It was 1983 when Peter and Miranda Harris and their young family arrived in Portugal, seeking to establish a Christian field station where creation and God could be celebrated together. Based near the Alvor Marshes in Portugal’s Algarve, a migratory hotspot for birds surrounded by a wealth of biodiversity, Cruzinha soon became home to a vibrant and ever-changing community that shared a love for the natural world and a passion for Christ.
At the time, scientists were already raising concerns about vanishing biodiversity and other environmental issues, but Christians had little to say. However, as the impacts of apparently endless tourism development along the Algarve became ever clearer, so too did the theological message of creation care, ideas and concepts developing often around the famous dining table at Cruzinha. For more than a decade, A Rocha (Portuguese for ‘The Rock’, and also the name of the farm upon which the field centre sits) was Cruzinha and the international community of friends that passed through and were inspired by the mission.
As the message of creation care spread, so too did A Rocha’s work. A new generation of A Rocha organisations started taking root around the world. Many supporters will remember A Rocha UK’s own 20th celebrations two years ago, one of the first organisations to formally establish after A Rocha Portugal. Today there are more than twenty A Rocha organisations in six continents that form the A Rocha World Wide Family. They run projects from our own familiar Eco Church to forest restoration projects in Kenya, from Ghanaian mangrove protection to restoring rivers in Canada. Only God knows what the next forty years will bring, but we hope that you’ll journey with us as we continue our work restoring hearts and habitats!