Vegetables…….chances are you have them readily available to you. All you have to do is go to your local grocery store or farmers market and providing you have money you can feast on a great variety of produce. I wish that was the case here in the sandbox.
Here in Abalak most of the time our produce is limited to onions and pumpkin and some potatoes now and then. Our closest “produce vendor” is 2 – 3 hours away depending on how bad the roads are. Upon arrival at the sandbox version of farmers market you never know what is available that day. There have been some trips in years past that I have returned to Abalak with only a little bit of onions. I only bought the onions because they happened to be a little bigger than the marble sized ones we sometimes get in Abalak. Some trips yield Carrots Cabbage Potatoes Eggplant & Bananas.
Because of the lack of produce in our village we decided to start a local garden outreach. A local Christian and I started with the little area and the few seeds we had available to us. A couple seasons later and we are seeing much needed produce in Abalak. In addition to the much needed produce we are also seeing lives changed. People that stop by are getting prayed for and can listen in on the bible teachings. Widows are having a means of food not available to them before and some are learning new gardening skills to provide for their families.
Last week we were getting things in order for the garden season and one of the things to do was to get the water pump serviced. So we dropped it off with the mechanic and left him to his work. When the work was done we went to pay him and he had conveniently left his labor cost out of the estimate. When he said how much labor was going to be I almost laughed in his face. It would be like going to the store and when arriving at the checkout the total for the gallon of milk that normally costs you 4 dollars now costs you 600 dollars. Silly I know! So we began the great past time of haggling for a “normal” price. During this process I can see that the mechanic is flustered and something is upsetting him. I was praying it was not me. He finally says that he was in a hurry and had an out of town job waiting for him and just give him a reasonable amount so he could be on his way.
At this point I realized that I had a choice to make I could give him the sum asked and send him on his way upset and me not exactly content either…..or as I prayed God said to give him more than he asked. So I decided to do what I felt God told me to do which meant that we were going to have to send his friend to find change because I did not have the exact amount. During this time I began to talk with Leo the mechanic and share with him some of the character attributes of God. He suddenly became less agitated and began to look me in the eyes. He then proceeded to tell me that his “out of town job” was really a trip to go pick up his wife who had left because of family pressure from them not having kids. We talked much more about his situation and got to pray together for him and his wife before he set off on his journey!
You never know what can happen in situations as you go about your day to day life when you take a moment to listen to what is really going on with those we cross paths with.
Make it a point to keep your eyes and ears open to see what the people you cross paths with are really saying.