There is a story about trying to bring the gospel to indigenous people in Indonesia. Every day the missionaries came into the village and tried to gather the people to preach the good news. Not many of the villagers would listen. Most paid no attention at all. This went on for months until they noticed that every time the chief of the tribe wanted to speak to the crowd or announce news, he would stand and speak around a smoke pit, where they had been cooking sweet potatoes (yams) for hours.
The people would gather around the fire and eat yams while listening to their leader speak. Noticing a trend, the missionaries gathered up some yams themselves and had them prepared around the fire. Then with great authority and surrounded by sweet potatoes, Don Gibbson and Gordon Larson approached the circle of fire and began to preach the gospel. The villagers listened intently over the meal, hearts were changed, and it wasn't long before the chief himself called for the destruction of all their sacred ancestral idols.
The Simplicity of Sustenance
How simple is that! It wasn't a fresh exegesis of the text, or a miraculous sign from the heavens, or some secret cross-cultural tactic, but a simple sweet potato. You can buy a yam for less than a dollar at the grocery store.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]