Many years ago I watched a film about a British missionary who carried the gospel to the mountain people of a certain country. After laboring among these people for a period of time, the British missionary could only account for one conversion among them. He eventually grew discouraged and left the mission field.
In the meantime this one convert sent his young son off on foot to travel some distance to a school where the boy could learn to read and write. Eventually the boy turned into a young man and his skills at reading and writing enabled him to develop an alphabet and written vocabulary for his people. The father then had the son travel to America where he learned the original languages of the Bible. The goal was for the son to be able to translate the Scriptures into his native language of the mountain people, which he did.
There is a scene, which is burned into my memory, where the father takes the the Bible in his own language up to the mountain top where he spent time alone with the Lord. In that scene the father holds the Bible up to God in heaven with great rejoicing!
The film did not end there. On one of his trips to America the son searched for the whereabouts of the British missionary. He found him in a small apartment in Canada. The son visited the old missionary unannounced and in his native dress.
Imagine the astonishment of the old missionary who became discouraged and who may have thought his work was in vain! The one seed that had fallen on good* ground had brought forth fruit many times over!
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:10& 11
*good ground – Ground that God prepared before the sower came.
*good – that which accomplishes God’s purpose.
The sower’s prayer: “Lord, lead me to good ground……”
Note: It has been over thirty five years since I saw this film. Some parts of it I remember vividly, other parts are not so vivid. If you are familiar with the film you may find a discrepancy in the details. Details which I tried to limit due to memory or lack of it.