From the Book of Jeremiah to Galations, the biblical metaphor of sowing and reaping has been a recurring fixture of Christian teaching. And so, Toronto’s mammoth Royal Agricultural Winter Fair seems a fitting venue for Christian evangelism and outreach.
There, tucked in among the displays of Herculean pumpkins and stalls selling equestrian gear and homemade fudge, is the booth of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers-Canada (FCFC), a member of the international organization of the same name.
The FCFC quietly brings the Gospel to such festivals, attracting attendees by giving sturdy walking sticks with a small loop of coloured beads attached near the top. Each bead on the “Wordless Walking Stick” represents a different aspect of core Christian doctrine from gold (everlasting life in heaven) to black (sin and separation from God) through red (Christ’s blood and sacrifice) to white (repentance, forgiveness and purity) and green (growing in Christ and showing love and concern for others in a needy world).
In addition to promoting Christian fellowship within the farming and general communities, this outreach and service body organizes mission teams that allow farmers use their special resources to help meet the needs of the world. Since its founding in 1985, it has sent many a team of farmers to assist projects in countries from Albania and Africa to Mexico and India. These include church construction, well drilling, irrigation systems and seed distribution.
In the past several years, the fellowship has also presented the Gospel’s message to a quarter of a million people at farm shows, agricultural fairs, conferences and equipment expositions. The international body has touched more than a million. Aptly, the FCF’s motto is “Serving, sowing, reaping for Christ around the world.”