I had an ah-ha moment with Jesus' words that the harvest is ready and for us to pray for God to send harvesters into the field. When you harvest, you reap individual rice or grains. When you finish reaping, you have many, but those many are composed of individuals.
A harvester reaps through discipleship and discipleship depends on close relationships with few. This is why the overwhelming need for mature Christ-followers to live in the fields with a harvest mindset.
Harvesting isn't church. Harvesting isn't evangelism. (Although, it includes both.) Harvesting is reaping through walking with individuals in close daily relationships.
In our life, the need for harvesters is magnified because the individuals are many. There are too many individuals for us to harvest through discipleship.
There is one more reason why we need multiple harvesters in the same field. God doesn't always use the same person to plant, water, and harvest. He likes to use a variety of people to harvest one person. This requires individuals reaching out to individuals to reach each one with the gospel and freedom of Jesus Christ.
Missionaries and pastors try to fill this gap by intentionally doing a variety of harvesting activities, including from wide-spectrum medical ministry and evangelism to small-group discipleship of individuals and families. Jesus did this when he traveled from town to town, teaching, healing, and casting out demons, and at the same time investing in seventy, in twelve and in three. As he multi-tasked in harvesting, He clearly saw the need for more harvesters. Why? What do you think He saw?
Can you imagine being called to harvest? There are individual people with names, birthdays, and spiritual futures who are willing to be discipled. They wake up every day and fight their battles without Christ. Why don't the Swansons help them? Why don't the local churches help them? Jesus saw the problem clearly: There are many, many individuals waiting to be discipled.
There are many involved in the mission. Jesus and His disciples were harvesting and there were many in the background who were providing hospitality and other resources. As you read the gospels, you see them serving quietly. The truth that needs to be remembered is that it takes a team to harvest. Some of the team are sending, some are going. All are part of the harvest! The thrust of this article is to shed light on the reason why Jesus calls for us to pray for harvesters. It is equally important to realize that all members of the mission team are uniquely important, whether they are support team or field-workers! God's call is for faithfulness in listening to Him!
To sum up, mission is a mindset and not a location. The quest that I'm calling you to is to seek God's call to harvest! If you seek His call to disciple, He will clearly direct you to the location where the Lord of the Harvest needs your skills, talents, and personality to reach individuals with the good news of new life in Christ!
Why is this true? Is it true in all relationships or just in relationship with God? Perfect love throws fear out of the house, when you are living in a relationship with infinite love, infinite good, eternal justice: God. The only way that perfect love can cast out fear is if you trust the Being perfectly loving you. If you are imperfectly loved, it is hard to trust. If you are loved by an imperfect person, it is hard to trust, so fear can find residence in your relationship.
Do you trust God? Do you live without fear? If you're like many of us, you navigate fear. How do you fight fear? By TRUSTING. Start in the smallest circle and work outward in your how you trust God.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4:18
We're in the 2nd week of public school now, and the first week of private schools here in Puerto Galera. And, we've been very busy! Time is screaming by! Our team has been looking for youth who are not in school, which can be as easy as seeing who is playing in the streets. God has brought to our attention just under 10 children, who we working with. (There are many more, but we're focusing on a small quantity of individuals to get started.)
We've visited schools and homes, talking with parents, teachers, principals and grandparents. Through these visits, we gathered information to ascertain the real needs. Some need tuition and others need academic tutoring, while others need school supplies. Money is not the leading reason for out-of-school youth, but it is a valid obstacle for some. As educators and missionaries, we can help bridge the individual, unique gaps between kids and campus, providing accountability and encouragement.
Where do you start when trying to find who needs your help? We started with the local pastor/educator who lives in the village. Then, we followed the Holy Spirit's leading, as we talked to kids and parents. Now, we're heading into the long-term next step: academic support. Most of our scholars will check in after school three days a week for encouragement, discipleship, and academic tutoring. Other students will be meeting with us to learn how to read and do math. Our team will be visiting the campuses of three schools, giving the extra support that is needed.
We've begun math tutoring, homework help, reading, and campus visits. We're just in the beginning stages of setting up our learning center.
Our scholars are excited! We have one student who just enrolled in public school yesterday and will start tomorrow. He's decided that school is for him, and we be there to help him succeed.
There's a bit of a fervor in Aninuan right now for going back to school. Out-of-school youth are seeing their friends enrolling and are making a concerted effort to enroll also. We understand that now is the exciting part. The difficult journey will be giving each youth the academic and family support needed to be successful and stay the course.
A theme verse for this discipleship is Matthew 6:33. Seek a relationship with God first and God will take care of your future. No matter how extreme your economic situation, if you invest in your relationship with God, He will show up and provide for you... and in this case, we're privileged to be part of that provision!
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.