Would you like to know why I came to Madagascar?
- I wanted to serve and share the gospel amongst some of the poorest of the poor.
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.”
- I enjoy working with languages and teaching English.
“But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”
- I wanted to get interesting pictures of unique plants and wildlife—mainly lemurs.
- I’d heard good things about Bishop Todd and Patsy McGregor and their ministry in Madagascar.
“When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.”
- Going to Africa is a pretty cool thing to do.
- I felt like it was unfair that there is so much wealth and gospel witness in the west, and I felt compelled to go where there was less.
- Kennon Vaughn made Madagascar sound like a challenge when he told me about it, and I wanted to prove that I was strong enough to make it here.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.”
- I didn’t have anything better to do and was too lazy to look at other options.
- Because, “How can they call on Him unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?“
- People will respect me for this. It gives me good Christian “street cred.”
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’”
- I hoped my problems wouldn’t be able to follow me to the other side of the planet.
- I knew these nine months in Madagascar would open my eyes to many important things and give me a better understanding of the world.
- I figured I would have time to read lots of books.
- I prayed and it seemed right.
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.”
- I knew I would grow closer in my walk with Christ in Madagascar.
“‘Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” -Matthew 13:24-30
Why did I come to Madagascar? Why do I ever try something good? Searching the soil of my heart, I find that mixed in with the good seed of what I want to do, there is all sorts of false and prideful motivations. Christ is in me, yet I am constantly astounded by how full of weeds my life can be, even in the midst of trying to produce real fruit.
I am fully convinced that Christ calls us to wage war against the sin in our lives, but it is a war that requires incredible wisdom, because if I get too fearfully presumptuous trying to destroy weeds, I’ll destroy the good as well.
If I want to never be prideful again, I will have to never try to help anyone. If I want to never be impatient again, I will have to never try to solve a difficult problem. If I want to never get sinfully angry again, I will have to never try to stand up for what I believe. If I never want to be short and unloving toward someone, I will have to never get married. If I want to never say anything wrong, I will have to never say anything at all.
What can one do? 1) Don’t spend your life in fields full of weeds. I know there are fields that aren’t good at all, just as there are pursuits that are not righteous but obviously sinful. Don’t waste time there—get away from them. 2) Spend life taking care of the wheat fields. Walk by the Spirit and pursue the fruits of the Spirit and the kingdom of God, and be so thankful that there is grace to cover the weeds that spring up alongside the wheat. 3) Rejoice that one day, the harvest will come. Then all the weeds in my life will be bundled up and destroyed for good.