Today our elders had a get-together at the Wonderboom nature reserve for a time of fellowship and sharing about our vision and strategy for the next cycle of work in our congregations. It was a good time of sharing, catching up and confirming that we were on the right track.

Seeing the Wonderboom was part of the object of the exercise because the tree is an unusual phenomenon which we hope will become a symbol of our endeavours for the next three years.

Here’s what has been written about the tree:

A 5,5 m diameter trunk at the heart of the Wonderboom is the remains of the original wild fig that began growing here over than 1 000 years ago. Branches of this trunk first spread out radically but gradually drooped towards the ground, where they sent out roots from which sprang a circle of new trunks.

In time, two of the offspring produced a third generation. Today the Wonderboom has 13 distinct trunks that cover an area of 1,5 ha. The branches spread over an area of 50 m, and can provide enough shade for over 1 000 people. A typical example of the species Ficus salicifolia? Not so, say the experts.

The wild fig is a hardy tree flourishing in open woodlands, on rocky hills and outcrops, and near streams and rivers. The bark of the young trees is smooth and a pale grey, while the bark of older trees is rougher and darker. The leaves are thick and leathery, and the tiny white fruits, only about 5 mm in diameter, become a yellowish-pink colour when they ripen between August and May.

But while the Ficus salicifolia seldom grows higher than 9 m, the Wonderboom stands taller 23m. In addition to its great height, the way in which it has extended itself makes it an extremely rare natural phenomenon.

Our time spent there was very meaningful and has confirmed that we as Session believe that we are on the right track in the direction we believe the Lord is taking us in.

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