In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he writes of the nature of ministry: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
Because there are times in our lives that we plant, and other times that we water, we don’t always see the fruit of God’s work. Particularly in ministries like Community of Hope, people enter our lives and often are not seen again. Bonds are built with people who are transitional and we don’t know whether we have made any impact, or not.
However, this last Sunday I had the rare pleasure of hearing three stories of people whose lives have been permanently changed because of Community of Hope. One of our regular worshipers has gone from being unemployed and homeless to employed and housed. Another person came out of prison and instead of returning to his old crowd of friends, found a new group of peers in Community of Hope. A third shared that the strength of the community and support of others has helped him overcome addiction.
As we continue to water and plant, it is a blessing to notice the fruit that God has caused to grow among us!