In Africa there are rain forests with a wide variety of trees and there are deserts with nearly no trees at all. One of the most unusual trees on the continent is the Baobab, the tree shown in the logo. Growing in the desert, it is one of the largest living trees in the world, surpassed only by the Sequoia and the Eucalyptus. It can live up to as much as 2000 years, which means that it can date back to the time of our Lord. It can grow to a height of 75 feet and its barrel like trunk can reach up to 40 feet in diameter.
The outline and shape of the tree is so unique that old legends relate that either the Lord or the devil pulled it up and replanted it upside down. It is still sometimes referred to as “the upside down tree”.
The flower of the Baobab is unique; it is a beautifully colored, sweet smelling, banana-shaped fan of long stems. The fruit of the Baobab is large and gourd-like. It contains a sweet, woody, white pulp that is favored by monkeys – causing the Africans to call it “monkey bread”. The fruit is used to make medicines that fortify the blood, enhance the immune system and aid in the destruction of internal and external viruses. The white pulp in the seed pods, when mixed with water makes a very refreshing drink and is also used to treat malaria. The seeds are roasted and eaten like peanuts and they can be made into a sort of paste like peanut butter. The sap of the tree is used to make natural rubber, fertilizer and soap. The leaves can be eaten like spinach or made into soup. Dried, they can be used as a condiment.
The tree provides well for the birds, animals, insects and man. Besides providing a special landmark, it is also a resting place in the shade for man and beast (all of whom must be wary of all others). Strong fiber made from the thick bark is used to make rope, clothing and other woven fabric such as fist nets. The trunks contain much life-sustaining water and can be hollowed out to provide a reservoir for even more water. The hollowed out trunks can be used also for shelter and have even been used for burial. The light, sponge-like wood, which is used for musical instruments and canoes, causes the tree to also be called the cork tree. The pulp can be eaten as soup.
The products of this wonderful tree provide for food, shelter, clothing, shade and direction. Unlike any other tree, the Baobab, in aging, does not increase in size. Like humans; it decreases in size with age.
Isn’t it ironic that this very ugly tree produces so many useful, delightful, refreshing and life filling products? In like fashion, the Lord provides for the needs of His people in many wonderful ways. If He can fashion in one tree such an array of benefits, can you imagine what He has created for us in Heaven? As this very special tree has provided so well for many who have been physically lost, God has also provided for the spiritually lost.
Like this wonderful creation of the Lord, the South African Christian Mission provides for the people, also. The mission reaches, teaches, encourages and develops the South African people to recognize the Lord, accept Him, become His, grow in His grace and knowledge, and share His wonderful blessings with others. Just as the tree reproduces after its kind, one of the principal aims of the mission is to equip the Africans to faithfully teach and preach the word to their kinsmen.
If you are interested in the mission, we encourage you to contact us through this website. We will be happy to adopt you, your class or small group, or church as part of the SACM family.