Some of you will remember praying this prayer over Africa a few years ago:
Making Africa Green Again
While I was in Malawi in September, I sat down with Matt Ingram to hear about the training he and our farmers had received at Crown MInistries in Blantyre. The men attended 6 weeks of classes focusing on restoring the land by using farming techniques which mimic the processes found in the wild — ground cover, conservation, composting, and much more.
Matt and I were pouring over this picture of the Grace Center as we envisioned the future imagining the green returning to Africa as trees are planted, erosion stopped and ground cover encouraged. You can see that currently there are very few trees left in our community. The ground is bare and brown. It is quickly turning into a desert.
A short time after this conversation with Matt, we met with the farmers and leaders in the GC Central Office: myself, Matt, our other two farmers, Mayi Bokho, Mr. Mbota, and a few others.
I asked the farmers to share their vision for the land and they began to talk about planting trees and making the land green and fertile again. We pulled out the map and they began pointing out areas on the picture. I was moved to tears. The Holy Spirit spoke so deeply to my heart that he is healing the land and restoring it. It will be green again! I couldn’t speak I was so moved by this revelation.
Why am I telling you this story?
All of this would have been just another part of the day and an encouraging part of the trip, except for what happened next. A Malawian friend of mine came to visit me that same afternoon. During our visit, she shared a story about something that had happened to her a couple of months before. She said she was leaving the Grace Center one afternoon and started walking toward her house. As she walked she found herself in a beautiful forest. She walked and walked through the forest, more than a mile. then suddenly she tripped over the railroad tracks which are about 1 1/2 miles from the GC. It startled her and she came out of her vision and realized that she was nearly home. Her entire path from the Grace Center to her home she had walked in a forest! Exactly what we had just been envisioning and planning that morning!
It is a small thing. But a very encouraging thing! God has a plan for the GC, for the children, for us. We are on the right path! PRAISE GOD!
1000 Trees Today!
It is good to have a vision, and it is good to start to work on the vision. I’m so excited that our farmers have gone straight to work preparing a tree nursery and planting the first 1000 tree seeds. So far we have planted 6 varieties of trees including Msangu and Moringa. Msangu drops its leaves onto the fields providing ground cover and natural mulch as the crops are growing. Moringa is familiar to many people as a super food used in shakes or drinks. In Malawi, it will be used not only to provide mulch and compost, but as a super food added to salads or vegetables. Moringa also has medicinal properties for preventing malaria.
Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has varied benefits, including increased biodiversity and reduced erosion. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agroforestry)