The Gorongosa Miracle

06_15 (5 of 9)THE GORONGOSA PLAINS – one of Africa’s most beautiful game parks – just 40 minutes from our Gorongosa wa Yesu Church. 

LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ENJOYING THE RIDE: OUR AMAZING RACE FROM INHAMINGA TO GORONGOSA

We are happy to be on the back road that was closed for almost two years due to skirmishes and political unrest.06_15 (3 of 9)Though the road is rough, the scenery is beautiful and we have several small churches near the road along the way.06_15 (2 of 9)GORONGOSA WA YESU – Our success is in seeing the men Rodney has trained to build, take such pride in their work. Pastor Lino, Rod’s right hand man gave oversight to this project, living on site with his wife Telvina and their two boys for much of the time. While there Telvina gave birth to a baby girl. A true Apostolic Family.06_15 (1 of 9)Within a space of two years, from the first convert to a small group meeting in a shack, on to a bigger shack, to a full church. A Gorongosa man, Pedro, is the pastor. He is helped by a group of leaders who were with him from the beginning, growing together with the church, brick by brick, soul by soul joined together.06_15 (4 of 9)FILLING THE HOUSE – During a most glorious day of dedicating the new temple to the Lord, it dawned on us that the Gorongosa work truly is a miracle. ALL GLORY TO GOD!

PS: For the run up to this part of the race, check out: GORONGOSA WA YESU06_15 (7 of 9)THE MIRACLE OF GORONGOSA GAME PARK – THE LIVING EDEN

This is one of the most beautiful Game parks in Africa. The diversity of landscape is magnificent. Though much of the game was obliterated during years of war and poaching, great efforts of restoration are being made and there is a lot of game to enjoy. The atmosphere is superbly peaceful.

TENDING THE GARDEN – God’s commission to Adam was to take care of the environment. “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. Genesis 2:15

Mankind has not done a very good job, but we can work together to save what’s left.

Information on the yellowish/green fever tree and the palm trees.

AFRICAN FEVER TREE Acacia xanthophloea

I love this ‘childhood memories’ tree with its smooth yellow/green bark. Early pioneers believed that the tree caused fevers. In fact the fever was actually malaria which they caught from mosquitoes that breed in the swampy fever tree habitat.

QUININE FOR MALARIA – Traditional medicines use the bark of the fever tree for treating fevers and eye infections, and the roots are powdered up for the treatment of malaria.

The powder was imported to Europe under the name ‘Jesuits Powder’ which proved a very poor selling strategy in Protestant England. Even when Charles II in 1679 was cured of the ‘fever’ its popularity was not assured as its use remained the secret of his physician (Robert Talbor).

THE FIRST INDIAN TONIC WATER AND THE INVENTION OF GIN AND TONIC!

The healing power of this remarkable tree only became world renowned in the 1820’s when officers of the British Army in India, in an attempt to ward off malaria, mixed quinine (the extract from the bark of the fever-tree) with sugar and water, creating the first Indian Tonic Water.

It was made more palatable when they added a little gin to the mixture. The original gin and tonic was thus born, and soon became the typical drink of the British Empire, the origins of which were firmly planted in the fever tree.

ILALA Palm (Hyphaene coriacea)

The Ilala Palm is also known as the Vegetable Ivory Palm because of the hard, white ivory looking seed, the size of a golf ball. The seeds are dispersed over great distances by wandering elephants through their dung. (Rod loves to pick up elephant dung and show people what the elephants have been eating)

These large palm trees usually grow from 5 to 7metres high, but sometimes up to 15metres in height, single or multi-stemmed, with a slight swelling about half way up the stem. The leaves are fan-shaped and greyish green. Fruits are tennis ball size, ripening from green through orange to glossy dark brown. A thin layer of sweet-tasting, ginger-flavoured, spongy, fibrous pulp surrounds the seed. Fruits are produced in large quantities, up to 2000 per tree, each taking two years to mature and up to two further years to fall.

The milk present in the young fruit is similar to coconut milk in taste and colouring. Elephants eagerly consume the newly formed leaves, which are crisp at their base and have a pleasant coconut flavour. The crown-heart is eaten as a vegetable. The pulp of the fruit resembles gingerbread. These palms are widely exploited as a source of wine and unfortunately many are killed as a result.

06_15 (8 of 9)SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD!

06_15 (9 of 9)THE GORONGOSA ELEPHANTS are still suffering trauma from cruel poaching during the war years. It is true that an elephant never forgets, and they grow up to 70 years old. Helicopter gunships mowed them down for their ivory, creating havoc in the elephant family, killing matriarchs who knew the migration trails, upsetting the order of command and care among the elephants. Because of this, these elephants are dangerous and are known for chasing cars. However, much work is being done with them and change can be seen. Even so, poaching continues to be a problem. Very sad.

06_15 (6 of 9)THE YOUNG LIONS ROAR AFTER THEIR PREY AND SEEK THEIR MEAT FROM GOD. – PSALM 104:21

This young lion of 22 months was waking up from its long nap. Lions sleep for up to 20 hours a day! It gave a big yawn without covering its mouth, and then lazily got up to prepare for a hunt.

With so many impala, waterbuck and other species just 50 metres away on the plain, it would not be difficult. We were impressed with how fat and glossy this lion is.

Our Amazing Race is filled with joy, some storms and lots of adventure. We do consider ourselves of the most blessed people in the world as we cover the miles, carried and captured in the whirlwind of God.

The LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3 (b)

CHECK OUT GORONGOSA GAME PARK, REFERRED TO AS ‘THE LIVING EDEN’……… there is much info on the web.

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