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A GREEN 2013

A Pastor’s Dream
The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Men’s Ministry that seeks to provide an avenue where men can share knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences, encourage one another as the older men also perform the act of ‘paralambano’ to the younger men. Our prayer is that the Lord will speak to you through these publications.

Issue 11 - March 2013

You are a pastor, but we also hear you are into trees, what exactly do you do with trees? Yes, I am a Pastor and it is also true that I love and plant trees. I have been planting trees since child hood and even made money out of them during my teenage years. How did trees grab a Pastor’s heart? Growing up in the village, primary 1 and 2 were miles away from home and along the way were countless shades provided by the many trees along the path Pastor Johnson Magaya where we could play, get dirty but never sweated. But visiting home about 20 years ago, I saw a very negative change. And it was after seeing how home looked like that Genesis 1:31 (God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.) grabbed my heart. Basing on what I had seen, I could not say that village was a good place. Yes there were more homes, more people but all those did not make it a better place

People ask me, when will I make money? One can make money out of trees at any stage. You just have to know what you want to make out of them; whether charcoal or paper. The other reason I bother is that when I turned 45, I asked myself now that I am nearing retirement, what can I do to keep active let alone have a source of income? So I found something I love and am enthusiastic about: planting trees.

Uganda is a very beautiful country but it was more beautiful than it is today. Uganda used to be a green belt and by the way, though not commonly emphasised in Sunday sermons, The last reason I bother is that Christianity seems to be spreading very fast in urban areas but very slowly in the rural areas. So I am writing a proposal to use tree planting taking care of nature is one of the spiritual virtues every Christian should embrace. to reach the rural areas with the gospel. As I encourage them to plant trees, I share This business of growing Christ with them. trees I imagine has many How do you balance family, work and this tree planting project? risks, why bother then; what keeps you going? For family, it is mainly time and finances that are required of me while for work it is “To risk is to be ready to mainly time. I usually take my annual leave and every week I have a day off which is lose a step, not to risk at all Wednesday. I use that time to visit and inspect my tree planting project. is to be ready to lose oneAny last message to the men at KBC and the people reading this interview? self completely”-Dutch phiMan (male) is supposed to be a leader and this does not mean that he has got to be a losopher. president but it means that man has got to guide people towards a goal for communal Every venture in life involves benefit not for selfish reasons. some bit of risk, and tree planting is no exception. So it is expected that one sits down and Every able Christian man must plant a tree and plant 7 at that: counts the cost and that is what I did. Luke 14:25-33. 1. One for shade PICK A TREE THAT: The people that will come after us will need the wood, furniture, fuel, etc. Even the paper 2. One for fruit  Shades its leaves we use comes from trees. Thousands of trees are harvested to make paper including toilet 3. One for fuel  Has leaves that can compose and add to paper. the humus in the soil 4. One for timber  One that supports the eco system e.g. So for me, it doesn’t matter how long it takes or who it benefits, as long as I am doing the 5. One for his father (dead or alive) through rain formation right thing I will engage in that activity. 6. One for his mother (dead or alive)  Allows birds to nest on it 7. One for himself

“For me, it doesn’t matter how long it takes or who it benefits, as long as I am doing the right thing I will engage in that activity”

OTHER BENEFITS OF TREES  Used in land marking as a measure against land grabbing  They help in making land re-usable through their shading of leaves hence adding to humus  They can be grown as a cash crop  Trees can also be used as altars for spiritual mapping. One can pray that any one that ever comes near that tree be brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

I need to say though that tree planting is faith venture. You never know if you will ever benefit but at least the 7 trees are symbolic. You do not have to plant the trees on your urban 50 x 100ft plot of land. Many of us have homes back in the village that have a lot of unused land which can be gazetted for tree planting. Everyman is a potential investor and you do not need a lot of money. Tree planting is an investment for even the poor. A tree seedling will cost at most 500/- which means that for the 7 symbolic trees, one only needs 3,500/-; who can’t afford that?

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