We planted a pair of fruit trees this week in our yard. It will be a few years before we see any fruit from them but we will water them, fertilize them, weed them and watch them as they grow. We will certainly tend these trees with the expectation of one day enjoying the fruit from years of invested labor. Right now they are tender and vulnerable. We will have to make sure that when the strong winds blow that we anchor them down and protect them from damage. If any insects infest them we will have to apply the proper treatment to fend them off. There will be times when we have to get the pruners out and prune them so their branches will be productive. A lot of work goes into raising a tree from a sappling to a full fledged tree bearing optimal fruit. If we leave them alone and put little or no effort into raising them they may eventually produce a small amount of fruit. But if we want to see the greatest yield from these trees we must make the effort on a regular basis to see to it that the trees are cared for.
The same can be said for raising children. Boy does it take a lot of work! If we desire to see our children grow into godly spiritually productive children, then we the parents must put in the effort to make it so. A child left to himself will most likely grow up to be spiritually unfruitful. Oh, there may be some good that comes out of their lives. They may even grow up to be pretty good people. Training children to grow up to serve God and bear spiritual fruit, however, takes effort.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” - 3 John 4
I have known Peter and Crystal since 2004. As a missionary in Ghana our prison ministry outreach began to explode. We were preaching weekly in the prison as well as tending to nearly 200 prisoners doing bible correspondence courses. The work load was becoming too much for us to handle so we called on the Rock of Ages Prison Ministry to come to see what they could do to help. A team of five men, Peter included, came for about a week and surveyed the country's prisons. When all was said and done they had agreed to pray about taking over our ministry and expanding to the rest of the country. Over the next several years Peter led teams on short term trips to Ghana and other neighboring countries.
He continues to travel extensively overseeing the prison work in many countries. Our church started supporting Peter's family in 2008.