What a weekend! We took a 3+ hour drive to check the progress of the two newest Eden Projects nurseries in Madagascar. Once completed, these dry deciduous nurseries will support 400,000 and 200,000 new trees at a time, respectively. These trees will change lives. The reforestation work brings jobs to rural communities, helps restore the land which can, in turn, better support and provide for the people, and ultimately relationships are built that enable us to share the hope of Jesus. That's a lot from a tree!
We also had the opportunity to visit a cave system near one of the planting sites. There were amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations of all kinds, countless bats, and one of the most idyllic spots that I have ever seen.
But I was particularly struck by the formation pictured above which our guide suggested would take 100+ years to close the <2cm gap. Many of the rural communities that we passed through seem to be stuck in time too. Life in these villages has not changed much in hundreds (if not thousands) of years.
The time spent gathering water for basic needs or time working the fields is unfathomable to my western mind. How can it be that, in this day of iPhones, self-driving cars, and talk of interplanetary exploration, so many people still live without easy access to things we take for granted - clean water, simple sanitation, and basic education to name just a few?
We are by no means the first people to ask this question, nor the last. But we are very excited to learn first hand from the people here and very curious to see how our perspectives and responses change in the upcoming year. We invite you to continue on this journey with us....