There isn’t much to see when we look at seeds. It is necessary to grasp what is beyond the visible in order to realize the great potential that dwells within those little seed casings—a potential of new life. The same may be true as we consider what we have to offer to the cause of the gospel.
I mean, the needs are so disproportionately greater compared to the resources we possess as individuals that if we do not see beyond, into the mystery and the miracle of the surging of a new life, we may be discouraged. The bottom line is that a very little seed, cared for in faith, may develop itself to become an enormous tree capable of blooming and releasing many more seeds, which will undergo the same fruitful process.
Two decades ago, my wife (Andreia) our eleven-months-old daughter (Gaby) and I (Luciano) headed to a mission adventure in West Africa. We were so young and new to the task and we felt very little and limited in front of the giant challenge of planting churches among the unreached of northern Guinea-Bissau. Looking back at history, I realize that the odds were not that great.
Why? Well, our stature was visibly unproportional. It was in that moment that one would have to face reality from a perspective of faith, to contemplate what was beyond the visible. The miracle of a fertile seed would have to take place in order for the church to be born, to lay its roots and to thrive in that very unlikely scenario.
The greatness of this life process is not in the visible aspect of the small seed sowed on the ground, but it lies in the greatness of a Creative God who not only creates life, but also holds together the entire process that goes beyond vision and understanding.
As said Paul, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). That is the only viable or reasonable explanation for the success of the mission, as we ponder about it.
We are so small in face of the challenges of the Kingdom that, in order for something significant to happen as the result of our work, it must be entirely by the grace and the power of our Great God! It feels like being a little boy, among a massive multitude of people, who presents himself with his afternoon snack, five loaves and two fishes, and sees God providing for the needs
The greatness of that miraculous feeding was in God´s extraordinary ability of taking a small offering and making something great out of it. The small offering just needs to be presented, dedicated to Him. He takes care of the rest. He increases and multiplies whatever we have to offer as a loving offering. He takes a small seed beyond its own limits to accomplish the greatness of His great and generous intentions. But the small, the little, needs to be given to Him. The seed needs to be surrounded, needs to die, in order to be born amongst all odds.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).
Thanks for surrounding your offering of love and to be part of the life process that is taking place in Guinea-Bissau. The seed grew to become 17 churches, 3 Christian schools, a fishing project, and very soon a Bible Institute to serve the churches and to provide that plentiful field with new evangelists and Christian leaders.
As individuals, whatever we have may seem small, but, you know what, it is just enough when given to the Life Giver!
- Luciano Rodrigues, Hisportic Christian Mission