You’ve heard the saying that there are no coincidences, right?
Well, I keep hearing about uncanny repetitions — from Scripture to concepts, to numbers and images, to words people speak — and I don’t think they are coincidences. I believe they’re echoes from God.
One amazing echo I heard about recently was a voice that traveled through a time period of over five years. 2007 was a pivotal year for The Seed Company and our OneVerse program — 23,000 attendees of the Passion Conference heard about the need for Bible translation.
A short video recorded at that conference has had unusual longevity, making impact far and wide. In the video, Pastor Louie Giglio pulls out a two-toned leather Bible. Expecting to hear a message, the crowd gasps when he opens the book — and it’s completely blank! “This is how the Bible looks to the Dela people,” he said, referring to the people group whose New Testament would be completely sponsored at the event.
“Do you love me?” said the Lord Jesus to Simon Peter. “Then feed my lambs.”
Fast-forward five-and-a-half years. In Rancho Santa Fe, California, Pastor Bob Botsford of Horizon Christian Fellowship is planning his upcoming sermon series on the Gospel of John to kick off the month of September. Having learned of The Seed Company’s work earlier this year, Bob is also thinking about how to introduce his church to the urgent need to sponsor Bible translation. When Doug Wicks of The Seed Company shared the Passion 2007 video with Bob, they discussed a huge, Passion-style display to make each verse visible and special to the congregation.
Over Labor Day weekend, Bob invited Horizon members to sponsor verses from the Gospel of John for the Fa d’Ambu people of Equatorial Guinea, also known as the Annobón. The echo of God was heard in Rancho Santa Fe.
“Do you love me?” the Lord Jesus repeated to Simon Peter. “Then take care of my sheep.”
As he introduced the opportunity to his church, he said, “I chose [Annobón] because no one else had chosen it. Maybe because my wife’s name is Bon, and my daughter’s name is Anna, and I just sort of saw a connection there,” he joked. Bob also noted that the Fa d’Ambu people group is about the same size as Horizon’s congregation. At just under 10,000 speakers, the Fa d’Ambu is a Least of These people group, which qualifies their gifts to be matched dollar-for-dollar for the Annobón.
Explaining his church’s involvement, Bob said, “We do it in obedience to the vision the Lord brings our way. He opens a door, He gives us a heart for something, and together as a church we link arms and we go for it … and we see it done for His glory.”
The church hung 21 large boards in the courtyard with the entire Gospel of John inscribed on them and a space for the sponsor’s name by each verse. In Pastor Bob’s words, the congregation “gobbled up and sponsored” every verse in the Gospel of John following his appeal. And that’s not all! They went on to sponsor John’s Gospel for another people group: the Rowba of South Asia. Horizon is already planning to sponsor the Gospel of John for two more languages.
Albert Einstein said it best, in The World as I See It: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” It’s the echoes of God that give us chills, and give Him the glory!
“Do you love me?” said the Lord Jesus a third time to Simon Peter. “Then feed my sheep.”