Beginnings and Seedlings: The Value of Trees

Zechariah and the other Minor Prophets in scripture pack a powerful punch. Zechariah 4:10 challenges us:

“Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?”

Beginnings may not be glamorous, but most worthy causes start small. We fail to remember little choices and little seeds can grow into something massive. Trees are a prime example.

We at Compassion Africa love trees! Last fiscal year, our beneficiaries and staff planted over 646,000 trees. One such staff member is West Africa Associate Area Director, Tim Chambers. Tim lives in Colorado Springs, but travels back and forth to West Africa about eight times per year.

Tim knows the value of trees. He grew up a farm boy in Wisconsin.

“I’m a 5th generation tree planter. My grandpa had a 160 acre orchard.”

When Tim was a little boy, he brought a tree seedling to show and tell.

“I told my class that I was going to grow a big tree! What started out a small seedling grew into this!”

Tim facilitates tree planting with local 6th graders at his kid’s school. “They learned they could make a difference in a simple way. Trees leave a legacy.”

Tim also leads the way to promote tree planting amongst our beneficiaries. Tree planting is one of the most effective ways of improving the environment and the quality of life for Compassion assisted beneficiaries.

Tree planting and fruit farming are prime activities contributing to environmental conservation and food security.

Our beneficiaries and staff plant many types of trees:

  • Fruit trees provide important nutrients for beneficiaries.
  • Trees like the Cypress and the Cider are planted for income generating projects for
    wood fuel and timber for construction.
  • Acacia trees offer soil, manure, feed, shade, and act as a wind breaker.
  • The Pawpaw tree yields a milky, sticky substance that controls bleeding.
  • Neem trees deliver medicinal value like malaria treatment (leaves can be used in a tea that reduces fever caused by malaria), healing of cuts and burns and keeping snakes at bay (they can’t stand the smell).

A seedling may look small, but like Tim Chambers learned, something small, like a child or a tree, can grow to make an immense difference.

1 Comment |Add a comment

  1. Gary Hutchinson April 26, 2013

    Thanks so much for this timely blog post, Katy. As a long-time friend of Compassion Int’l, this post has done a couple of things to help me serve my sponsored child and the project that serves her family.

    First, it broadens my understanding of the creative, and yet practical things that can be done to serve the needy. I can pray for such things more specifically now.

    Secondly, it has reminded me to be patient (which may be your main point). Big things do start small in so many areas of life. By the grace of God, diligence and faithfulness over the long haul can see great fruit from tiny seeds. Thank you for that reminder!

    May God bless you all!

    Gary Hutchinson

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