Seems easy enough, right? This was a phrase God spoke to me on February 14th, 2016, during the outreach phase of my YWAM Discipleship Training School. It was my first day in Berlin, Germany and I asked God what He wanted me to do with my time here. I knew what it meant to plant spiritual seeds, but I didn’t know exactly what that would look like. When I heard God say this, I imagined myself sharing the Gospel to the refugees in Berlin and seeing refugee after refugee come to know Christ. However, that’s not actually what God said, is it?
He only said one thing: Plant seeds.
Throughout my team’s time in Berlin, day after day we would visit refugees, and we had an unprecedented opportunity. In the middle of a Western nation, we Christians chatted with and shared the Gospel of Jesus with an unreached people group. We invited Syrians into our home, bringing the truth of God’s love to them. Looking back, it may have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to even attempt to share Jesus with these people. However, in the moment, I felt pretty defeated. We did all this work, and every Thursday, the same refugees would come to the building where we were staying and hear more about who Jesus is. But nothing happened. At the end of our time in Berlin, we handed the program back over to the YWAM centre and they continued the ministry.
My team finished outreach, and I left Berlin feeling incomplete. I didn’t think the work I had done was finished yet. It wasn’t until I returned to YWAM Newcastle, in a moment of reflection, that God’s words to me came back to mind. I was expressing my feelings about outreach to my friend, and she reminded me of a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians 3:6.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”
When she said that, it brought me straight back to that first day in Berlin. God had said those two words: Plant seeds. I realised I had done everything God had asked me to do. I walked with, talked with, ate with, and cried with refugees, planting seeds with each passing hour and day I spent with them. Exactly what He had told me to do.
Now, that would have been a great ending to the story, but it wasn’t over yet!
Flash forward eight months. I returned to YWAM Newcastle in Australia to staff the October Compassion DTS. One morning, during our weekly staff meeting, we heard from a guest speaker, Jan Denharder. He was sharing about sustainable work habits when he randomly switched to a story about teaching in Berlin, Germany last March. He was teaching a Bible class and was invited to speak at a public meeting held for refugees at the local YWAM centre. God told Jan to share his testimony and, after that talk, thirty refugees came to Christ!
Thirty refugees that my team had met in the streets of Berlin and invited to that same weekly meeting gave their lives to the Lord that night!
This proved to me that when we walk in obedience to God, and trust Him to finish what we start, we can have total confidence that what we do will be completed. When we obey Him, God uses it. When we share our faith with the people around us, God uses it. When we show simple kindness, God uses it.
He will finish what He has started!
by Tommy Pequinot
YWAM Compassion DTS staff