All morning we spent setting up for our community wide block party with help from the three hundred strong Prestonwood youth choir. The morning turned to noon and things became frustrating as the large bounce house inflatable failed to blow up. As I walked away feeling frustrated, God reminded me why we were setting up bounce houses and giving away five hundred hot dogs in the first place - to engage the community of Richmond, BC with the truth and life of Jesus Christ.
I redirected my heart and steps and introduced myself to a Chinese family enjoying hotdogs in the shade. They were inviting and had questioned why so many students were giving out free snow cones and playing games with the children. The conversation quickly turned toward Jesus and the Church. I made an effort to explain why we were here through the gospel and that our motive was the redeeming love of Christ and his transforming power.
However, like many of the other conversations I have had over the past few weeks, there was little response to the things of God. My frustration began to increase and I began to question if God was using this block party in any way possible. As I walked away from the family, Emily, the other intern here in Richmond, called me over to a group of students from Prestonwood and informed me that they had just led two Grade 8 boys to Christ! The angels in heaven were singing for joy at the obedience of these two new brothers in Christ.
Until now, in our four weeks here in Richmond, the only fruit we had seen were people simply asking questions about Jesus. But now to see how God is using his timing to bring about life changing salvation, I am reminded that the power to bring a person from death to life and into a saving relationship with Jesus belongs to Jesus himself.
At the same time, I'm also reminded that God grants us the joy of plowing, sowing, and watering the seeds of the gospel in people lives through every conversation we engage in.
It's encouraging to think that although Satan may tempt me to believe that the conversation I had with the family earlier may have appeared to be a failure, I really have no idea what God is truly doing in the hearts of the people he has created. He holds the power to life and death. Although I may not be there to witness someone bow their knee to the King of Kings, I am overflowing with joy to know that the Kingdom of God is forcibly advancing here in Richmond, BC.
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
By Sam Sweetin, student at Texas A&M University. Sam is serving in Richmond, BC, Canada through Go Now Missions. You can follow more of Sam's story at http://samsweetin.blogspot.ca/. Photos are from the Prestonwood Student Worship Ministry Facebook page.
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