Oregon: Planting seeds at a cookout

Children playing soccer.

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It had been a long day, and it was only noon, but the Lord had been at work since before the day even started.

becca burt130Becca BurtIt was a Saturday, but not just any Saturday. This Saturday represented the beginning of the Lord’s work in a new apartment complex. We were holding a barbecue to invite people in the community to be part of Kids’ Club, youth group and our new house church that was just planted in the area. 

It had been an incredible day so far, and we were getting to meet so many new people. There is no way to describe the experience except for peace. I was hot and tired from cooking and serving hot dogs and playing countless games of soccer, but instead of feeling exhausted, I felt complete, indescribable peace.

Looking around, I saw people talking and eating, some playing games, some hearing the gospel for what might have been the very first time, and even one person giving their life to Christ. It was obvious the Lord was at work in the lives of these people, and I was able to witness it all. 

As I sat back and just listened to some of the conversations, I overheard some kids talking about who they thought Jesus Christ was. After listening to some of their answers, it was obvious that they were not Christians. I knew some of the kids, so I came up and asked them if I could tell them what I knew about Jesus. As I was sharing the gospel, other kids began coming up and listening. When I finished, I looked around, and I was surrounded by kids, hungry and wanting to know more. 

When I finished I immediately was discouraged, because none of them wanted to give their lives to Christ. I began doubt, thinking maybe I had not said the right thing or maybe I should have explained it in another way. However, later on in the day, a friend reminded me of a verse in 1 Corinthians: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants, nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” The verse goes on to say we are “coworkers in God’s service.” 

These verses have stuck with me, along with this experience at the barbecue, because they serve as a reminder as to my purpose here in Beaverton. I am not here to change people lives, but here to be a vessel for the Lord and his work. I am just a willing coworker for his service, and nothing I say will change these people. 

As I continue to work with these kids every week, I keep this in mind and continue to pray for their salvation. It is my hope God will continue to speak through me and work in the lives of these precious children. 

Becca Burt, a student at Tarleton State University, is serving with Go Now Missions in Beaverton, Ore.

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