Sowing seeds close to home

Posted on March 28, 2019 by VMMissions Staff

Workers in the U.S. are seeing transformation firsthand as God’s activity permeates local communities among people of every background.

Sowing among our Hispanic neighbors
By Lizzette Hernandez

God has invited us to see a plentiful harvest among the thousands of immigrant families who live and work in our communities. Very few of them are active followers of Jesus or part of a church family. This is the time and place for abundant gospel sowing just as the sower did in the parable of the sower, who copiously scattered the seed even on the most unexpected fields, like rocky places, along the road or among thorns. The seed was generously offered and made available to all kinds of soil equally. He trusted that it was the work of the Holy Spirit to prepare the field and grow the seed, so he focused on faithfully and lavishly sowing and scattering.

In the same way, within these early stages of church planting, the Alvarado, Sanchez, and Lagos families are starting to prayerfully scatter and abundantly sow the seed of the gospel among Hispanics – in trailer parks, on busy streets, at Latino markets, in prisons, as high school volunteer counselors and simply through their own workplace opportunities. As obedient laborers they have responded to the Lord of the harvest’s call to go and join him in the harvest fields, where fruit will be plentiful.
Seeds of faith among inmates in the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail
By Jason Wagner

College students pray at a prayer and worship service at 264 OSH, a ministry of worker Rachel Yoder.  Courtesy Facebook

College students pray at a prayer and worship service at 264 OSH, a ministry of worker Rachel Yoder.
Courtesy Facebook

In my work at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail, I have often wanted to be like the sower, who sows the gospel generously and doesn’t care where the seed is falling; but I am reminded to look expectantly for the seeds I sow to take root and produce a harvest.

In my Friday Bible study at the jail I know everyone present isn’t interested in studying the Bible. For some of the men, the class is just an opportunity to get out of their pods and see inmates from different areas of the jail. On a recent Friday, I was teaching on the healing of the woman with a bleeding condition in Mark 5. Most of the time, I kept my eyes focused on the back of the class, attempting to engage the men who were passing notes and making side comments. When I finally looked directly in front of me I saw an inmate whose eyes were filled with tears. I stopped momentarily and asked if he was OK. The gentleman just said, “Please keep going.” After the class he came up to me and asked for a personal visit.

The next week I met this inmate “one-on-one.” He described feeling that every word I was sharing at the Bible study was meant for him, stirring deep conviction in his heart and a longing to know Jesus. I was honored to see the fruit of God’s beautiful word, as this brother—with tears flowing freely—received the forgiveness and love of God known in Christ. As I walked away from that time I praised God for allowing me to witness the birth of a new creation.
Engaging middle schoolers in our neighborhoods through Kids Club
By Melody Zimmerman

Through the Kids Clubs with which I work, the good news of Jesus Christ is being shared with children who have not had an opportunity to hear it before. Children have a unique capacity to receive this news. The big question lingers: How do we disciple these people that God has brought into our lives? We need our programs infused with life brought by adults who are willing to give time, energy, and heart to do this long-term discipling work.

From my vantage point, I see a huge need for churches to engage with the middle schoolers, many of whom came to Kids Club when they were younger and keep returning. I see a need for individuals in churches to walk with these young persons and disciple them—to ask good questions, listen well, and study scripture with them. The middle school and high school years are not easy for anyone, let alone youth without healthy support networks. Who will walk with them?

Pray: Ask God to call out more workers into these close-at-hand harvest fields.
Give your finances and your time. Contact these workers and ask how you can help!

Filed in: All posts, Transforming


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