Tom Vreman of the Dorcas Society Mission was speaking to our church about the patience required to work on a mission field. He told about a friend and his family who had traveled to the Inner Mongolia region of China to proclaim the gospel.

For the first few years, all they did was get settled and learn the customs of the people. After almost 4 years, his friend reported with great excitement that he was discipling his first three converts. That’s slow progress.

But after another 4 years, the missionary gave this amazing report: The entire village had turned in faith to Christ. The new Christians began praying for the people in a neighboring town. They sent witnesses, and soon that whole village received Christ. Now the entire region is hearing the gospel—all because one man and his family were willing to plant the seed and trust God for the results.

The apostle Paul gave his life to do God’s work. But he knew who was responsible for the success of that work. “Neither he who plants is anything,” he wrote, “nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Cor. 3:7).

Evangelism calls for patience. We may plant the seed, as Paul did, or we may water, as did Apollos (v.6). The key is to do our part and leave the results to God.