We often quote John 4:37-38 in our training: Jesus said, “the saying ‘one sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”
We see this repeatedly where prayers of the past are coming true today in nations and peoples that were previously ‘too hard to each’, but where God is at work bringing people into his kingdom.
An Afghan friend of ours, M, brought his housemate H to faith in Christ and discipled him faithfully through the 20 discipleship lessons of Come Follow Me in Farsi. What a thrill it was to see M help to baptise H in April! Now M is starting Come Follow Me with another young man, A, who is not yet following Jesus – we pray he will be before they finish the course.
In the Horn of Africa the Somali church is growing (hence the need for discipleship) but persecuted (therefore secure discipleship methods are needed). Over the first weekend in May Somali believers from four countries came together in a workshop run by one of our team. It equipped them to use the Come Follow Me course in a secure-but-relational way on their phones, to nurture other Somali believers who would nurture others in turn. We rejoice in equipping disciples as disciple-makers under the radar.
Back in 2005 in Yemen, a missionary worker P from Australia was serving with his family in the city of Aden. He and two friends began interceding regularly for that unreached city. God heard those prayers and started to stir the heart of a Muslim young man called A. P had never heard of A then, but recently they met for the first time in Tim’s home in Kuala Lumpur. By that time A was a strong follower of Christ. As they shared their stories they realised that A’s journey to Jesus had started in the very city at the very time when P and his friends were praying. Imagine P’s delight to meet the answer to his prayers 17 years later! In this time A and his family had come to Malaysia as refugees, and now the whole family belong to a local church where a Japanese pastor has discipled them with Come Follow Me in Arabic. We were privileged to see a recent photo of them holding up their CFM completion certificates and grinning from ear to ear! Isn’t it amazing how the Lord wove that story together, across all those years and all those miles, with believers from Australia, Yemen, Malaysia and Japan?
How do our feeble prayers mysteriously make a difference in all this? Only God knows. But we take courage from these first fruits that our prayers now are the seeds sown for others to harvest in the years to come.
(Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on pexels.com)