One Sows and Another Reaps

By Anonymous

For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.

John 4:37-38

During one of our worship services, a believer told us that while sharing the gospel, she had come across someone who was interested in studying God’s Word with us. She gave me the man’s phone number, and I called him immediately. Later that week, another believer and I went to visit him. We traveled into a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with. After stopping to ask directions, we found our way to his tailor shop. An old man of about 70 years with white hair, he was working at his sewing machine.

He greeted us warmly, and in the course of conversation, he shared with us his first exposure to the gospel. As a child, he had encountered Harry Watkins, the very first missionary to the Fulbe in Guinea. The man recalled fondly how he would sneak away from his home to listen to Watkins, a C&MA worker, speak. He remembered that Watkins would give him candy from time to time. 

Before long, the old tailor went back into his shop and came back holding a worn book. It was a copy of one of the first translations of God’s Word into Pular, the language of the Fulbe. Published in 1965, it contained the books of Matthew through Romans. He had lovingly held onto this book throughout the decades. As we took our leave, we invited him to attend our church. He accepted the invitation, and the following Sunday, we took him to worship with us.

What an honor it is to enter into the labor of missionaries who sowed the gospel so faithfully many years before our arrival. Even today, their labor is bearing fruit.

—a worker with World Venture

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