Saturday, February 19, 2011

Planting Seeds in Turkish Soil

Seeds are a mystery. When a farmer plants a seed, he cannot see what is happening underground, and he doesn’t know when it will rain. We cannot know what God will do through the seeds we plant when we share His love with our friends. Nothing happens without the Holy Spirit watering those seeds. God is the one who makes things grow.

Do you ever feel discouraged when people don’t seem to respond to God’s word? I’m learning to rejoice in planting seeds, not worrying about the results, just trusting that God is at work, even when we cannot see. Here are a few seed stories:

God Uses a 10 Year Old Catholic Bible

I was surprised when our Muslim friend Ali got a Bible down from the bookcase 5 minutes after our family walked into his living room. It was our first visit, and he showed us his Bible before we even had the chance to bring up spiritual things.

“I read the whole thing,” his wife Miyase said. “It’s a wonderful book.”

Leafing through his Bible, we were able to share the gospel at different points through the evening, and we learned that Miyase had just discovered she has heart problem. She was understandably upset, so I offered to pray for her. She immediately called the children into the living room, and everyone sat around with hands turned upward as I prayed. I closed my eyes, and tried to focus on the Lord instead of on how I sounded to these Muslims.

The seed for our conversation was planted when a Catholic priest gave Ali this Bible over 10 years ago.

God Uses Movies

My friend Janet just told me a great story. Last Friday at 9:30 pm her neighbor came over to ask her about the passage she was reading in the Bible Janet had given her. It was John 3, so after they talked about it, Janet gave her neighbor a movie version of the gospel of John. The woman was excited to get the movie. She came back a few days later and said she loved it so much that she watched it twice and read John again. Now she wants to memorize the book of John.

Janet says, “After 3 years of loving on them, her heart seems open and receptive for the Word and Jesus. God never stops working!”

God Uses a Tract

Last week at the little salon down the street, I felt God prompting me to give a tract that I had in my purse to the hairdresser. I like this tract, which is titled “You are Special,” because it’s about God’s love, but I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to give it to the hairdresser I’d just met. She was attractive and friendly, chatting happily while she cut my hair.

“You’ll see how nice your hair is going to look,” she said. “I always try to find out exactly what my customers want; that’s how I keep them happy, and they come back.” She kept talking, and I started praying. Suddenly I was struck by how comfortable she was selling herself to me as a hairdresser while I had something even more valuable to give her.

So I took a deep breath and said, “I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. You’re such a special, friendly person. May I give you this? It’s about how much God loves you.” She smilled as she took the tract.

This happened two weeks ago, and I don’t know how God is going to water that seed, but I pray for her every time I walk by her shop.

You never know what God will do through the small seeds you plant. Have you planted a seed of kindness or shared God’s love with anyone this week? Leave a comment and tell me about it.


Columba Lisa Smith said...

Great blog, Betsy! I love this post. I have a friend who is a hairdresser. She has quite a ministry from the other end of the scissors!

OliveTree said...

Great to see you here, Lisa. Thanks for your encouragement.

Ruth said...

I've just been introduced to your blog. We've been in Turkey for about a year and half. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences.
Today the 10 year old son of one of my neighbors stopped by because no one was home when he got back from school. So, he hung out with us for about an hour. I'm praying he felt the peace in our home as he comes from a very broken home with an abusive father.