My Account
Sign Up for an Account



Choose Password

Retype Password

The extravagant sower

30 years later, seeds sewn for Jesus reap a harvest

Leah* serves in South Asia with a TMS Global team who owns and operates a small business. Situated in one of the most impoverished regions of the country, this business employs women from Christian, Hindu, and Muslim backgrounds.

Here, Leah tells of a woman’s journey to faith in Jesus, and those who sewed seeds along the way.

I have heard many sermons on the parable of the sower from Matthew 13:3-9. Most pastors focus on the quality of the soil, relating the soil to our own hearts. The sermons typically end with a pointed question: What is the soil of your heart like? Will the seeds of the gospel bear fruit in your life?

One time I heard a sermon on this parable that focused on the incredible extravagance of the sower. The sower is willing to waste valuable seed on just about any kind of earth in the hopes that a little plant would spring up. I believe that Jesus told this parable because He wanted us to recognize that our God is like that sower. He is wildly extravagant in His love, which is not dependent upon the condition of the soil of our hearts. Without testing the ground or looking around for seed-snatching birds, He pours out seed generously. And we are called to do the same.

Esther* came to faith after the death of her husband. Reared in a Hindu home, Esther regularly prayed to idols and worshipped many gods.

When Esther’s husband died of complications from AIDS, she was devastated. Left a widow to care for her three children, Esther’s pain was compounded by the fact that almost none of her family and friends attended the funeral.

AIDS has such a stigma in South Asia that, in her greatest time of need, nearly everyone deserted this new widow. Some friends blamed Esther, saying she had not prayed to the gods enough to save her husband.

Esther responded, “I did pray to the gods to save him! I will never pray to them again!”

When Esther’s life collapsed, there was an openness in her heart to hear of Jesus. After the funeral, I, along with many other followers of Jesus, shared with Esther about the love and truth of Christ. Encouraged by the support, prayer, and faithful witness of the Christian community, Esther put her trust in Jesus. Two of her sons accepted Jesus as their Lord as well.

However, Esther’s journey to faith in Jesus began decades before we met her.

Thirty years before, Esther lived next door to a widow who had come to faith in Christ. The woman would come to all of her neighbors’ houses and share with them about Jesus. She would tell them the stories of Jesus from the Gospels. The widow would give money to people in the community who needed it, although she did not have enough to eat herself. Esther was struck by this woman’s generosity and kindness.

One day, the widow pulled Esther aside and said, “I’m just a widow, so you don’t believe what I am saying to you, but one day others will come who will share these same stories with you. Then, you will finally start to believe that what I say is true.”

Decades later, as TMS Global team members and local believers shared the gospel with Esther again, the seeds sewn generously by a South Asian widow 30 years before took root in Esther’s life after the death of her husband. Esther is now following Christ, and has joy in her life, and hope for her future.

I encourage you to spread seeds of the gospel generously as you go through your day. Even when we cannot see the results, God is working all things for His glory.

*Pseudonyms and stock photo used for security.