The Old Faithful Rice Farmer
My wife and I attended MediaLight Asia, a Christian film school, in Northern Thailand in 2013. We successfully graduated in December (ML 5.0) and spent an additional 2 weeks in Chiang Rai to assist other missionaries with their media needs.
Post graduation, our directors, Chuck & Sherry Quinley, put us up for a fortnight in a ministry house and it was here that Jesus gave me the vivid dream you’re about to read. I truly believe this dream was from God and is a message that is meant to be shared with others.
I woke up from this dream, around 5 AM, and grabbed the first pencil & paper I found, and wrote down the vision before I forgot any of the details.
There was an old farmer that kept planting seeds in a field that was saturated with poor soil. For many years he would till the ground and prepare the soil, so that, it would be ready to receive the seed he was hoping to harvest.
Every day, he would wake up, brush his long grey beard, drink his hot Thai tea, put on his rice boots, grab his tools and put on his large bamboo hat to protect him from the sun.
Then the old farmer would walk down the dirt road, that ran through the center of the village, and the children in the village would run after him to tease and mock him.
Just like their parents did when they were children.
The old farmer’s field was pathetic.
Every other rice paddy, for as far as the eye could see, was green. The neatly planted rows of rice looked beautiful and would soon produce a bountiful harvest.
Everyone agreed the other fields were more beautiful than his dried up, brown, empty paddy.
The old faithful farmer had planted tens of thousands of seeds over many decades, yet the crop was very poor and yielded almost nothing. Sure there were a few rice stalks here and there, but nothing like the farmer had hoped to receive.
The old farmer had many neighbors who laughed at his foolishness. They would mock him by saying, “How many times have you planted seeds in that pathetic field and yet have nothing to show for it?”
His mockers added, “If you planted your seeds in that field over there, it would produce a crop much larger and quicker than this field.”
His neighbors did not understand the old farmer nor his passionate love for this rice paddy.
So, after they would hurl their insults, the old faithful farmer would would nonchalantly shrug his shoulders and go back to preparing the dry cracked soil.
He knew, that when the seeds took, it would produce a crop that would take a long time to harvest.
And so without fail, the old farmer would keep his hand to the plow, in the presence of his enemies, and wait to see if that season’s crops would grow.
Then one year, after many back breaking decades, the seeds that he planted, took to the soil and there were not enough workers in the village to help with the harvest from this rice field.
How blessed is the soil that has a faithful farmer who will prepare it to receive the farmer’s seed, yet won’t honor him with a crop?
Here is the message of the dream:
The Lord our God has been preparing Thailand and her surrounding countries to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that they may spend an eternity in Heaven with him.
However, statistically speaking, there have been very few people who have repented of their sins and turned to Christ in SE Asia. Missionaries have been living and sharing the gospel in this region for longer than all of us have been alive and yet less than 3% of Thailand (less in some surrounding nations) are Christian.
In fact, there are many Christians throughout the world, who think we should stop “waisting our time” in countries like Thailand and invest in areas of the world where there has been more people accepting Christ as their Savior.
Some Christian leaders have actually created models that show if you invest in so much money, say, in Country A instead of Country K, then you will have more people come to Christ. So these “leaders” advise other Christians to put their money where there are conversions. (Authors note: There are moments when this is wise, during a revival for instance, but not as a day-to-day missions practice.)
What these people fail to understand is this:
Jesus deeply loves the people of Thailand. He loves Laos. He loves Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
And they need to hear his gospel.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?-Romans 10-14 NIV
Very soon, the people of SE Asia will experience an awakening and there will not be enough Christians, native or missionary, to assist with the harvest. This great awakening will be one of the greatest moments of humanity.
Praise God for the old faithful rice farmer.