The house we live in came with 2 very large Mango trees. Abundantly producing tree’s to say the least. Jim and Arika, really don’t care for them much, Joy will eat the occasionally, and Linc, really only knowing asia pacific as home has adapted to many of their flavors including Durian. Yuck! All that to say we can not eat all that the trees produce. But that is where the bridge building comes in. There was a gap between our driveway and the rest of our neighborhood. A gap that needed a bridge. So the obvious choice of building materials? Mangos of course! We have so many and they make such a solid foundation.
We had fruit trees in Central Java, but many of those never really produced good fruit. Besides people there knew we were there for only a short time, and our driveway was already paved to the road, people knew why we where there and wanted to help. Here in Papua, it’s a whole new story. We are not here for ‘studies’, though there is always room to learn more! We are here for a purpose, To buy supplies for families that live interior in tribal villages, and through that utilize the relationships gained in our community and work relations to allow Gods love, and truth to shine through! What better way to begin those relationships by getting to know our community, our neighbors, bridging the gap! Incase you are lost in my metaphor, i’m not talking about a literal bridge or a gap. But utilizing the ‘gift’s’ God has given us to reach out and meet new people and share with them the abundance running over our cup, or in this case our yard! Papuans love these mango’s and we are using them to make new and lasting relationships God can use to make Himself known in this place.
By giving the occasional passer-by a mango with a smile (thats us smiling.. not the mango) we are given opportunities to talk with and meet the people that live around us. Not every one has led to conversation or to deep life giving truth’s, but who know’s right? It’s like that commercial with the contagious smile that makes its way through a community and brightens everyones day. This is making our new home of Papua, more enjoyable and more like home.
This wasn’t always my outlook though. At first all the neighbors would just walk in pick them up and run off. (In our minds that’s stealing, but in their mind it’s sharing because we have more than we need!). I was mad at first but the Lord challenged me with this new kind of thinking, a thinking that led from being mad to giving and seeing possible but literal new fruit for His kingdom! My question and prayer request is, what is it for you? Do you have a good bridge building material, that will bridge the gap and make our King known?