Accidents happen to everyone. They are part of life. As a result of some accidents, lives are changed, and the course of history is altered forever. In 1957, while traveling to an evangelistic meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, a pick-up truck traveling at a high rate of speed ran a stop sign, crashed into the new automobile Michael and Audrey Guido has just purchased, and demolished it. Audrey was nearly killed in the accident and spent several months in an Atlanta hospital enduring many lengthy surgeries and suffered excruciating pain.
On their long trip home to Metter in an ambulance, Michael broke the silence when he said, “Audrey, we have no assurance of tomorrow, so we need to do more for the Lord each day that he gives us. Other than our evangelistic revivals, what can we do to reach more people with the gospel message? We have just experienced the uncertainties of life and the possibility of death when we least expect it. What else can we do for the Lord?
After another long period of silence, Michael gently took Audrey’s hand and said, “Dear, let’s ask God to put on our hearts what He wants us to do from now on.” Following a time of prayer together, Michael turned to his beloved wife with another question, “What did the Lord tell you, Dear?”
Having a difficult time speaking, and responding very softly just above a whisper, she said, “Michael, the Lord laid a radio ministry on my heart.”
“How very strange,” Michael responded. “God laid the same burden on my heart, too. And, the initial “seed” for a radio ministry was planted by God in the hearts and lives of Michael and Audrey. In a matter of weeks, the first radio program was recorded, and “A Seed From the Sower” was broadcast from station WVOP in Vidalia, Georgia.
It took one minute on one radio station in a rural community in South Georgia to launch a movement that would one day bring hope to millions of people around the planet. “A Seed from the Sower,” a daily devotional program that began in Metter, Georgia in 1952, rapidly became one of the most listened to inspirational sermons. The response to that radio program was so overwhelming that the speaker, Dr. Michael Guido, decided to make a similar program available on television. Soon, what was once a “Georgia swamp” became the most beautiful three acres in Georgia and became the “studio” for “A Seed For the Garden of Your Heart.” Today, “A Seed From the Sower” is broadcast 1,500,000 times a year, and “A Seed For the Garden of Your Heart” reaches into 1,250,000 homes three times a day.
The “seeds” from “The Sower” quickly became a daily staple in the hearts and homes of the growing audience. Many listeners who enjoyed hearing or seeing the devotionals began calling the stations to request written copies of them to share with family members and friends. To honor their requests and meet this need, a monthly devotional booklet, “Seeds from the Sower” was made available to any who requested it free of charge. The response was overwhelming and over 21,000 “Seeds of Hope” are printed and distributed each month -still free – to those who request a copy.
One day, the editor of a weekly newspaper read a “Seed of Hope” while waiting for his appointment to see his physician. After realizing how the brief devotional brought him a much-needed word of encouragement, he realized that through his paper, he could bring comfort and inspiration to many of his readers who were encountering difficult times in their lives. So, he called The Sower Studio and asked if he could print a “seed” each week in his paper. His request was honored, and now over 225 newspapers, publish one of our “seeds” each week.
Perhaps the most amazing fact about the “seeds” is that they are broadcast on radio and TV stations and published in newspapers at no cost to Guido Ministries. Stations and newspapers carry the programs and publish the seeds because they generate “listener and reader loyalty,” and are recognized as a “value-added” segment to the stations’ regular programming format or the newspapers’ inspirational and informational content.
In Paul’s farewell message at Ephesus, he said, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there…However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20: 22 -24) Is there not an echo of this message in the history of Guido Ministries? Michael and Audrey, like Paul, had no idea “what would happen to them…only that they would be found faithful to finish the race and complete the task God gave them of testifying the good news of God’s grace.” Only God knew what He had planned for this, His ministry. Over the years God’s message of the Good News of His love, mercy, grace, salvation, hope, and eternal life has not changed. However, the methods and means of sharing this message continues to grow and be blessed by God – and will continue to grow and be blessed by God – if we are faithful to Him and honor Him in all that we do, and give Him all the glory for all that we accomplish in His Name.