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Missions: From Start to Finish – A Nurseryman Finisher

Key Bible Verse: “Let’s go at once to take the land,” Caleb said. “We can certainly conquer it!” Numbers 13:30

Bonus Reading: Joshua 14:6-14

The Sahara Desert advancing across Mauritania is forcing this country’s once nomadic population to its two cities. The National Geographic called the result “the largest refugee camp in the world.” The government asked Impact Teams International for help. That’s how Bill Stoffregen, a Christian nurseryman from North Carolina, landed in Mauritania. Appalled at the intense heat and lack of water, Bill questioned if any cash crop would grow there—until he spied a row of green trees. “What are those?” he asked.

“Neem trees,” said his interpreter. Bill knew that neem is an ingredient in insecticides. A computer search divulged that neem products treat wounds and a variety of ailments. And because the tree’s roots grow three feet underground for every foot above, it might hold drifting sands in place.

Excited by Bill’s report, Mauritanian officials agreed to explore the tree’s commercial potential. The research, which Bill funded from his savings, revealed that $1 million invested in planting trees and building a processing plant would create many jobs. Commercial shipments have now begun. Bill has no doubt that God used him to launch this project.

—Anne Garris in Today’s Christian

My Response: To explore ways to invest my experience or resources in Christ’s kingdom, I’ll ____.

Thought to Apply: What we give up for Christ we gain. What we keep back for ourselves is our real loss. ;mdash;J. Hudson Taylor (English missionary to China)

Adapted from our sister publication Today’s Christian(9-10/04)

Prayer for the Week:  Prevent me, sovereign Lord, from placing age or place restrictions on my readiness to serve You.



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