“With bleeding hands we’ll plant the seeds.” Anyone who says that kind of thing is either crazy or seriously committed to their cause.

I’m considering which is true of me at present.

Jason Upton said it. And when he worships with lyrics like that, it inspires me. The song is from his album Glimpse.

I am American. But for the last 20 years, I have been planting the seeds of the gospel into China. Has it been a sacrifice? I would readily resound with an emphatic yes, until I reconsider with the words of David Livingstone:


“I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk when we remember the great sacrifice which he made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us.” – David Livingstone, 1813-1873, missionary to Africa


Still, after all these years, I want to build a garden for you, God. I want to go where no man has gone before. I want to pioneer new areas. I want to blaze new trails.

And one thing I know—yet, due to my myopic vision, so often forget—is that the harvest is in the seed.


I wanna build you a garden
in a dry and desert land,
I’m gonna find a river there,
I’m gonna find a river there.

No one knows what God has seen,
humankind destroyed this garden.
With bleeding hands
we’ll plant the seeds,
and he’ll make all things new again.


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Here’s more on garden from There Is Yet Hope, my wife’s website: In This New Season, A Lush Green Garden Is An Unspeakable Blessing.

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global

David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.

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