In my first week in Ghana the school’s driver told me that he would park and wait for me under the mango tree. I replied that I didn’t know what a mango tree looked like. Well after living through a mango season I will never forget what a mango tree looks like. They are large leafy trees that are great for shade. They grow fruit at the end of an eight-inch stem and it appears that someone has decorated the tree with Easter eggs hung by ribbons. It is a beautiful sight. The fruit turns from green to yellow and then….they begin to fall. There was something about the sound of those mangos hitting the ground that I found unsettling. I couldn’t figure out why it bothered me so much until one day it hit me that it is the same sound as a baseball hitting the ground. You know, the sound of that fly ball that you couldn’t quite get under to catch striking the ground with a solid “thud”. I must have been slow when I played little league as a child and heard that sound quite often and associated that with an error, disappointment and failure.
Since there are several mango trees within ear-shot of where I sleep on campus I knew I would have to rethink that sound. To someone from Ghana that is the sound of treasure, a gift of God’s abundance. The campus of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Seminary has a gate that is closed at night. During the day the gate is open and people come from town and get water and gather mangos! We have several trees and their fruit is free and available to harvest as it falls. I have seen many happy people and children come to look for mangos. That “thud” means fresh sweet treasure is now on the ground for anyone to enjoy.
This tree characterizes what we are all about here at the seminary. We have God’s abundant gifts to supply, freely to anyone who is searching for the sweetness of the Gospel. There are seasons of planting and harvesting and soon we will be sending out graduates after their special day in August with the abundance of God’s gifts to give out freely.
Please pray with me: Dear God, thank you for the sweetness of the Gospel and thank you for the chance to be part of spreading that freely to everyone. Thank you for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church seminary and please continue to bless its efforts to give, like the mango trees you have created and provided. Amen
Gary Luallin serves with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. He serves as a university professor.