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Living Generously, Sharing Faithfully

What Effect Will You Have?

By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

Norman Borlaug. Heard of him?


Newsweek Magazine gave him the title of Man of the Year. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. Who was this man?

Being from Kansas, I grew up surrounded by some of the results of his work in the wheat and corn fields.

You see Norman Borlaug has been credited with saving at least one billion lives.



Norman was an agronomist that led initiatives around the world to come up with different breeds of wheat and corn that would grow in different types of climates and help different nations be able to feed themselves. He also worked with farmers from different nations and trained them in better farming practices.

The question is should he get all the credit?


Let’s dig a bit deeper. Norman was a very smart and talented person. He, like everyone else, was helped along the way.

There was Henry Wallace. Henry Wallace served as the vice president of the United States in the early 1940s. As vice president, he used the power of that office to create a station in Mexico whose sole purpose was to develop corn and wheat varieties that would grow in arid climates. Guess who he hired to run that station?

He hired a young Norman Borlaug to run it.


Maybe we should dig a bit deeper. You may ask how did Henry Wallace get an interest in plants and agronomy? Well, when Henry Wallace was a young six-year-old boy growing up in Iowa, he was mentored by a student at Iowa Agricultural College named George Washington Carver who would himself become famous for his work with peanuts and agriculture. Henry Wallace learned from George Washington Carver. Henry Wallace had an interest in agronomy and hired Norman Borlaug.

So even though Norman won the Nobel Prize for his hard and valuable work, he, like everyone else, had help along the way.

Many times, you may not even see the results of your work. You may help someone get their education. You may give a Bible study or may even stop and help someone change a tire and never really know the results of your work. However, if the church truly practices Total Member Involvement, we will all make an impact that will be written down in the history books of heaven. Then we will see how both the small and great things that were done by the prompting of the Holy Spirit did, in fact, make an impact.

This week get involved in someone’s life. Proverbs 27:17 tells us the results of being involved in others’ lives:


As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.