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An Unexpected Harvest

Fifteen years ago, in 2002, we were preparing to leave Colombia to begin our ministry with the indigenous Wounaan people of Panama.

It was daunting; we felt like a small grain of sand in the face of their needs so preoccupied were we, that we almost missed a need that was right in front of our own faces.

For a year we had been helping collect the rent on a small apartment in Cali leased by Trever and Joan Godard. They had sublet to a young couple, Fabian and Claudia, who had two beautiful children and many beautiful dreams. I enjoyed visiting with them each month when I went to collect the rent, but the last time I did so, I was in a hurry. Then God prompted me to pay attention, and I noticed sadness in their faces.

“It has been a cruel time,” Fabian said, ashamed. “We are not doing well economically, and this is affecting our marriage.”

Seeing their pain, I spoke to them of faith in Christ. I prayed, commending them to the Father. Shortly after that, my wife and I left for Panama, never expecting to see them again. More than twelve years passed, and I confess I did not think about them at all.

Then, in 2016, I travelled to California to visit a friend who had once served with us in Colombia. To my surprise, he asked if I remembered Fabian. “He wants you to call him,” my friend said, handing me a scrap of paper with a phone number. I wasted not a moment, but called immediately. Fabian answered, and when he heard my voice he began to cry. They were tears of joy.

“My life changed direction that day you prayed for us,” he said. “I met the Lord, and he saved me. Now my wife and I are pastors!” I was stunned. Fabian had found his calling ministering to bikers in Cali, sharing the Gospel with people that others avoided. He welcomed them – tattoos, long hair, leather jackets and all – and in turn they welcomed Jesus into their lives.

I rejoiced with Fabian, and we promised that we would find a way to meet again. This did not happen until 2018, a full fifteen years after I had, almost carelessly, sown the seed of God’s Word in his life. A seed that yielded an unexpected harvest.

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