I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6, NIV).
Sometimes I get too caught up in what I'm doing for God. I receive a "job" from Him like parenting, and I take it on as if it all depends on me. In the fertile soil of my children's lives, I end up getting my priorities messed up and hold onto my responsibilities too tightly. I act as if their growth is mine to produce.
But it's not.
The spiritual example set by the Apostle Paul instructs me to approach these jobs differently. Paul knew the harvest field he received from God was much bigger than what he could work alone. He did the planting. He recognized others who watered, but knew God is the One who really makes the seeds of faith grow.
Hani has learned this lesson well. In the deserts of North Africa, among people groups who don't know the life found in Jesus, Hani follows Paul's example—and he's seeing evidence that the Master Gardener is truly at work.
Hani jetted into town on his motorbike one more morning as the sun inched over the horizon. Though his shoulders and back ached from traveling the desert for months, his weathered face still radiated joy—the joy of serving the Lord. With only a projector and a sheet, Hani roams isolated areas, sharing the film, "JESUS," with the desert dwellers who cross his path. After these screenings, he passes out radios installed with the New Testament in Arabic and "The Story of Jesus," the audio adaptation of "JESUS."
Smoke emanated from one of the buildings and attracted Hani's attention. He had found a bakery—one of the few in the area keeping the local herdsmen stocked with flatbread for long days tending sheep. Upon entering the shop, Hani stopped dead in his tracks. As the smell of freshly baked bread filled his nostrils, his heart leapt in recognition of the Word of God—in Arabic!
"Friend, what are you listening to? May I listen, too?"
Startled by the early morning customer, Dabir quickly shut off the radio. "Sir, you must be mistaken. There is nothing I am listening to."
Hani said with gentle persistence, "Please, I insist."
Dabir was hesitant but decided to trust Hani. With the Holy Spirit directing the conversation, the bakery owner's eyes opened to the truth of the gospel, and he put his faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
When Hani later asked Dabir about the radio, Dabir said he had received it from a friend—a man who had accepted Christ at one of Hani's "JESUS" film showings. That young believer, knowing the life-changing message was too good to keep to himself, shared the gift with his friend—the good news embedded in an inexpensive portable radio.
Hani sows the seeds of the gospel in a field that many would consider hostile to his message. He trusts God to place these Jesus Film Project® materials in the right hands, knows others can water, and God will cause the growth.
If you'd like to help people like Hani sow gospel seeds in closed countries, check out these opportunities to give to Jesus Film Project.