A good word from the farmer

Sometime later yesterday afternoon, after working the best part of the day on preparing mission training materials, I began to feel discouragement seeping into my heart and my thoughts.  What have we accomplished these two years in the Congo?  How have we progressed and how is Congolese mission any further along because of our presence?  The biggest question still remains as well - how will the Congolese church ever possibly become engaged in mission given the dismal brokenness and disfunction of this place?

 I turned to the scriptures and read  "And I am confident that God who began a good work among you will continue until the work is finally finished on the day that Jesus Christ comes back again."  (Phil 1:6)  "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling...for it is God who is at work in you."  (Phil 2:12b,13a).  Though no doubt these passages speak to us as individuals, surely they have something to say too to both the local and global church.

An illustration by Philip D. Kenneson (Life on the Vine) put it this way and helped to further clarify what I needed to grasp onto in the midst of self-doubt and questioning :

"All farmers know that there is always more work to be done than there is time to do it; nevertheless, these same farmers also understand that much of what happens to the crops is beyond their control.  There is much for the farmer to do, but the farmer cannot make the seed sprout, the sun shine or the rain fall.  In fact, it is only because the farmer trusts that these good gifts will continue to be given that the challenging and risk-filled enterprise of farming is undertaken at all.  Grace and effort; gift and work; these must be held together.   Unfortunately, Christians often either pit these against each other or emphasize one to the exclusion of the other.  The wisdom of the farmer reminds us that both are required, in full measure, in order to grow anything worth harvesting.  The same holds true for the life of the Spirit."   And the new work of seeing mission begun here in this context in spite of minimal resources will be one of doing faithfully and diligently what God has asked us to do , all the while praying, believing, asking God to do what only He can do.  The mission, after all, is His, not ours, and won't be over until Jesus our fearless leader comes again and says "my mission is accomplished".


  1. Don't be discouraged. When I think of the suffering experienced by the Congolese since the 1960s, it amazes me that there still are churches there. And to think that they even had a desire for missions! God knows their hearts. Eunice

  2. Eunice,
    So true. The Congolese have had a history frayed with difficulty and suffering and that continues to present day. But what is also true is that the church is standing. You would be hard pressed to find a Congolese who does not believe that God exists. We do really believe that God has and is preparing them for mission and when God unleashes this mighty giant, who knows how our world will be turned upside down.


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