Mission Under The Mango Tree
Marcos wanted a star in his crown, but he didn’t know how to lead someone to Jesus.
Marcos (MAHR-cohs) sat under his favorite Mango tree. He often sat here when he had some important thinking to do. The pastor had said in the sermon that day that everyone who goes to heaven will have a star in his crown for each person they helped to love Jesus. What can I do to help someone to know Jesus? Marcos wondered. I want to have a star in my crown when Jesus takes me to heaven.
Marcos remembered that the pastor said that some people hold branch Sabbath Schools, but Marcos did not know how to hold a branch Sabbath School. The pastor said some people preach, and others tell their friends about Jesus. But Marcos did not know how to preach, and he wasn’t sure how to tell his friends about Jesus.
Marcos pulled his old harmonica out of his pocket, leaned against the tree trunk, and began playing a Sabbath song to help him think better. He loved music, and although he never had a music lesson, he had taught himself to play a few of his favorite songs. As he played Marcos wondered if God could help him use his harmonica to tell someone about Jesus.
“That sounds nice.” The voice startled Marcos, who stopped playing and looked up. A neighbor boy stood nearby. “You play well,” the boy said.
“Thanks!” Marco said, excited, for suddenly he had an idea. “Do you want to learn to sing that song? I can teach you the words, and then we can sing and play it together.
“Sure,” the boy said. He sat down beside Marcos and listened to the melody as Marcos played the song again.
Now I’ll sing the words, and you join in when you can,” Marcos said. He began singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Soon the boy could sing along with Marcos. While they were singing, some other boys stopped and listened.
“Do you want to learn the song too?” he asked the boys. Some of the boys nodded, and others said yes. Marcos began singing the song again, this time with the help of his friend. Soon the others were joining in too. When the boys knew the song, Marcos played his harmonica while they sang. Then he thought. This is like a branch Sabbath School. I should preach a sermon, but I don’t know one. Then he had an idea. He could tell the boys the Bible story he had studied in Sabbath School that day.
“Do you want me to tell you a story?” he asked the neighbor boys.
“Sure!” “Yes,” “OK,” they answered, and everyone sat down under the mango tree to listen. Marcos tried hard to tell the story just as he had read it in his lesson. When he finished one of the boys asked for another story. “Yes, tell us another,” a second boy said. “Go ahead tell us more stories,” another boy said.
Marcos thought for a moment and then told the boys another favorite Bible story. Once there was a young boy named David,” He was very brave,” Marco began.
Suddenly Marcos had an idea, “If you would like to hear more stories come back next Saturday afternoon, and I will teach you more songs and tell you another story.”
Marcos Branch Sabbath School
The children agreed to return the following week to hear more stories.
The next Sabbath in church Marcos listened very carefully as the teacher told the Bible lesson. He wanted to remember every bit of it so he could repeat it to his friends that afternoon.
After church Marcos hurried home and walked to his Mango tree. Would the children remember to come? Sure enough several children sat waiting for him. Some had brought their friends who wanted to hear the stories Marcos told.
Week after week Marcos studied his lesson, memorized the words to songs and Bible texts, and hurried home to meet the boys and girls who waited for him under the mango tree. Soon up to twenty children joined him on Sabbath afternoon for Bible stories and songs.
Marcos realized that soon he would have told all the stories he knew, how could he learn new ones quickly enough to tell his friends? Then he had an idea. “I don’t tell the stories as well as my teacher at church does,” Marcos explained. I would like you to hear her tell the stories. Would you like to come to Sabbath School with me next Saturday and hear my teacher tell the stories? We sing these same song there too.” The children nodded. Be here next Saturday morning at nine o’clock then,” Marcos said before his friends went home. “I will take you to my Sabbath School, you’ll like my teacher. She is a really good storyteller.”
All week Marcos wondered whether his friends would come to the mango tree on Sabbath morning. Would they be willing to go into the church to learn more about God. On Sabbath morning Marcos dressed for church and waited under the mango tree for his friends. He did not have to wait long. Soon several children stood with him under the mango tree. They wanted to go to church and hear more Bible stories.
The mango-tree gang
That morning when Marcos walked into Sabbath School, twenty of his friends followed him. His Sabbath School teacher looked at all the visitors. She had never seen so many new children in Sabbath School,
“Welcome to Sabbath School!” she said. “Where did all our visitors come from?”
“Marcos invited us,” one girl said. “We are his mango tree gang,” another said.
“Marcos tells us stories and teaches us songs,” a third child added. Marcos said that if we come with him to Sabbath School, you will teach us more songs and tell us more stories.” The other children nodded,
“I told them you are a better teacher than I am,” Marcos added quietly.
The children loved the stories and songs they learned in Sabbath School. Many came back week after week. Marcos’s teacher asked him how he convinced so many children to come to Sabbath School. Remember when the pastor told us about having our own mission project and leading people to Jesus so we can have a star in our crown?” Marco asked “I did not know what I could do to lead someone to Jesus, so I asked Jesus to help me find something to do. I sat down and started playing my harmonica, and all these kids came by to listen. Then I told them a story, and they wanted to hear more. So I guess this is my mission project.”
Marcos friends continued coming to Sabbath School. Some invited their parents to attend church with them. And some of the parents asked the pastor to study the Bible with them and teach them about Jesus. Several months later there was a baptism. When the pastor asked each candidate to say how he began to attend church, six persons said that Marcos’s mission under the mango tree had first introduced them to Jesus.
Marco smiled broadly. Now, he thought, when Jesus gives me my crown, there will be stars in it!