A handful of seeds. An unreached village. A willing missionary. Trailblazing feet. And then time.
God watches over the times and seasons. He is always faithful to cause the simple seeds we sow to grow into a vibrant harvest.
In 2004, a tremendous harvest was wrapped up inside a tiny handful of seeds. It was tucked inside safely. No one could see it, but God knew. And our local co-worker, Brother Yang, heard the voice of his Savior, “Go to the unreached people groups of 26 Tribes.”
After graduating from an underground Bible school, Brother Yang stepped out in obedience and decided to travel to the Aini tribe, a three hour bus ride and hike into the mountains around 26 Tribes.
“The Aini tribe in that area had never heard the name of Jesus before,” Brother Yang told us. “They had never seen a missionary in their village.”
That reminds me of the missionary to Africa who said, “In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been—villages whose people are without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world.”
And that should break our hearts. And that should impassion us to reached the unreached.
The night that Brother Yang arrived in the village, a group of animistic tribal people invited him to eat in their home. He shared a meal with them, told them stories of God’s love, explained the message of the cross, and prayed a prayer of salvation with them. Over the next six months, Brother Yang returned to the Aini tribal village every other week, discipling them and teaching them Christian truths. A three hour bus ride and hike into the mountains every two weeks was a true commitment, but Brother Yang was frustrated because he did not see the fruit that he had been hoping for.
After six months, Brother Yang was led to leave the 26 Tribes region, and join us in the Pilot church plant near Vietnam. He began to faithfully plant churches among the Yao tribal group over 300 miles away, but he often thought about the Aini people group in 26 Tribes region. He wondered how they would ever make it without him there—a local missionary teaching them Christian truths.
He wondered if all the seeds he had sown among the Aini tribe would ever grow into a harvest for the kingdom.
Seven years later, Brother Yang had the opportunity to return to the Aini village he had sowed his life into years before. In February 2011, he traveled to 26 Tribes region once again, took the three hour bus ride and trek into the mountains until he reached the village.
“You know that feeling of going home? That’s what it was like. I felt like I was back home with the people that I loved.” Brother Yang spent two days with the same family that he had sown seeds into seven years earlier. He noticed a life transformation. He noticed an indigenous tribal house church that met regularly. He recognized God’s sovereignty in his absence, and was filled with encouragement.
A handful of seeds. An unreached village. A willing missionary. Trailblazing feet. A little bit of time and then comes the vibrant harvest.
Tears of joy ran down Brother Yang’s face as he shared this story with all of our local missionaries during our three day Local Missionary Convention last week. Then he paused for a moment. He looked at all of our underground missionaries and said, “So I want to encourage you, brothers and sisters. If God has called you to be a trailblazer, trailblaze! The harvest is in the seed, even when you can’t see it.”
That’s true. The harvest is in the tiny seed.
So open your hand. Scatter the seeds you have into the soil God has called you to. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be discouraged. You may not see the fruit immediately, but God knows the harvest that is germinating inside the seeds.
You are a trailblazer and the harvest will come as you step out in obedience.
“Today there is a church planted among the previously unreached Aini people group on that mountain,” Brother Yang said. “With God all things are possible.”