmental damage, the land isn’t producing enough. Parents struggle to put food on the table, pay for basic needs, and send their kids to school.

Yet in the midst of this cycle of poverty, there is hope. Plant With Purpose, a Christian nonprofit organization, reverses deforestation and poverty around the world by transforming the lives of the rural poor. Rather than focusing on one problem or solution, Plant With Purpose uses an integrated three-part approach of environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal. Since 1984 the organization has grown to partner with 355 communities across the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania, Burundi, and Thailand.

The impact:

  • 12 million trees planted to restore land
  • 646 savings-and-loan groups established to help rural families save money
  • 258 local churches equipped to care for their communities
  • 114,000 children and adults experiencing transformation

Plant With Purpose grows hope by equipping families to improve their lives and land. Through partnership with Plant With Purpose, farming families are empowered to change their circumstances, provide for their children, and live with God-given hope and dignity.








Goal of Mission in Kenya

To assist in finishing the new Ruku Presbyterian Church (PCEA) building and to join in fellowship with our sisters and brothers there.


In 2005, the first Kenya Mission Team from First Presbyterian Church (FPC) traveled to the Highlands of Kenya and assisted our new partner, Ruku Presbyterian (PCEA) Church, in laying the groundwork for their new worship facility. The building they have been using is a small tin building that seats around 100 worshippers. With people needing to sit outside most Sundays, their need for a larger facility was very apparent. The new facility will seat about 300 people.

Since 2005, there have been six mission trips to work on the building, now complete with roof and theinstallation of 82 windows and many doors.These mission trips have been very well received by the members of the FPC mission team and our sisters and brothers in Kenya, forging a strong Christian bond between our two congregations.There is still work to be done on the building—plastering, floor covering, cementing, landscaping, and furnishings.

The FPC mission team typically travels in late February and early March to work toward completion of the worship facility. The team also brings gifts (specially designed t-shirts, blankets, school and health supplies) for the children and adults.In 2011, FPC members brought two portable solar ovens for two families to use as a supplemental heat supply for their home cooking, which normally is done on an open wood fire in a smoke-filled room with little ventilation. The solar ovens help improve the health of the women and save the forests.

Mission teams also have visited two nearby primary schools and donated books, school supplies, and athletic equipment. One school recently had one of its main buildings burn to the ground, and they were very appreciative of the supplies that we were able to give them from funds donated by our congregation.

At the end of the week of work and fellowship, the team spends four days on safari, visiting several of the most beautiful and breathtaking game reserves in the world. It is an excellent ending to an experience that is both spiritually rewarding and life changing.

February 25 to March 11, 2016, with a dedication of the completed church building on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

For more information or to join the next mission trip, contact the team leaders, Marvin and Mary Ellen Miller at (941) 379-4436 or

Navajo Mission in Chinle, Arizona

imgres-1_000Sponsored by Peace River Presbytery’s World Mission Committee, a group of interested members traveled to Chinle, Arizona, to build relationships with two Navajo Presbyterian Churches. The group helped with facility repair, improvement, cleaning and maintenance. This time provided an opportunity to bond with our Navajo brothers and sisters in Christ.

Beginning in 1998 and running three consecutive summers, about 30 church members from a dozen churches in the presbytery spent a week on the Navajo Reservation working, playing and praying with their Native American brothers and sisters.

First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota continues to support this Navajo mission through our Presbyterian Women’s group.

Nicaragua (CEPAD)

Members from First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota, along with some members of First Presbyterian Church Bradenton, have worked with CEPAD, an organization of evangelical churches in Nicaragua. We have gone to aid with construction of homes, to assist with harvesting crops and to create a fish pond to raise Tilapia. These are spiritually powerful experiences for all who help and are helped.

The love of Christ is felt by all.

RHINO (Rebuilding Hope In New Orleans)

rhino_logo_001RHINO is an outreach ministry of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church. We have sent ten mission teams to work with other volunteers in New Orleans since October 2005. This mission trip provides meaningful service opportunities while building relationships and witnesses to God’s good work. If you are interested in this ministry, please email Rachel Martin.



Frank & Nancy Dimmock |  South Sudan

Frank and Nancy Dimmock's first term as people in mission with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began the day they were married: June 1, 1985. They interrupted their honeymoon to be commissioned during the General Assembly that year. The Dimmocks served for six years at Scott Hospital, a mission hospital in Morija, Lesotho. In 1992 they moved from Lesotho to Malawi, where Frank is the health coordinator for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) and southern Africa regional health consultant for the PC(USA). Frank coordinates the CCAP's health management and administration. He facilitates the sharing of ideas and solutions to common problems and concerns to each of the health units and assists with communication between the three synods in Malawi. Nancy supports this ministry with hospitality through their home and raising their eight children.

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Young | Indonesia

Rebecca Young was appointed in July 2007 to serve as instructor of Systematic Theology at the Jakarta Theological Seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia. In addition, Rebecca has a part-time assignment with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) as a consultant for PDA’s ongoing recovery work for the devastating tsunami in Thailand's Aceh Province on December 26, 2004.

Prior to her appointment, Rebecca worked for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in Indonesia.

She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia, teaching world religions, philosophical ethics, and women in world religions (2000-2003).

Rev. Renee and Justin Sundberg in Nicaragua