(3) The Mission of Spiritual Farming

A farmer who plants seeds in a wide field is by no means throwing seeds away. A farmer has a dream, a faith and a desire. A farmer looks far into the future. This is hard to understand for primitive people who have only lived by hunting and gathering. Think of a week’s worth of good food that gets wasted by family members! But a farmer eagerly waits to collect profits from his crops to pay for his children’s college fees – starting from the eldest son’s, right down to his youngest daughter’s. He even seeks to pay for his youngest daughter’s wedding! And this is all retrieved through the seeds that he has sown.

God is a Farmer. The Farmer has sown the seeds for the fruits to be harvested. One might be relieved simply because the seeds have sprouted. But this is not the case with the Farmer. The Farmer is happy only when the leaves of the crops grow thick. And even if this is achieved, this is certainly not the end. Though the flowers bloom and fall, though the fruits appear to come forth, the Farmer cannot rest. In the presence of the Farmer, you cannot ask Him, “Is this enough?” The Farmer’s mind never rests until He has harvested the fruits and put them into the warehouse.

The Translation Mission is the same as farming. The goal of the Translation Mission is not simply to convey at one single time the Word of Truth to a large number of people in a large vicinity. If someone comes across the message of The Picture of God’s Will through the available books and online materials – and if he responds to the Word of God found there – we can start to continuously supply that person with the Word to help the growth of his spirit. If he appreciates the Word of Truth and regards it as a debt to pay it back to others, he can begin to learn ‘Berea Academy’. If he shows himself to be a good vessel for sharing and promoting the faith, he can pursue his growth to eventually bear the Calling of the Berea Movement. Sungrak Church is not satisfied in a ministry which results in only a few people having knowledge of what so many others do not. Rather, we vigilantly gather our hearts and strength in order to accomplish the work God has started through Sungrak Church.

It is like the Farmer doing the work of sowing the Seed, passing on the message of The Picture of God’s Will to even more people in an even wider area. In this way, souls are connected through this Seed-sowing ministry. There are two main reasons the Church should constantly supply this Word to these souls connected by the Word. The first reason is to let them discover the value of the Word and allow them to grow through it. The love of Christ – which is the fullness of knowledge – is so wide and deep that it cannot be fully understood by a single book or sermon. The Word is to be continuously provided to all those worldwide who are already in touch with the Word found in Berea. It is like giving water and nutrients to the Field where the Farmer has labored. There will be no owner who neglects his own crops. He will never say, ‘Now that the crops have sprouted, they can grow on their own.’

The second reason for the constant supply of the Word is to find those who are humble before the Word. Life is found in the Word. Happiness is found in the Word. The love of God is found in the Word. It was for the sake of the Word that those who came before us in our faith had laid down their lives. Just who is the one who loves the Word? Who is the one who is humble before it? Winnowing separates the wheat from the chaff. If a person does not fall away from the Word but stands firm to the end despite all the persecution and hardship, and if he continues to supply nothing except the Word of God – that person is the one who sincerely loves the Word and is humble before it.

At this stage, we should refrain from the idea that “This church should help us materially just because we have received the Word from there”. If this truly was the situation, then how could we possibly handle the rest of the world which God has left us to take responsibility for? Moreover, if we start to offer anyone anything other than the Word, how can we ever be certain that he will be true to the Word? If we truly long for growth, then we should offer “what they need” rather than “what they want.”

Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center