During July we’re focusing on God’s creative solutions. Each of the posts published this month will be about the author’s experiences with unexpected solutions and how God provides beyond our limited sight. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and to see how we, as a branch, are hopeful to see God’s creativity at work.
By Lindy Pate
I am an economics major and I am a plant lover. I like economics because it explains how things work and I especially love the overlap of economics and anthropology. I love to see how different needs are met and the flexibility in the system of meeting those needs. How does this fit with plants? Well, I love the functions that plants perform. Not only do plants provide food, they also are a source for medicine, structures, and decorations. The way I see it, creation is the marketplace of God’s economy. God created a beautiful flexible system that provides for the needs of people, wherever they live.
I would like to share with you some of my favorites from Papua New Guinea:
1. Limbum (black palm): This palm is the producer of nature’s cardboard. Cardboard is great. It is versatile, strong yet flexible, and can serve a variety of purposes. Nature’s cardboard is even better because it adds water-resistant to the list. Limbum can serve as an umbrella, a water trough, a dust pan, a floor ‘cushion’, a cutting board and scrap collector, and more. All from the sheath that connects the leaves to the stalk. Limbum bark is used for the floor in traditionally built homes. Given the choice between sleeping, with no mattress, on a hardwood floor or a limbum floor, well there really isn’t a choice. The spring of limbum helps you sleep… or be more likely to sleep. Strong and flexible!
2. Coconut: Coconuts provide a clean source of drinking water, as beneficial as Gatorade. The meat of the coconut is an excellent source of fat and oil. The husk and the shell fuel the cooking fire. The split shell also makes a great set of stilts for children. The leaves of the coconut can make many children’s toys, including balls. The young leaves create the fringe used to decorate places for ceremonies. Need a torch? Just grab a dried coconut leaf.
3. Bananas: Besides the obvious, bananas serve many other purposes. Need a plate? Grab a leaf. Need a clean kitchen prep surface? Grab several. Need a paper towel to wipe your hands? Grab a dry leaf. Need some saran wrap? Just wrap up those leftovers in a leaf and tie it up. Don’t have any string? Guess what?! The jungle has that too!
Every time I go to the jungle with my friends, I am in awe. God has created a storehouse and money isn’t needed. So how is God creatively meeting your needs?
Lindy is trained as a Bible translator.