Do You Really Reap What You Sow?
Reaping the consequences of our behavior is one thing (what goes around” quite often does “come around”). Yet when it comes to sowing gospel seed, you never know who will reap what you sow.
Missionary David Rothstein arranged to meet Don at his tenth floor Madison Avenue office (Don is a CPA). Don described himself as a skeptic when it comes to spiritual matters. David explained God’s plan of salvation and told how he had come to believe in Jesus. Don was interested in Bible study so they set a time to begin studying together the following week. David suggested that Don read the first eighteen verses of the Gospel of John and also recommended Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
When they met again the following week, David was amazed to find that Don had read the first nine chapters of the Gospel of John and was halfway through Mere Christianity! He confessed that he did not quite believe but was hungry for the security that comes from faith. David challenged Don to pray that God would show him the truth. Don’s eyes lit up as he told David he had never thought of that and found the idea quite interesting.
It was about that time that David finished his candidate training in New York City and was stationed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mitch Forman, who also graduated our training program, remained in New York. He began visiting Don, picking up the Bible studies where David had left off. Eventually, Don came to faith in Jesus. We’ve not used his real name as the circumstances of his life are somewhat sensitive. His wife, who originally encouraged him to contact us, is not walking with the Lord and wants a divorce. His in-laws (whom he used to think were religious fanatics!) are staunch Christians who are very supportive of his new faith.
Don is still a relatively new believer and needs much prayer to be firmly grounded in his faith. He is very successful by the world’s standards, but he needs prayer for his marriage and also that he will make regular fellowship with other believers a priority in his life.
We received a call at our San Francisco branch office from a woman who hoped someone could visit Helen, her Jewish friend who has cancer. Missionary Robyn Wilk called Helen and introduced herself. “Hi. My name is Robyn and I am with Jews for Jesus. One of your friends gave me your name and number and suggested I give you a call.”
Helen agreed to a visit and listened intently to Robyn’s witness. For the next month, Robyn visited her weekly. Then Robyn had to leave for the summer, as she is working on a master’s degree in missiology from the Fuller World School of Mission in Pasadena. She was concerned that because of Helen’s cancer, time was running out, and she prayed for Helen often. Karen, another of our San Francisco missionaries, began visiting Helen in Robyn’s absence. One day, Karen e-mailed Robyn with the good news that Helen had prayed with her to accept Jesus as her Messiah. Robyn says, “I was overwhelmed with joy and relief! I was encouraged that God answered my prayer. I’m thankful, too, that Helen’s friend cared enough to call us.” One sows, another waters…and yet another reaps.
Sometimes one sows and we can only pray that another will reap: Mark Landrum is one of our Chicago missionaries who was also studying at Fuller School of World Mission during the summer. In addition to intensive studies, missionaries enrolled in the program do quite a bit of evangelism. That is how Mark met an elderly Jewish man named Ted who said that he has been trying to figure out who Jesus is for 69 years! Ted, however, was just visiting—he lives in Brooklyn. Mark says, “It just goes to show God can reach you no matter where you go. Please pray that as Ted receives our ISSUES publication, he will understand and accept that Yeshua is the Messiah.”
David Mishkin, like Robyn and Mark, was part of our summer study program. One day he was distributing gospel tracts at Venice beach. A young man saw his T-shirt and yelled out, “Hey, hey, hey—Jews for Jesus.” David wasn’t certain if the remark was meant to invite interaction or to mock us, but he immediately asked the young man who he thought Jesus was. It turned out that Joey is Jewish, nineteen years old and not yet a believer in Jesus. However, in the last year he has read the four Gospels and was curious about Jesus. He agreed that we should send him some literature, although he would be leaving for college in just a month.
David (who would soon return to San Francisco) passed Joey’s name along to our Los Angeles branch. A few days later, Chief of Station Tuvya Zaretsky called. Joey appreciated the contact and had many questions. Soon afterward they met in person, and again Joey expressed great interest in the gospel.
Before Joey left for school, Tuvya gave him the name of a Jewish believer in Jesus in the city where he will attend college. We meet many “Joeys” along the way in our ministry. Sometimes we do not hear from them again and other times— perhaps years later—we receive an encouraging letter telling us about a spiritual pilgrimage that all began with a simple encounter on the street (or on a beach!).
So one sows, and another reaps. Please join us in giving thanks to the Lord of the Harvest, who allows us to participate as we are willing and as He sees fit.