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Advent calendar 2023 - 15 December

Rakhi playing in a tree.

He is like a tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves shall never fade.

Psalm 1:3

“Happy the one whose delight is in the law of the Lord,” the psalmist tells us, comparing such an individual to a fruitful tree planted beside water.  

Trees are vital to our planet and to our survival. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They protect the soil, provide habitats for wildlife and give us fruits and medicines, materials for tools and shelter.   

Ten-year-old Rakhi lives with her family in an eco-village in southern Bangladesh, an area which often experiences extreme weather challenges brought about by the climate crisis.   

 She enjoys stories and running and playing with friends, but her favourite thing is helping her mother plant trees.  Last year, storm Amphan uprooted the trees and destroyed much of what Rakhi and her mother had grown.  

Rakhi recalls: “I feel sad when the trees die. Last year, a lot of trees, even banana trees, were destroyed during that big Amphan storm.”  

Thankfully, Rakhi's mother Ratna worked with a CAFOD-funded community group, the Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development, to learn more about sustainable gardening techniques.   

The training allowed Ratna and her daughter to restart their own garden and grow their own fruit and flower trees.  They already grow their own organic papaya, mango and coconut trees which they can eat and sell at the local market, giving the family an extra source of income.      

Rakhi told us: “Older people listen to you less, but they should listen more. If they did, I’d tell them all to plant more vegetables, and plant lots of tall trees.”   

This Advent, let’s stand in solidarity with Rakhi as we face the climate crisis. And let’s allow the images in today’s psalm to encourage us to live our Christian life grounded in creation and rooted in God’s love, growing in compassion and community each day.   

Advent prayer

Creator God,  
rooted in your love,  
may we grow in wisdom and gentleness,  
delighting in your law,   
learning to care for the earth  
and for each other.  


If you’d like to plant trees and help families like Rakhi’s, why not buy a Trees for Life World Gift.  Choose express delivery to get your gift in time for Christmas.

Buy a Trees for Life World Gift

Trees for life


This tree-mendous charity gift can supply a family with the tools and training needed to produce their own tree nursery