Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Tree of Life

There are few things that make me think of Africa more than the Baobab tree which is often called “the tree of life”I don’t know why it is that I never really seemed to see them before as much as on this trip.  Three times I’ve been to Ghana but this time in particular this marvelous tree stood out to me.  The spectacular thick trunk and smaller branches make it unique from all the other trees I’ve seen during my travels.  Somehow this speaks of ancient maturity to me.  The growth of the trunk seems to take precedence over the branches.  This tree speaks to me of Africa and what it’s done for me.  So many of the changes that have happened in my life since that first trip to Africa in 1989 caused a core growth that was so wide and amazing and other things branched off from this point of incredible change.  These magnificent trees weather the storms and the droughts standing as a beacon of life and strength no matter the season.  Life thrives near the Baobab tree at timeswhile at other times it stands alone.  Ghana has brought to me a strength I don’t even understand fully.  It’s brought water to my thirsty soul and began a journey to the nations of the world that I never dreamed I’d see let alone live in.  Ghana is my baobab tree.


The power of Ghana has been in the men and women of God that live there.  I’ve had the privilege of  knowing some of them.  There’s not a time when I was with them that they didn’t give me something precious and wonderful.  Blessed as it has been to know these people over the years one of the greatest things I saw this year was the next generation rising up to be God’s light in the world.  One such young man is the son of my African brother Joseph.  His name is Julian Baisie.  We were blessed to see him sing in my brother’s church in Accra.  Seeing his heart for God brought me such courage.  What a blessing to know such people as this.  I know the importance of the vision that God has given and I know that the power of this vision is making it plain to the generation to follow so that they may carry on the work of showing just how wonderful God is to the generations to come.  This is why I wouldn’t consider not bringing my family with me.  We’ve trained them for many years to be what they are today.  They are fine missionaries whom I am proud to serve with on the mission field.  Today is Veteran’s Day, I am blessed to say that most of the veterans I know are younger than I am.  Some of them I’ve watched grow from young people to become soldiers but if I may be so bold I put those that have served on missions in the category of vets because they too have put their lives on the line in foreign lands.  I salute you!  You are all heroes to me and trees of life in a dry and weary land.


  1. Anyone who works in the mission field is truly a brave person and yes a veteran. Joe, your globe and mine shows me in Atlanta, GA. I wish I could change it. I manage to change my location on my Feedjit to Decatur, AL. I live fairly close to this location. If you know how to change the Globe location, I'd appreciate it.

  2. Missionaries, are indeed hero's, as are you are your family. enjoyed reading about the tree of life. May the Lord bless all you do in His Name. - Nita

  3. I enjoy reading you are filled with an unknown strength within your soul. It too will be revealed to you when God thinks you are ready. There are brave people everywhere, and when one takes the time to notice, we are taken back and look at our own lives and what we have lacked to do. Hero's is over rated today, but there sure are many who care so deeply for others they go the step beyond to do something to help. You Joe are a hero also. You may not see that, but I do. God bless you.

  4. Joe, I respect the call of God upon your life. I pray for His blessings upon your life.

  5. As I have been following you and reading your posts, Joe, it has come to my mind and heart that you (and your family) are "majestic", just like the Baobab tree. You are open, loving, strong, brave, and giving. That in a person is extraordinary. I know that everyone is 'capable' of this, but not that many see it through. You do, and for that, even though it's Veterans' Day, I salute YOU just as strongly.

  6. I too salute you and your family for as you and the others have truly stated, Missionaries are truly brave and dedicated and they too are fighting a terrible war. the war with the fateful outcome of Heaven of hell. Our Missionaries face violence and many times, depending upon where they are, mockery and always deprivation.

    I hail them.

  7. Always have faith in yourself and your family Joe and others will follow into the ways of God. I love the tree, I often enjoy looking at photo's of other countries and the differences in the land plants and resources.
    Bless you and all yours
    Hugs Lady Jude

  8. I love the tree. How beautiuful your Africa is Joe. All stunning.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Hi Joe, I enjoyed your post, and your pictures are wonderful. I look at the Tree of Life, and I see Jesus as the trunk , and God's people as the branches going all over the world telling others about The Savior. Love the image of the tree, and that young man which represents a new generation of God's Children spreading the Good News.
    You have followed where the Lord has lead you, and your family. I admire how you have brought your children up in the ways of the Lord. They two are part of this new generation.
    I took my grandaughter to a Christian Rock Concert the other night, and I was so over joyed to see them, ages 8 and 14yrs. old, and the other kids, teenagers , and us older Children Of God, all singing , dancing and raising our arms and hands to the Lord. I was really moved by the presence of the Lord and it was as if He was right there enjoying the celebration of Life with His own.
    No matter how old or where we are, we all have a mission to serve the Lord where ever He leads.
    I have a great appreaciation for Missionaries such as yourself and your family. God Bless You and your family in all that you do in His Service. I look forward to your blogs as you share more of your trip to Africa.

    Thankyou for stopping by my blog also Joe. Sorry it took me this long to get back to you. It was close to midnight here when I posted and had to get some sleep as I had to get up at 6 a.m for work. It seems I am always trying to catch up.
    Have a great weekend Joe
    Your Friend, Dianne :)

  10. As I look at the tree that I don't find the green colour of leaves(dry weather) thought it had strong and lived for forever:-)

    You are in the way gave you all engery for poor people that I am very proud of you.

    Have a nice weekend with your loved ones,

  11. I have goosebumps Joe seeeing that foto of Julian siting on his next generation.
    its so beautiful a son like his dad. Ur life tree the Beobab is a tree that has such a thick trunk as water reservoir for the dry seasons.
    Beautiful no how nature helps itself, but sometiems nature can be hard also.
    TC and a hi to ur family.

  12. A very very powerful blog Joe .

    Once agian I had to read each and every line.

    Last time I was by I had such a fever.
    Thanks for stopping by today Joe.
    Blessing to you and your family. Stay warm .
    and dont get the flu .

  13. Hi, Joe, thanks for stopping by today. I wish you all warmth and fewer snows. It has been warmer today, nice really.

  14. Oh that tree does represent so much strength. You may not have noticed it before but not that you are feeling truly stonger in what you are doing the tree now speaks to you. It must give you much joy that the next generation is carrying on the word that you are spreading. Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm. It so cold here right now and the snow is blowing. I was just in the garden last week. So hard to believe. Hugs Carrie