Several years ago, I met the sweetest boy in Roggie. His round face beamed at me and even though he spoke not a word of English, I instantly feel in love with his shining smile and bright brown eyes. His name is Temam,and for the last several years, my family and I have sponsored him to go to school.
Over the years, I have prayed diligently for this boy whom I all too easily began to think of as my Ethiopian son. I prayed for the normal things a parent might pray for – health protection, academic success, good moral behavior, but with fervor, I prayed, even though he is being raised in a Muslim family, that he would come to know Jesus as his Savior. Like the seed sower in Mark 4:26-29, I scattered these prayers and hoped they would grow.
During my return trips, I spent time with Temam visiting his family, hugging him and encouraging him. I scattered more seeds ones that God had already grown in me – I love you. You have value to me. God has a purpose for your life.
As I prepared the Bible story program for our mission trip this year, I thought more about Temam. What would he think about the stories in Genesis? Would they land in soft fertile soil, or would his heart be hard? Would he respond when the team told him how all of Genesis points to our loving Savior Jesus? I wondered about this seeds I was preparing. Would they bring a harvest?
During our time in Roggie, I began to see a change in Temam. He sought me out everyday just to hug me and hold my hand. His smile, while still so sweet, was radiant. I could tell that God was making the fertile ground of his heart ready.
On the last day a group of teachers and Americans were together looking over a paper. It was a list of names of children that had accepted Christ that very morning. The second name on the list was my Ethiopian son, Temam. God had taken these seeds I had faithfully sowed, grown them, and the harvest was ripe. I, of course, had only one response, tears of pure joy. I prayed with Temam, and I got to sow I new seed in him. I told him I am his spiritual mother, and someday we will walk into eternity together to see Jesus face to face.
I don’t really know what he said to his Muslim family when he got home that day, nor how God gave him the courage to attend the Christian church without them, but that Sunday Temam was at church. Radiant.
Many seeds were planted over the week by our team, and while my heart always longs to be in Roggie, I know God can care for His garden even when we are not there. I pray that when we return again that the crops will once again be ready for harvest. What a privilege it is to be a seed sower for the King of Kings!