Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV)
Right before the very familiar section of Scripture where Jesus tells his disciples that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers few, we see him going throughout cities and villages proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing diseases and afflictions. Can you imagine what that was like? People were seeing a visible demonstration of the power and might of the Lord. We can’t help but wonder, What was the impact? Were all those who heard saved?
If we apply the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9), it’s safe to assume not all turned to follow Christ. No doubt some seed fell on the ground and was devoured, some fell on rocky ground and started to grow but eventually died, and some fell in the thorns and was choked out. But the good news is that some did germinate and begin to produce fruit.
At TWR Canada as we share the gospel around the world, we don’t always see seeds germinate immediately. Just as in the parable, some seeds never grow while others become thriving demonstrations of God’s grace. And sometimes those germinate quickly, and sometimes the seed lies dormant for years. Regardless, we know that as we are obedient to sow the seeds, God promises to produce a harvest. And in his goodness to us, he often encourages us with great testimonies of how he works with the seed we plant. Let me tell you one such story.
Francisco was a teenager when he first heard RTM (TWR’s name in Spanish) broadcasts in his town in Cuba. He liked to listen to music on the radio, but when he discovered RTM, he was impressed by the preachers talking about the Word of God. However, at that point, he did not see his need for a Saviour. Years later, he married and moved to Havana where he began a family and career.
Did he forget the messages that he heard on RTM during his youth? Maybe. His life was dedicated to taking care of his family and establishing his career. He had no church contacts or Christian beliefs. But when life became difficult, the seed sown in his heart years ago began to germinate.
His suffering began when his daughter was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Then his son became ill, although he was eventually healed. It was at this point that Francisco remembered the messages of RTM, and he and his wife understood that only God could help them in their suffering. Because they didn’t have any church connection, he visited his family and talked to them about this spiritual need. He was searching for help to know more of the Christ he had heard preached about on the radio so many years ago.
Francisco’s sister was a member of a church and a listener of RTM. She talked to him about our program, Messages of Faith and Hope; she gave him literature that we send to listeners. It was then that Francisco, having heard the gospel on RTM so many years ago, finally surrendered his life to Jesus. His wife and son also embraced the faith.
The whole family returned to Havana with great joy! Then his wife suddenly got ill and died. Suffering had visited them again. But this time, Francisco and his son had a faith capable of sustaining them. They had a Saviour who understood and comforted them. They began to visit the church of a pastor who works with RTM answering letters from listeners. The son was baptized first, but Francisco wanted to wait a little to grow in faith and in the knowledge of the Word. This past April, Francisco testified to his faith in the waters of baptism!
It had been 40 years since the seed had been sown over the radio. From a human perspective, it looked like seed that fell on rocky soil or among the thorns. But it lay dormant all those years. Today we rejoice because that seed was alive and has produced fruit!
Francisco now lives with a deep joy despite his sufferings and is very happy serving in a church where the pastor is also part of the radio ministry God used to call him to faith. For him, this "coincidence" is a confirmation that God planted the seed of salvation in him and did not stop pursuing him.
Amazing, right? It is testimonies like this that reinforce our commitment to spreading the seed of the gospel. We know that God is the one who gives growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). It’s not up to us to determine who we tell or not; we are to tell the whole world the good news of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). Our commitment is to sow; God gives the fruit in his time!
What if Francisco had not heard? There are untold numbers in Cuba, as well as in countries like Sri Lanka, Macedonia and Burundi who still need to hear the seeds of the gospel. There are those who have heard but need the seeds watered. And there are those who need to be tended to in their growth. TWR Canada is uniquely equipped to meet those needs through media.
Our commitment to sow the seed in these countries this year requires an investment of $64,500 to produce and distribute programs and provide follow-up. Would you join us in multiplying the harvest?
Together for the cause of Christ,