Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Otto Koning

Otto Koning was a missionary in New Guinea. He worked among a native tribe that had known only their village ways. One of those village ways was stealing from others. When Otto and his wife arrived and moved into a hut, the natives often came by to visit. The Konings would notice that after the natives left the missionaries' home, various household items had disappeared. They saw these items again when they went to preach in the natives' village.

The only fruit Otto could grow on the island was pineapples. Otto loved pineapples, and he took pride in the pineapples he was able to grow. However, whenever the pineapples began to ripen, the natives would steal them. Otto could never keep a ripe pineapple for himself. This was a
frustration, and he became angry with the natives. All during the seven-year period in which this took place, Otto preached the gospel to these natives, but never had a conversion.

The more the natives stole, the angrier Otto became. Finally, one day Otto had a German Shepherd dog flown in from another missionary to protect his pineapple garden after other frustrated efforts failed. This only further alienated the natives from him.

Otto took a furlough to the United States and attended a conference on personal rights. At this conference, he discovered that he was frustrated over this situation because he had taken personal ownership of his pineapple garden. After much soul searching, he gave his garden to God. Soon the natives started having problems among their tribe. They discovered that Otto was the reason for their problems because he gave his garden to his God. The natives saw a correlation between what Otto had done and their own lives being affected by calamities in their village. When Otto gave his garden to God, he no longer got angry and was free from worry. The natives started bringing him fruit from the garden because they didn't want any more calamities to come into their village.

The light came on one day when a native said to Otto, "You must have become a Christian, Otto. You don't get angry anymore. We always wondered if we would ever meet a Christian." They had never associated Otto with the kind of person he was preaching about because his message did not line up with his life. Otto was broken in spirit when he realized he had been such a failure.

At the end of seven years, he witnessed his first conversion, and many began coming to Christ once he fully gave his garden to God. The fruit grew so abundant that Otto began exporting it and growing other types of fruit, such as bananas. His village became the most evangelized in the whole region, yet for seven years he had not one convert.

Otto realized something each of us must realize: To gain your life you must lose it, along with your possessions. It was only when he gave all his possessions to God that he became free from them. God measured back to him manifold once He had complete ownership.

Do you have some possessions that you need to give up to God today? Let God have all that you have. Become a steward, not an owner. You will be surprised at how well God can take care of His possessions.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever
loses his life for My sake will find it. - Matthew 10:39

resources: FREE! Listen online to Otto Koning tell his story


Jenny said...

I love this story!!! I have heard it 2 times and now I am listening to it again.

Thank you for sharing on your blog.

Val said...

Hi Ben & Mindy,

This is Val from Thailand. I'm wondering if you know where Otto is living now. I would love to contact him about coming to share with our students. I can be reached at

addamstaft said...

Great blog! Do you have Otto's other tapes? Years ago I listened to them all and loved them all. Haven't been able to find anything about him for years.

Thank you,

Jennifer said...

Weird! Hey mindy! Long time no see! Small world too for that matter :D I googled Otto Koning, and you were the third result, I saw your name in the URL, and I thought MINDY!? Cool! Hope things are going well! Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Amiable dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you seeking your information.

Andrew said...

I would love to get in contact with you guys and Otto Koning. Please email me.
Cheers Andrew

KimDH said...

We love these stories about Otto's life and how God worked out His truth in Him. We have his CD set and they never grow old. We are showing the Pineapple story to our church's college class tomorrow evening. Pray that Otto's testimony and the truth of God's word will make a impact upon lives.

Anonymous said...

I had the privilege of working with Otto Sr way back in the 1980's and because of his teachings came to a new understanding what God wanted me to do. He was a wonderful man!
I am trying to located Otto Jr if someone could help with that.