[sam-ba-chra] blessed to be happy|happy to be blessed

On Rice|an interconnected life

If Jesus is the true bread from heaven, the bread of life; here in Madagascar He is the rice from heaven, the rice of life.  While Malagasy eat some bread, the stable of the diet is rice – three times a day.  It’s planting season here and so the fields are teeming with men, women, and children preparing for the years bounty.  This year alone Madagascar will grow over 3.5 million tons of rice. The average Malagasy person will eat will over 100 kilograms of rice this year, so to say we love our rice here might be an understatement.  Jesus, the rice from heaven just fits better here. So amazing is the way in which rice is planted, gown, and harvested.  To my untrained eye all I see is miles upon miles of chaos but truly it’s an interconnected life unto itself.

Flooded rice fields to be planted [South of Mahajanga]

Flooded rice fields to be planted [South of Mahajanga]

Nearly every Malagasy has a plot of rice somewhere, some have many others only one, but I know for certain all Malagasy are connected to their rice.  Not only is it a staple food here, it is the livelihood of most all Malagasy.  Wether a farmer or seller, we are connected to our rice and so too are all rice fields.  Every plot is connected to another, to another, to another.  When planting happens everyone’s plots are flooded at the same time.  My water is shared with your water, and flows to your neighbors plot, until all have shared in the nourishment.

The Malagasy countryside surrounded by the rice of life [East of Antananarivo]

The Malagasy countryside surrounded by the rice of life [East of Antananarivo]

Rice in Madagascar is able to be grown only because a neighbor shares their water, it is an interconnected web of life.  So to is Jesus the rice of life here, for He brings life to us all!  The rice fields here remind us of how connected we are to our Creator and one another.  We pray for God’s Spirit of life to spread over the newly planted fields here and throughout the lives of the Malagasy as we walk together.



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15 thoughts on “On Rice|an interconnected life

  1. I don’t know if you and Tanya saw on Facebook, but you have a new cousin! Grant Franklin McQueen was born on September 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm. Just wanted to let you know.

  2. deacmegmeg on said:

    Great words. I’d say the same from Indonesia. Many of my students come from rice farming families. On the holidays they return and help their family in the field.

  3. Brian Propst on said:

    Well said!

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Maybe, just maybe, you have given us a glimpse of Heaven. I wonder how many sermons are in this concept? Love you guys, Jerry and Wanda

  5. Anonymous on said:

    Maybe, yes maybe, you have given us a glimpse of Heaven! How many sermons are in this?

  6. Anonymous on said:

    Jerry and Wanda above

  7. Liz Propst on said:

    stable-where a horse lives staple-the word you meant to use

  8. Anonymous on said:

    Great reflection, Austin. The Body of Christ is gluten free for all to receive. I wish we could have sent you some of the rain we received these past months. We had a soggy summer camp. I hope this group of YAGM’s are getting settled. Tim

  9. What wonderful sacramental connections ~ baptism to communion ~ flowing one into the other! Thanks so much for this… and for the LOVE you have sent our way through the mail! You are always in our hearts and prayers.

    Someday we will sit and talk about how clay molecules are shaped like particles of rice, and what it means to knead them (wedging clay) as the woman kneaded leaven into dough… LOVE YOU & Miss you! +Mary

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