Judea, Beyond Your Community

by Steve Schumm on May 22, 2024

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.
Acts 1:8 

I have been trying to think of something clever to say about Judea, but all I keep thinking of are these last words of Jesus before He left Earth.

I keep wondering … Why Judea? Why not just Jerusalem? I mean, we see people every day in the stores we shop at, our friends and family, where we work, and where our children go to school. Isn’t that more important than people you may only meet once or not at all?

The Seeds of Faith Garden had a workday this past Saturday. We get a range of people serving from the gardeners to students working for Bright Futures hours, and other people who like to support ECHO and Hope for Her. This week, however, we had ten first-time helpers at the garden! After introducing ourselves, we found out they were from a church in Wesley Chapel. We aren’t sure how they found out about our garden, but God certainly did.  Most of the time, people are curious about how to start a garden at their church, but this group just came to help—no ulterior motives, no strings attached. They were willing to do whatever we asked them to do. 

As we chatted and got to know them a bit more, we found out that their church was celebrating its 35th anniversary and they were reaching out to different places in their community—their Judea. After all, we have the Seeds of Faith to support ECHO and Hope for Her. The plan for these organizations is to help our them reach people with fresh, healthy foods. These servant-hearted people wanted to be a part of that and support the body of Christ beyond the walls of their home church. 

Now, this is already a good story, but I love how God goes so much deeper. After the group left, some of the non-Christian, “regular” gardeners started asking questions. “Why did they come all the way from Wesley Chapel to pull weeds?” They commented on their positive attitudes as they worked in the garden for over two hours. We had conversations about what it means to be a Christian. 

Then, I realized that is a perfect example of Judea. These people who came from another church and worked didn’t have an agenda.  They weren’t trying to get people to visit their church. But God used them, in their action,  motivation, and willingness to be used by Him without knowing how He would use them. And God used them to reach people without saying a word. I don’t know who said it, but it reminds me of the quote, “Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” 

This group of fellow believers has no idea the impact they had, but God does. They planted seeds they may never see the results. 

For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.
John 4:37-38

We want to know the impact of our actions. In business, you measure every event to see how successful it is, but God just wants you to go. God has a plan and we may never know the part we play, but one day we will celebrate in heaven with many different people we have never met before.

So, let me encourage you to do God’s will for your life, no matter how big or small the action is.

Tags: community, missions, judea

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