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.