A HARVEST YOU MAY NEVER SEE
April 20, 2023
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9, ESV
When I was a public school teacher, I struggled with knowing whether or not God was using me to impact the lives of my students. If you also share this struggle, be encouraged by this story about the Hmong people of Asia, told in the book An Asian Harvest, by Paul Hattaway.
The Hmong had recently experienced a huge revival owing to the shortwave radio preaching of a Hmong evangelist named John Lee. For years, Lee, from his base in California, faithfully broadcast the gospel in his native language. Despite not receiving any feedback from his target audience, he continued to produce daily programs, not knowing whether anyone was listening. God honored John Lee’s perseverance in a remarkable way.
One day, an old Hmong man was tuning his radio when he suddenly heard his own language being spoken. He ran outside and gathered his family to listen with him. Together, for the first time in their lives, they heard about a man named Jesus. Although they didn’t comprehend the message, the Hmong were excited to hear their own language on the radio. By the following day, the old man had notified the entire village, and hundreds of people gathered around their radios to listen to the program.
The old man had plenty of spare time, so over the next few months he walked to 18 Hmong villages in the valley. In each community, he tuned everyone’s radios to the correct frequency so that they too could hear John Lee’s broadcasts. Thousands of people were now listening to the gospel every day, and their hearts and minds gradually opened to the truth.
Over time, the radical teaching so gripped their hearts that the Hmong decided they must choose either to accept the gospel or to never listen again. The leaders of all 18 Hmong villages gathered for a crucial meeting to discuss the problem. After much debate, they decided all of their people should become Christians!
Without any churches, evangelists or pastors to advise them, the new Hmong believers decided to obey whatever the radio preacher instructed them to do. One day the program was about God’s hatred of idolatry. In response, the Hmong immediately smashed their idols and tore down the ancestral tablets that had adorned the walls of their homes for centuries. When they heard a teaching about water baptism, in simple faith they dug pits in the ground, filled them with water from a nearby stream, and baptized each other.
This move of God among the Hmong people was anything but superficial. He was moving powerfully in their midst. Drug addicts were delivered from their bondage, broken marriages were repaired, and many wrongs were made right.
At the time, John Lee and his radio ministry were still unaware of these extraordinary events that were taking place. Then one day, Lee taught about the Lamb’s Book of Life. Again, the Hmong didn’t fully understand the teaching, but they all agreed they needed to be included in this book! Months later, a large package arrived at the radio ministry’s California office. The curious staff saw that the package had been mailed from China, and they opened it to discover a bundle of papers with the names and signatures of some 10,000 Hmong people. Attached was a cover letter saying, “Dear Sir, please include the following people in the Lamb’s Book of Life!”
As educators, we often find ourselves in the same situation as John Lee. Those of us who have had students that come back and share how God used us in their lives are blessed. I know getting to baptize two of my former students was a privilege I will never forget. But we will have to wait until Heaven to truly see what God has done.
Despite the fact that we often do not get to see the fruit, the scriptures remind us to “Not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9). May the Lord strengthen you today as you serve Him on your campus.
Father, even when we can’t see the fruit, we know You are working. Increase our faith to keep serving You. Thank you for the times You do give us glimpses of the impact we are having in our schools. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hattaway, Paul. An Asian Harvest. Monarch Books, 2017, p. 140-141.
Copyright David Schmus.
David is the Executive Director of Christian Educators.