On the plane back from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday, I was once again overwhelmed by the African reality. Scorching sun, bare hills, thousands of acres of open land — without a single tree. The once lush forests surrounding many of the Rift Valley rivers and lakes from Ethiopia through Uganda to Kenya have been cleared. All these translate into drought, famine and never-ending food aid.
Most of these regions were thickly forested not too many years ago. What we have now is an encroaching desert. We in the Horn of Africa cannot afford to sit back and wait for the worst to happen. There is a window of opportunity in which we can reverse the desertification.
The campaign for reforesting the Horn of Africa needs to go full blast. We appreciate the Green Belt Movement initiatives and tree planting efforts already in place. However, the campaign needs to become a wholesale movement in the nations of the Horn. The church, the government, the media, the mosques, the youth and women’s groups, schools and colleges: all sectors need to come on board.
I HEAR THE LORD SAYING THAT IT CAN BE DONE, BUT IT MUST BE BIRTHED IN PRAYER. We also need transformation training for mindset change and practical alternatives for fuel energy.
Please pray with us (and the camels?) “until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free” (Is 32:15, 20).
Pray that we may we awaken intercessors in the nations of Africa, intensify transformation/ change-agent training, and find easy-to-manage, environmentally friendly fuel for our energy needs.