The Harvest is Plentiful
Years ago, a missionary couple was living and working in a small farming town in Southeast Asia, and would often host short-term teams that came to share the gospel with the local people group, who were mainly farmers of rice and sometimes, tobacco or corn.
In the last several decades, the lure of urbanization and a better life had drawn much of the able-bodied male population away from smaller villages to larger cities where they could make more money working in factories. Men would typically send money back to their families whom they saw only when they returned home on major holidays.
This situation created a problem during harvest time, as there was a lot of work to do, but not many people available to work the fields. Each year, in October, it was common to see women, children, and the elderly out in the fields working to harvest the rice in the hot sun. Sometimes they would even hire people from other villages to help out.
A Team with a Mission
One year a team from a church in Singapore came to visit them for a few days and requested that they be taken to a small village somewhere where they could see how the local people lived and worked, and where they could possibly share the good news of Jesus with those who had never heard it. So they took them to a small, picturesque village about forty-five minutes from their home.
As they entered the village some time in the afternoon, the team was surprised to find that the streets were completely empty. It looked like a ghost town. An old woman was sitting on her porch and they asked her, “Where is everyone?” She replied, “Don’t you know? It’s harvest time. Everyone is out in the fields.”
Sure enough, as they reached the edge of the village, they could see the fields full of mostly women, children, and older residents. The Singaporean visitors soon realized that the right thing to do would be to offer help, and so they jumped right in and began assisting the workers. As they gleaned, they began to pray and ask God for an opportunity to share, wondering how they would go about opening a spiritual conversation.
“Please pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest field!”
At one point, the small group of farmers took a break, and the visitors decided maybe this could be their chance. But before anyone spoke a word, one of the farmers leaned back, wiped the sweat off her brow, and spoke out in a strong voice, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few!”
The Singaporeans were so shocked to hear such a clear quote from the Bible that they knew it must have been from God, and so, filled with boldness, they began to explain the good news of Jesus. As a result, a small group from that village decided to follow Christ that day.
There are still thousands of unreached people groups around the world that have yet to hear the good news presented to them in a way that they can understand and accept. Please pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest field!
- Dave H.