Missionary tradition often includes the designing of a Zone T-Shirt. When Elder Lyon was asked to help with a design for our zone, "The Koforidua Zone" he immediately thought of the "African Tree of Life", The Baobab Tree. We love picking this tree out in the beautiful green landscape as we drive to and fro on our travels through Ghana. Some of the Elders wondered why the tree, so he wrote a great explanation of his design.
The Tree...For the tree I used the Baobab (pronounced bow-bow) Tree; also called "The African Tree of Life". It is called that because it provides shelter, food and water for animals and humans. This tree represents our "Tree of Life" as seen by prophets in visions. The tree provides water. Christ said "I am the living waters". Isaiah 61:3 says ... "That they (missionaries) might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified".
The Fruit...The fruit of the Baobab tree is edible and can be used to make various dishes including a bread. In John 6:35 Jesus said "I am the bread of life". The fruit also shows the low-hanging as well as the high-hanging investigators the missionaries find.
The Sun...The sun is shining through the tree. Plants need sunshine to nourish them and help them grow. The sun also represents the light of Christ and how it can permeate through each one of us and help our testimonies grow.
The Roots...Every plant needs roots to secure them in the ground and to provide nourishment from the soil. We are to be firmly planted in the roots of the gospel and are nourished by the good word of God.
The Names..."Koforidua" is growing out of the tree therefore symbolizing the growth of the church in the area. The nameplate shows whose church this is and it is placed in the center showing we are centered in Christ. The "Zone" shows we are firmly planted in the roots of the gospel and enveloped in the arms of a loving Christ. Ephesians 3:16 says "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love". The zone is being held up by these roots.
These two Baobab trees are growing together, just like us. Over the years and especially during this mission we continue to grow together in love and life.
A recent excursion with the Young Single Adults ... we walked to a Baobab Forest near the Xavi Bird Sanctuary. This is Sister Lyon with Comfort.
The fruit of the Baobab tree was cut open by our guide for us all to sample. There are many seeds inside about the size of large peas or small grapes, they are covered with a white fibrous coating. You just pop them in your mouth to enjoy the sweetness, then discard the seed after chewing off all of the white coating.
The fruits fall to the ground around the tree, we were all given a fruit to take home.
According to Wikipedia, the Baobab Tree is known as the tree of life, with good reason, providing shelter, clothing, food, and water for animal and human inhabitants of Africa. The cork-like bark and huge stem are fire resistant and are used for making cloth and rope. The leaves are used as condiments and medicines. The fruit, called "monkey bread", is edible, and full of Vitamin C.
The fruit has a velvety shell and is about the size of a coconut. It has a flavor somewhere between grapefruit, pear, and vanilla. The tree can store hundreds of gallons of water. Mature trees can be hollow, providing living space for many animals and humans.
Baobab Tree, "The African Tree Of Life"