I met a Chinese guy the other day and heard a great story of how he became a believer. While his story was awesome there was something else that really struck me.
“John” was in his late 30s or early 40s and was biking from Yunnan to Tibet (1425 miles) in southwest China. Along the way he stopped in a small poor village for a little break. While he was there he met a family from Canada with lots of children who lived there. Somehow he found out they were Christians, I think they prayed when they stopped to eat.
It was just really moving to him to think about this Canadian family living somewhere so poor and giving up so much to be there. In China, village life is hard and poor. Everyone is trying to get out of the village and move to the city where the living conditions are better and there are more opportunities. Because of this, it was really moving for John as he realized what all this family was giving up in order to be there.
He continued on his way, very moved, but not changed. They didn’t send him on his way with a Bible or anything. Just that one interaction and a prayer before a meal they shared together.
Three years later he was working at his university when one of his colleagues mentioned he didn’t work on Sunday mornings because he went to church. Immediately John remembered the family from Canada. He asked his colleague to take him to church, and John became a follower of Jesus.
A few years later he lead a trip with his church back to Yunnan. The people in Yunnan prepared the places they would go. Where did they end up at? Back in the village where he had met the Canadian family! In the village he met a pastor and many of the believers. It was amazing and refreshing.
I asked him, “Did you meet the family from Canada?”
He shook his head and said, “No.”
They had already went back to Canada.
It is a great story about his journey to being found by Jesus, but what moved me most today was to think about the family from Canada. They never knew what influence they had. They don’t know the fruit they bore. Maybe they saw lots of fruit in China, but it is quite possible they left not believing they had accomplished as much as they should have. They may not know they bore fruit in this man’s life who was just bicycling through town. Yet God used them, maybe in their strengths, but probably in their weaknesses, in their trials, and in their hardships of living in a poor area of China with lots kids.
It was a blessing from God to hear the story and be reminded that even if I don’t see the fruit I want to it doesn’t mean that I am bearing no fruit. It may very well be that God is using me in ways I don’t know to touch people’s lives.
The family from Canada doesn’t know they ever bore any fruit in John’s life… but God knows they did, and some day He will tell them!
What about you? Are you discouraged? Remember God may be using you in ways you do not know. Just be faithful to keep following Him…