Seeds Planted, Seeds Watered

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Seeds Planted, Seeds Watered

Not long after arriving in Niger, our Mission Team piled in the back of Greg Sharpe’s truck and visited our first village. Since the back of the truck was completely caged in, I know we were a sight to the many people walking past us as we rode. Because I was new to the country, I caught myself staring at many of them as they stared at us.

I had been praying for weeks that God would soften the hearts of the Hausa people to hear and accept our message of Jesus Christ. I had prayed just as diligently that He would calm my heart so that I would be effective in delivering His message. My prayers were immediately answered when we arrived in the village. As we got out of the truck, a crowd of men, women, and children came up to us with smiles on their faces, greeting us warmly. Additionally, because my son was one of the Summer Mission Team members, I was greeted with shouts of “Baba Ali” (Lee’s father). In a matter of minutes, I felt like I was at a family reunion. The warm welcomes continued as we walked through the village, stopping and sitting with groups of men along the way. Many of the discussions centered on our Summer Mission Team and the experiences of this past summer, along with questions such as “how are they?” and “where are they?”.

Steve&Lee

Finally, we were able to sit down with Samuel*, the shago (shop) owner. We discussed his friendship with my son Lee and how Lee had told him Bible stories when he was there. We immediately asked him if he would like to hear another Bible story.  He said he would. What an opening God had provided for our team to water the seeds of the Gospel that God had planted through our Summer Mission Team! As I began telling Samuel the story of the Prodigal Son, I remember feeling very comfortable, just as if I was talking to a next door neighbor. Samuel and I, although separated by half a world, were just alike. We both wanted and needed to know God and His plan for our lives. Although we were interrupted many times that day by people coming into his shop, Samuel heard the complete story of the Prodigal Son. I was also able to tell Samuel that Jesus has the gift of eternal life and that he needed to accept that gift. Finally, I thanked Samuel for being my son’s friend this past summer and I told him that God loves him. As we were leaving that night, and I was about to get in the truck, Samuel made his way through the crowd of people and thanked me. I will never forget Samuel, or how God worked that day in both our lives. I may never see him again on this earth, but maybe the seeds that God planted through our Summer Mission Team, and watered by our team that day, will grow. I would love to rejoice at seeing Samuel in Heaven one day.

*Name changed.IMG_1254

 Steve Salisbury

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