The Lord has laid it on me recently to share thoughts and lessons and testimonies of what seed planting can accomplish spiritually. I’ll be teaching about the combination of various natural seeds and how that fits into our spiritual world, but first it will be some Asian history. Then it will be my personal “seed” story.
Shortly after I came to the Lord, in 1966, a friend in my church loaned me a book. Even though I’d been a big reader since early childhood, I had never read anything about missionaries or international ministry. The book was "Let My Heart Be Broken... with the things that break the heart of God", written by Richard Gehman, published in 1960. World Vision Organization began in the 1950s and this was written so more people would understand the foundation and hope of that ministry. Didn't share a lot of cultural history, but focused on and talked to missionaries in Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, India, Japan, and a variety of territories and islands. It touched my heart; has never left it. Many years ago, I bought one of the original books and I rarely loan it; sure don’t want to lose it.
Not long after reading that book, I began to read many others connected to China Inland Mission. Hudson Taylor became my first Christian hero. I saw so many examples indicating spiritual seed was planted into hearts, many of whom had never even heard the Lord’s name. Other CIMs, such as James O. Fraser and Isobel Kuhn, two of my other favorites, drew people from the Western world to Asia to serve as missionaries and, with them and their families and friends, led many, MANY in the southwest Chinese tribes to the Lord and gave them the training and teaching that they needed. As the sharing of those tribal members at village marketing, and the missionaries traveling further and further, the Word began to reach to Thailand and Burma and northern India, through valleys, over rivers, and across mountains. It simply spread and spread.
In approximately 500 years many God-servers in Asia have died from spiritual warfare. In the past 60 years, for instance, many CIM's and other missionaries and many Chinese Christians died through disease, execution, wars, or religious murder. But their seed did not die, just because their body had. Their spiritual blood ... connected to our Lord's Blood ... soaking through the land, did not disappear. Couldn't be seen by eyes, understood by normal minds, but couldn't be destroyed . Why? Because the spiritual strength of our Lord is far above the everydayness of life.
In our present day — MY present day — I am blessed to hear stories from the Bhutanese refugees whose families were forced to flee from Bhutan about 25 years ago. After living in Nepal for those years, more and more of them, from seed having been planted there, came to the Lord. Some of them, especially the young ones, some of my “kids”, want to leave Omaha and return to Nepal. They want to spread the Word, plant the seed, more and more, in Nepal, India, and, when possible, IF possible, in Bhutan. They, because of their cultural understanding, can share about Jesus, in the towns, villages, and refugee camps. They want to share the Word more, show the Truth more deeply. Be Servants -- teaching, nursing, child-caring. They strongly believe that the Word will spread through the rivers, over the mountains, across the borders. They truly believe they can do it more effectively than most of us Westerners could, because they know the culture thoroughly, having been raised there, understanding the spiritual differences in approach, mostly connected to Buddhism and Hinduism. I believe they can do it.
Seed, historically, was planted by Catholic priests in the late 1500s as they traveled back and forth through Nepal from Tibet to India. The first tiny seeds were planted. Since then it’s been a little here, a little there, and sometimes — many times — buried under the surface for many generations. Now, for decades and centuries it was very difficult for anyone outside of their country to ever enter and speak outside of their national Hinduism or Buddhism. Miraculously, in the 1950s, Western doctors and nurses, in particular, were able to bring more of the Nepalese to the Lord. Seed was planted. Now, even with the national leadership often wanting nothing to do with Christians, the Bhutanese/Nepalese can share, touch, bring healing, and help in any way possible.
I could talk/write for HOURS about how I've seen seed planting in a spiritual manner for more than 40 years. And I've been blessed to see the results.
I often think that when I am dying one of the main blessings buried in my heart will be that my spiritual seed has been planted, people will turn to the Lord, I'll meet them in heaven, and we will hug and dance and jump up and down with joy.
Yep, that's what I want.
Part 2 will tell how good and or bad seed was planted in me shortly before I became a Christian ... and both of the seeds BY Christians.
An indicator of how we should pay attention to what seed is being planted in us ... and what we are planting in others. For good, bad, or indifferent [or ugly].