Lessons from a Mango

By Esther Schaeffer, serving in Burkina Faso

Tithing is a difficult concept to teach the widows I disciple, because most do not have consistent daily earnings.

For example, the women who farm can go months without an income. [About 90 percent of Burkina Faso’s population is engaged in subsistence farming.] I sometimes suggest that these women take a portion of their harvest to the church.

For those women who sell items in the market, I advise that they choose 1 day of 10 days’ earnings to give to the Lord.

First Fruits

This year I’ve learned a tithing lesson from one of the widows who’s had no income for years. She chooses the first and largest five mangoes that ripen on her tree each year and brings them to the pastor.

“Why aren’t you eating those?” her neighbors asked the first year she did this. “You have waited all year to have mangoes, and now you’re giving them away. Who’s to say that old tree of yours will give you any more like those?”

Yet our widow friend has continued to faithfully give her mangoes to the pastor. She reports that her tree has consistently produced the most and best mangoes in her neighborhood.

These days, no one makes fun of her. They see how God has blessed her willingness to give the first and the best of her fruit to the Lord.

Waiting on God

I have another favorite lesson from the mango tree. It’s from seeing the many unripe mangoes lying on the ground in our area. Each mango typically has a bite taken out of it.

The person who picked the mango was too impatient for it to ripen. Now, the fruit is ruined, and he or she may have a stomachache.

This illustration helps those I disciple to understand the importance of waiting on the Lord’s timing.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to give us cultural insights that inspire creative means to present Kingdom principles so that they that will take root in new believers’ lives.

What You Can Do


  • The prayers and generous financial support of Alliance people are keys to our workers leading people living in spiritual darkness to the light of Christ. Pray with us, using The Alliance Weekly Prayer guide.


  • Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance workers who, like Esther, seek creative means that unlock God’s truths to reveal the hope only Christ offers.
  • Give now

Learn More

  • Read Esther’s article “Your Prayers Matter!”, which shows how the intercessions of God’s people enable Him to move in miraculous ways to reveal His loving character.


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