Jewish people very rarely come to faith in Yeshua through the witness of just one person. Usually a seed” is planted somewhere along the way, several people water it, and one person harvests. More often than not, those of us who plant and water don’t ever find out (this side of glory) what happens. But there was at least one time when I “watered” and later found out about the harvest.
“Why don’t you go visit Sam?” my contact at the nursing home asked. “He’s only been here for a couple of days, and I think he would appreciate some company.”
I visited my “regulars” first, then I went to see Sam. Sam was soft-spoken. He was frightened, sick and very unhappy. He had moved to California from the Midwest, and suddenly his life had fallen apart. Then he had gotten sick. When I told Sam that I was Jewish and believed in Jesus, he didn’t even flinch. He told me that a woman was visiting him who also believed. I wished him a happy Jewish new year (it was just before Rosh Hashanah) and asked if I could visit him again.
“Sure,” he said. “I would enjoy it very much.”
Two weeks later I came back to the nursing home. Again I saw my “regulars,” then I went to see Sam.
“Remember me?” I asked. “I visited you about two weeks ago.” Sam’s speech was much harder to understand now, and he said that he did not remember me.
“Don’t you remember how we talked about Chicago, and how you came out to California?” I began. I gave up on trying to make small talk and found myself saying, “I told you that I am Jewish and I believe in Jesus. I hope you don’t mind if I tell you what that means to me.” I told Sam how Jesus had given purpose and meaning to my life, and that one of my biggest regrets was that I had not found out about Yeshua sooner. I told Sam that he could have meaning in his life (and eternal life as well), but I could barely make out what he was saying to me. At least he was polite, and maybe even open. I thought I heard him say that some woman was also visiting him and telling him about Jesus and reading to him from the Bible. I left, promising to come back as soon as I could. On my way out, I spoke to one of the nursing home workers who was also a believer.
“I’ve been talking to Sam, and I think he’s open to the gospel,” I said.
“Oh, praise God!” she exclaimed. “Someone from my fellowship has been talking to him, too.”
Several weeks later I went to see Sam again. He was not in his room. I thought perhaps he had been moved, so I went to my contact person and asked.
“Oh, he’s gone,” she said. “He died. But you know what? Just before he died, he accepted the Lord.”
That was all I needed to hear. For once, I left that nursing home rejoicing—for Sam’s salvation, for his eternity, and for the part that I had been able to play in his life.
With Sam I neither sowed nor reaped, I merely watered. I thought that my part was relatively insignificant, but only God knows for certain. “So then, neither is he that planteth anything, and neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase” (I Corinthians 3:7).