Marshall Evangelical Free Church
As a young farm boy growing up in Iowa, my grandfather would tell me how they would cut the oats and wheat by hand and tie them into sheaves. The threshing crews would travel through the area and for several days they would thresh that year's crop. As modernization came, so came the binder machines, which were followed by the modern day combines. Today's farm machinery has modernized farming into an efficient enterprise but the harvest still needs to be brought in at the right time.
You will sympathize with me then when I tell what I witnessed while on a recent mission trip to India. My heart went out to the hundreds of women I saw out in the fields cutting the wheat by hand and tying it into sheaves. In an eight-hour drive we saw thousands of acres of ripe wheat waiting to be cut by hand by groups of women in every field.
Mile after mile we would watch them work. The workers worked all day long trying to get the crop in. Threshers were threshing the wheat making large piles of fresh wheat on the ground. Others would fill gunnysacks and sew them shut. The sacks were piled up high on flatbed trucks and hauled to market or stored in the village. They were working very hard in the hot sun. The worldly reward was small. A good 10-hour day earns you only two U.S. dollars. Given all that wheat, the laborers seemed so few.
India is a land of more than one billion souls that need the Lord. I could not help but think of Jesus' own words in Luke 10:2 "And He was saying to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'"
We had the joy of entering into that harvest field and serve a national Indian church in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. We taught a few lessons to national pastors about to graduate their institute and embark on a life of sharing the gospel with their own people. We shared the Jesus Film several times in two Indian dialects tailored to the people's language to whom we ministered. We witnessed a portion of the harvest as we saw people coming to faith in Jesus Christ. We were humbled by the passion of church leaders dedicated to reaching their generation with Christ. The task seems overwhelming and these leaders have few resources but they are obeying Christ's call to take the gospel to their people and trusting the Lord for the harvest. We witnessed the sheaves being gathered in. It was incredible.
It was humbling and refreshing to see a church completely dependent upon God. These young pastors are very poor. They work long hours with little earthly reward for the joy of seeing the spiritual harvest of men and women coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus promises that in His kingdom there will be people from every tribe and tongue and nation (Rev. 5:9). And that includes India. Jesus promises the harvest is ready. The need is for workers to labor in these spiritual fields of India. These leaders need our prayers and resources to bring in the harvest. I can vouch for three solid national leaders who each need a small motorcycle to get to the many villages in which they are currently ministering. You can pray about this and if you want to contribute to a motorcycle you can call me at 532-4804. Participating in God's harvest field can be very practical. It's harvest time in India.