A farmer went into his field to sow. some of his seed fell on hard-packed soil and was devoured by birds. Some seed fell on rocky ground, rooted in the shallow soil, and withered in the hot sun. Some seed fell among thorns and therefore produced nothing. But “other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:8). What does this parable of Jesus mean?
The year was 1959. Darrell and Jean O’Rourke were farming a small acreage in Colorado. Just down the road lived Lafawn Watkins, a dedicated Christian woman. Repeatedly, she invited the O’Rourkes to come to her home for a Bible study conducted by men from the local congregation of the Lord’s church. Darrell and Jean turned down the invitation again and again, but one night they agreed to go. Soon the young couple decided to confess Jesus as Lord and submit to baptism in his name for the forgiveness of their sins.
Shortly afterward, Darrell began preaching the gospel he had once spurned. He cofounded the popular personal evangelism program Fishers of Men about 15 years later. Every year this organization trains approximately 1,000 evangelism students in the United States, Russia, Indonesia, and other countries. Search for Truth (the Fishers of Men evangelism tool) is available in English, Chinese, Russian, Indonesian, and Spanish.
Surely, Lafawn Watkins never dreamed that the young man farming nearby would one day multiply her own evangelism efforts “a hundredfold.” Only God knows how many redeemed people will be in heaven as a direct result of her obedience to the Great Commission. Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Cor. 3:6).