on the ongoing effects of ministry

I’d like to inaugurate blogging on the new site with a post about the effect of ministry. Sometimes men will labour in obscure places, doing things that seem to amount to little, yet God Himself is working through them, little though they realize it.

My wife received an e-mail from a friend who, along with her husband, laboured for many years here on the Island. My brother now pastors the church they started.

Our friend told us that they received a call last week from a man, now in his eighties, thanking them for coming to the Island and leading him to the Lord. That has to be at least 15 years ago. Our friend rejoiced in being used of the Lord to bring just one man to the Lord through years of difficult frustrating ministry.

Well, that’s not all.

Not by a long shot. The church my brother now pastors is there because my friend and his wife sacrificed in an obscure place with little fruit. The church still exists. This week, my brother reports an interesting event. They have recently been blessed with a number of Chinese people attending the services. Some of them are Christians, most are not, and some can’t even speak English at all. Yet they come.

Well, this last week several of these folks gathered with my brother and family for a Christmas thing. In the course of the evening, my brother had the opportunity to witness again to a couple of the people in attendance. Then, as the crowd dispersed, one of the ladies, along with one of the Christians in the group, approached my brother’s wife and said the lady was ready to trust the Lord now. What joy!

The lady is very serious and knows she must get rid of her idol shelf in her home and her business. She knows this may have repercussions. But she trusted the Lord anyway.

Well. Isn’t that great?

But think of this. That lady and all those folks currently being ministered to are attending church through the influence of my brother’s ministry. And my brother’s ministry is made possible by the seemingly fruitless suffering of my dear friend in the ministry so many years ago.

The whole story makes me weep.

The Lord is gracious and will bring in fruit for our labours in His time. Who knows what reward waits for us in heaven?

If we are faithful…

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3