As I went back to the Czech Republic for the second year in a row, I had high expectations for the entire trip. Last year I had seen God perform miracles, seen lost come to hear about Christ, and countless people recommit their lives to Christ. I had seen God move powerfully, and I was fully prepared to see Him move again.
It became clear soon after we landed, however, that this trip was not like last year’s. During the first week I found myself scrambling to keep up with changing plans, missed my devotions, and did not talk to one person from outside the Church about Christ.
Things seemed to only get worse during the second week: the camp we stayed at had multiple issues, transportation was difficult, and my spirits fell. I looked at what had happened during the trip and all I could think of was how this trip had not lived up to last year’s trip. I had failed. Even worse, God had not shown up.
But then, the night before we left to come back home, I found myself reading 1 Corinthians 3, and suddenly I understood. Last year’s trip had been a year of planting, in which we had preached to the lost, prayed for the broken, and cared for the hurting, but this year was a year of watering.
I had encouraged a girl who gave her life to Christ after our visit last year.
We led a retreat to bring the youth of the local church into a closer relationship with God.
We had even been the prayer team for a worship night featuring a band from Manchester and a preacher from Australia.
I had forgotten that sometimes, God sends us to strengthen those already in the Kingdom. New Christians are always a good thing, but all Christians need care, and this year we had been the love of God to Christians who needed it.
This trip had not been a waste, it had simply been different. I had spent the entire two weeks trying to plant new seeds and bring new people to Christ, and in doing so I had almost missed all of the watering and growing of experienced Christians that God had been doing. Last year we had planted. This year we watered.
I can hardly wait to see what God will harvest.
Read it for yourself: 1 Corinthians 3:5-9