What's in a Tree?
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
As we've begun ramping up the fundraising for our move, I've been having a lot of questions about our logo and our mission statement so I thought I'd answer them here :)
I must start by giving many, many thanks to Pablo Agurcia for turning my vision into reality when my ability for graphic design fell short. He absolutely nailed it when I described what I wanted - and that wasn't something I was expecting! He was amazing to work with, quick and generous with his input and options. If you ever need any graphic design or artistry, I highly recommend him!
A little background first. The idea for the logo first came to me when we realized we were going to be a nomadic tribe. When we moved to Tanzania in 2013, we thought that was it. We'd settle down and live there for the foreseeable future. However, God had other plans in mind, and in 2017 we ended up moving from our beloved little dusty village at the base of Kilimanjaro to the sun-shiny western coast of Australia. We realized we would no longer be "The Battersons in Tanzania," but that we wouldn't be "The Battersons in Australia," either. During that transition, God gave us a clear vision of our tribe being a nomadic one. Essentially, we work ourselves out of a job by empowering the nationals and leaving a legacy. Anything that we put our hands to, no matter the country we're in, is intended to continue functioning even without us there. We are not the solution. We are the people that bring the strategies, resources and education to the nationals so they can be the solution and be successful in their endeavors.
Being nomadic isn't easy, I won't lie. It's not easy to feel like you can't settle, put down roots, and really dig deep because you know you'll be leaving eventually. But that's the thing - we still need to put down roots wherever we go. We've learned that the best way to really get true community and build relationships is to put down roots. But we've also learned (the hard way) that those roots can't be put into the ground our house is on, we've got to be rooted in the Father.
That's why you see the roots in our logo. It's a way of reminding ourselves that we are rooted in the Father, no matter what country we're in, and we're following his lead. It's also a reminder to get rooted in the community we're placed in, no matter how long we will be there, so we can build relationships and impact as many people as possible during our time in that place. We know when the time does come to leave, we will grieve and transition to the next place, but it will have all been worth it.
Going up from the roots you'll see the abbreviated version of our mission statement: Live | Serve | Love | Give and our family name, The Batterson Tribe. More on that bit later :)
Then you see the base of the tree with the leaves. This part was also very important to me and it was the part I was most worried wouldn't come across as I described it to Pablo. First, I wanted the leaves to be green to symbolize life and growth. It's very important to us that any ministry we join with or any organization we help is healthy and growing. We also want to be sure that our tribe is always healthy and growing - and I don't just mean in the physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually as well. It's also a goal to bring life to any community we enter and the green leaves help remind us of that. The next part of my vision, and probably the hardest - was that I wanted the leaves to look like an acacia tree, but also the world. I didn't simply want a globe sitting on a tree, I wanted it to look like leaves, and I wanted Africa to be the center of the globe (which is really hard to find when you're looking for maps - almost all of them center on America!) Africa is the place that started it all for our tribe, and its full of acacia trees. It was in Ghana, West Africa where God spoke to me and clearly said we'd live on that continent serving him one day. It was in Tanzania, East Africa where our family became a Tribe, where we dove head first into full time missions, language learning, cultural differences and all. Tanzania will forever be etched in our hearts as our first home and having Africa centered on the tree pays a special homage to that. As we learned during our transition in 2017 though, Africa was not going to be 'it' for us. Having the entire world represented in the leaves is also a reminder that we exist to go wherever God sends us, and we are to live out the mission he's given us in any country. No where is out of bounds. (Though we've had some serious words with the Big Man about those northern countries because cold weather is my nemesis! (: )
So about the words. First, we called ourselves a Tribe before it was the cool, cliché thing to do. We weren't trying to be trendy. A few times we visited clinics in Tanzania and each time you go to one, they ask you what tribe you're from. Most of the time I would say, with a very straight face, "Chaga," and watch as the confusion on the Tanzanian's face turned into realization that I was being funny. (Chaga is a tribe prevalent at the base of Kilimanjaro) Once, the guy even said, "No, you look more like a Maasai," and went along with my joke. That's where we got the idea to call ourselves the Batterson Tribe. We became a Tribe in Tanzania. See, when our family is doing ministry, we are all-in, all-together, all-the-time. We rely on each other to laugh through the cultural snafus we make, the stumbles we take as we work our way through the language learning and power outages and muddy water coming from the tap. I did not 'follow' my husband to the mission field, and he did not 'follow' me there. And our son isn't just babysat all day or obligingly toted along with us. We are in this together. We serve together. We live together (obviously). We play together. We explore together. There isn't much that we don't do together. We are a Tribe.
The other words are an abbreviated version of our mission statement; We Live authentically, Serve intentionally, Love abundantly and Give generously - it's how we try to live our lives and spur on others to live theirs.
So that's it! What's in a tree? Well, there's a whole lot in this one! :)
Supporting our ministry is easy and gifts are tax deductible!
1) BILL PAY: through your online banking.
World Outreach Ministries
PO Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
and indicate "Batterson #574" in the memo
2) PERSONAL CHECKS: mail to above address
3) ONLINE GIFTS: www.WorldOutreach.org/574
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