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We have found that when our village friends want to show that they care, they visit each other and bring a gift. The gifts they bring may consist of oranges, tangerines, coffee, eggs, tamales, tortillas, corn, even live chickens and turkeys, depending on what food is in season. The gifts we may take them would be homemade bread, fabric, blankets, clothes, etc. One of the main gifts that never goes out of season are bananas. 

Bananas are good to eat. We have found that bananas have many uses. 


As a matter of fact, we do a lot of things with bananas. Yes, we like bananas, but the fact is: one can only eat so many bananas!

Each gift brought and given to us in our home is given from the heart, as a sacrifice. When we realizes the deep sacrifice of a gift of bananas and what they are trying to say when they give them to us, we gratefully receive their gift, spend time with them, allow them to share their hearts with us, share with and counsel them from God’s Word, and pray with them. It is a very special, special ministry. Sometimes God gives us the privilege to minister to over a thousand at once; other times He gives us the privilege of ministering one-on-one.

The problem could come when there are possibly 50 people who visit in one day, most of them bringing a gift of bananas.   


In David’s prayer of worship to God in 1 Chronicles 16, he says in verse 29: bring an offering and come before Him. One day as I meditated on what God would have me bring before Him as an offering for that day in my worship to Him, I thought about bananas! I thought about the positive and negative aspects that I listed above, and compared that with the gifts that so often we give to God. How many times does God smile and thank us graciously for our gifts of ‘bananas’ that we bring to Him, when that is not what He desires? Do you think His table is ever so full of ‘bananas’ that he is just hoping, waiting--and His eyes possibly continue to ‘run to and fro throughout the whole earth…” looking for someone who will give Him the gift that He asks for in His Word? 2 Chronicles 16:9

 As missionaries, if we had a choice, what would we prefer? These verses begin to answer that question:

“… love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” Matthew 22:37b

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” Proverbs 1:7

“…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Sam. 15:22

Yes, we are thankful for the people’s physical gifts, but if we were allow to choose, we would choose that the Totonacs would love and fear God and always obey God’s Word obediently, faithfully and consistently in their love for the Lord and their walk with the Lord.

How often do we desire in our heart to do something special for God but we continue to live the way we want and just bring Him ‘bananas’ when we want to show Him that we love Him? What would really show that we love and respect and fear Him? What does He really want as He searches to and fro throughout the whole earth? He says in His word that he wants to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him…” 

BUT THE TIMES that give us the most joy are

<>When we see them love & obey God with a sincere heart.

<>When they LIVE what they have LEARNED from God’s Word.

<>When they go through deep trials, and instead of doing what they would have done in the past, take hold of God and His Word, obeying and trusting Him completely, and allowing God to do His perfect work in their lives.

With all our hearts, our desire for the people we minister with remains that they find the deeper joy and freedom that most of them have never known.

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name;

Bring an offering and come before Him;

Worship the Lord in the beauty of His Holiness.

Fear before Him, all the earth;

The world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.”

1 Chronicles 16: 29-30

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