I was preaching in a gospel meeting at a rural church in southern Oklahoma, and staying in the nice farm house of an elder of that church, and his good wife. One morning while I was awaiting the arrival of the local preacher so we could make some visits in the community, I was enjoying a cup of coffee with my hostess. I asked her if she had been reared in the Lord’s church and she said she had not. Then she volunteered the story of her conversion.
When she was a little girl, probably five or so, a neighbor lady asked her mother if she might take her to Bible school with her. Her mother didn’t mind her going to church but she did not want to be inconvenienced by it. So, this good neighbor would keep her Saturday night, bathe and dress her, take her to church Sunday morning, and feed her lunch before returning her to her home that afternoon. This continued until one or the other moved away after several months, or maybe years.
After this she said she joined her family in a religion-less life, and later married a man who was also disinterested in spiritual things. But when their first child was born, her husband decided he did not want to rear their child a heathen, and he suggested they start going to church somewhere. He had no preference and asked her if she did. She told him about the good Christian neighbor who was so kind to her, and had taken her to the church of Christ in their little community. He was impressed by her story and they decided to visit the local church of the Lord. They found a group of good, friendly people who took an interest in them. They studied the Bible and were eventually baptized into Christ. Now her husband was an elder, and they were the backbone of that church at which I was holding the meeting. They had several sons who were deacons in churches elsewhere, and daughters whose families were faithful workers for the Lord.
All this was the result of a good Christian woman showing love and concern for the soul of a little neighbor girl. And the woman never knew her efforts had turned out. This story convinced me that I should never underestimate the value of doing little things for the Lord, and then leaving it up to the Lord to make them big. “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6).