We’ve been talking quite a bit about our tree nursery and the changes that we are making in farming at the GC. Recently, a friend of mine, Dean Babcock, who is a missionary in Southern Malawi wrote this on Facebook:
Malawi has a growing population which uses wood for both building and cooking (95% of the population still uses wood to cook their food). The more valuable lumber is being exported. The area pictured is a National Forest near our house where the govt. awards contracts to lumber companies for cutting, Large areas are being replanted, but it is not enough to replace what is harvested. There are also problems with people poaching wood, as well as fires. The larger problem is in areas where replanting is almost non-existent - like the surrounding mountains which are not National Forest, and where locals go to cut their firewood. Small replanting efforts exist there, but are negligible compared to the need. Malawi is expected to run out of trees to sustain the population by 2030 or before. One solution being promoted (which we teach when opportunity arises) is to encourage farmers to use agroforestry - planting beneficial trees within their fields which can be kept short during growing season, and which will add nitrogen to the soil, slow erosion, and provide mulch and firewood.
He shared the following pictures showing how an area of forest had been completely wiped out in a matter of days.
We are doing our best at the GC to promote healthy conservation farming using agro-forestry. We have started our tree nursery and our baby trees are growing. Please join us in praying that we can teach and spread the word, give away trees and turn back the destruction of land.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.