In a recent column (December 18, 2022) as part of the Times Opinion’s Giving Guide 2022 for The New York Times, Tish Harrison Warren urges her readers to support A Rocha International. You can read her opinion piece here. Margie and I urge the same thing of you. Please get to know the life-giving, creation-care work of A Rocha and if possible, support it generously.
A Rocha, which means “the rock” in Portuguese, is a network of faith-based conservation organizations, which work toward this vision of a restored, healed creation. The group began in 1983 when Peter Harris, an Anglican vicar, moved with his wife Miranda to the Algarve region of Portugal, where they founded a bird observatory and an intentional Christian community. Since then, A Rocha’s reach has expanded considerably. From working with local farmers in India to protect elephant populations to improving soil health in Peru, and reducing plastic waste on Florida beaches, A Rocha now spearheads conservation projects in over 20 countries…
Environmental action can sometimes seem fear-driven and doom-oriented to me. The messaging can feel like: “We are drifting alone on this sinking ship of an Earth and it would be better if humans weren’t even here. Be sure to recycle.” This makes sense given the truly dire reality of climate change. Things really are bad. A Rocha’s work, however, is infused with joy. It emphasizes that small things matter, and that hope is found in the reality that our work allows us to participate in a redemption story.
Margie and I first heard of A Rocha years ago from John R. W. Stott. He told of a young couple who were called to missions but didn’t fit the normal vision of missionary service, doing evangelism, or planting churches or translating scripture. They were interested in science, in creation, in the wonder of God’s word that expresses his glory in what he made, and in caring for the work of God’s hands and given to us as stewards. Stott encouraged them to follow that vision, and A Rocha was the result. It’s a practical demonstration of what it looks like when the gospel is applied to all of life—in this case, to caring for the earth, which is the Lord’s—because Jesus Christ is Lord of both the creation and the new creation.
Photo credit: logo from A Rocha website.