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.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. 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.