Saturday, October 27, 2007

God's Provision - The African Farming Village

Our first thought when we think about termites is destruction. Termites eat wood. We build our homes out of wood. Termites can do a lot of damage to a house. When we get termites in our home, they must be treated with heavy duty pesticides. But the story of termites in Africa is a little different . . .

Termites in Africa build huge mounds sometimes 6-8 feet tall.

A closer examination reveals an amazing structure.

I found it amazing that these termite mounds provide building materials for African homes. Termite mounds provide the raw material for making bricks in Africa.

You take the special "dirt" from the termite mound. Add a small amount of water to make a workable clay. Force the clay into rectangular molds to create the bricks. Then you stack the bricks for firing. It is not a perfect arch but you leave this opening for the fire that will harden the bricks.

When the stack is completed, you cover it with more termite clay to insulate it so that all the bricks will be "fired" from the heat of the wood fires underneath. Pretty clever.

I visited Zambia in the dry season. During the wet season they grow crops - maize is one of the big ones. Using natural materials - wood branches and elephant grass, they build silos to store their maize.

And I love their nesting houses for the chickens. Too cute! But what a great use of the ubiquitous elephant grass!

What a testimony for how God provides what we need and how He gave man the creativity and ingenuity to make use of the materials around us!

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