Monday, March 26, 2012

Moringa Experiment: Week 8

It has been two months since we planted the first moringa seed in our experimental plot. The growth of this intensive plot have been challenged by a few things. We have noticed that the use of manure has slowed one part of the plot. Also, the grasshoppers have been a pest as well to the seedlings. They have been cutting the tops of the stalks. Regardless of these learning processes, the plot continues to grow. What has been cut, has re-sprouted and what has been reluctant to grow is still striving for life.

As you can see in the picture, the height of the plot has changed dramatically compared to the previous pictures. We are running behind schedule with harvest, mainly because of the delay of growth in the plot. Most say you can harvest after six weeks, yet we are working on 8 weeks now. We are attributing the delay to the amount of manure used and the content of the soil. The good news is, the soil on the land the project will begin is much better than the soil the experimental plot is located on. I intentionally put the plot in a difficult area and near the sea to observe its perseverance in the harshest of conditions. The trees have proven themselves.

The project is still in awareness and fund raising mode. I just want to say a few shout outs to those that have been joining together on the U.S. to advocate for the project. Some have given for the fence and we are at about the 50% mark to having all the funds to secure the land with a fence. An advocacy group committed to pray and educate others about the project has been formed. If you would like to be a part of that, please contact Cindy Harrison at (229)249-9841 or Jana Abbott at (229)247-2740. Some are organizing fundraisers such as, “Buy a Brick” and 5K runs to help with funding. This week even there is a group running from the Atlantic Coast of Florida to the Gulf Coast to raise monies and awareness for the Tree of Life Project. Their team is known as “The Moringas”. I have a summer volunteer coming for 6 weeks to help me with the nutritional aspect of the project. All of these things are credited to the faithfulness and grace of God!

My personal tree that I planted last year has started blossoming with lots of flowers. Even today, there are small seed pods that have begun to develop. It seems this tree is in fact a miracle because it is already producing seed pods at such an early stage. I have included a picture so that you can look back to my January post and compare the height and growth.

This past week, Christine, Kassim and myself cooked our first meal using moringa. Christine is from the Phillipines and uses moringa often in cooking her own traditional dishes. We cooked a soup using chicken, green papaya and moringa leaves. It was a success and very tasty! Thanks Christine for the education and inspiration!

Thank you all again for your continued prayers and support. Above all, it is our prayer that this project bee a catalyst of love that connects people in physical and spiritual need to the Great Physician and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love you all!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Moringa Experiment: Week 6

It feels like an eternity since my last entry about the Tree of Life Project. The accident with my hand and recovery has slowed me down a bit, but it won't keep me down. :-) I have had an enormous amount of help and support from my friends here. And God has been providing and validating this project/ministry more and more.

The first thing I would like to say is that, as you can see in the pic, the small intensive experimental plot is doing very well. We are hoping to be cutting our first harvest in the next few weeks. The other 12 we planted in the fenced in area had a bit of a problem. Grasshoppers chopped off the tops of 5 of the plants. They are still trying to regrow, but we may need a controlled nursery-type environment until the stems are strong enough to resist such pests.

We also harvested the first moringa flower from my own personal tree. Kassim and I boiled it and made a tasty tea that is known to be good for treating symptoms of the common cold.

God has also been providing financially bit by bit for the first phase of the project, the fence. I am proud to announce that we almost have 50% of the cost of the fence. Praise be to God! Thanks to all of you who are advocating for the project and giving to make this a reality.

God is continually teaching me and growing me. It has be an awesome experience to be discipling the guys and having them serve alongside of me in the start up of this project. Please continue to pray for provisions and for all who are eager to begin working to bring physical and spiritual health and wholeness to the people of Sierra Leone. Love you all and to God be the glory!