News Release

Youth in Ethiopia Get Their Hands Dirty and Plant 200 Fruit Trees

Young people spent six weeks planting mango, avocado, lime and apple trees to feed the local community

Jesus Christ developed in all areas of His life. Spiritually He gained favour in the sight of God, socially He was favoured by men, physically He grew in stature and intellectually He increased in wisdom.

Striving to follow the example of the Saviour Jesus Christ in all areas of their lives, distinctly socially and physically, about 70 youth in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa united in planting 200 fruit trees.

This effort came after the Ethiopia, Addis Ababa Mission President Robert J. Dudfield and the Branch President of Meganagna Branch, President Birhanu Molla reached out to the local government for an opportunity to serve.

“We reached out to see if there was a service opportunity in the local area and they came back with the desire [for us] to plant fruit trees,” said President Dudfield.

President Dudfield and President Molla proceeded to organize a youth conference, where the youth of the church, full-time missionaries, and local church leaders from various branches in Addis Ababa, motivated by the yearning to leave a lasting effect in their communities, put forward their gardening tools and got their green fingers to work.

Avocados, mangoes, apples, and limes are some of the planted fruit trees that were planted by the youth of the church under the scorching Ethiopian sun. 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

About six weeks’ worth of work planning and planting under the scorching Ethiopian sun resulted in 200 planted apples, limes, mango, and avocado trees.

“[With] fruit much harder and much more expensive to get in Addis Ababa, the local government met our efforts with delight and gratitude. The fruit trees will feed the homeless in the local community,” President Dudfield said.

Testifying of the fruits of service, Elder Dylan Gilman, a full-time Missionary serving in Addis Ababa said that the service opportunity had helped unify the youth.

“It was amazing to see the youth come together to help the community. Planting fruit trees was [such] an uplifting experience, particularly seeing the youth have an opportunity to be united while serving others. Ethiopia is truly blessed with an amazing group of youth,” Elder Gilman said.

Hana Debebe Hailu, a youth from the Megenagna Branch, expressed her gratitude on the impact of service during the project.

“I liked how we were in a group during the activities, it was also great to see each of us helping one another. I met a lot of people and saw my friends. I was very happy about the experience and lessons too. The lessons made me feel great because it was about God, serving and loving one another. I will never forget this experience.”

Another youth, Moti Tegegn Lemma from the Summit Branch, opened up about how the fruit tree service helped him grow socially.

“In the service activity I have learned a lot of things, I can't count how many. I have been able to meet many friends and I am very grateful to God for helping me to be able to spend time doing service and helping others,” Moti opened up.

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa hosts a thriving total of 1,943 church members, 5 branches, one family history centre, and one mission. President Robert and Sister Darice Dudfield are the first mission leaders to preside over the Ethiopia Addis Ababa mission. The mission was first announced in November 2019 and opened in July 2020.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.