Sunday, July 3, 2011

"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." These words of Jesus from Matthew 9:37 have always been both true and untrue. True in the sense that those willing to make the sacrifices and do the work are few indeed. Untrue in that there is a huge labor pool who would like to help bring in the harvest but cannot because of physical disabilities, or lack of finances, or lack of time, or lack of confidence in themselves, or because they just don't trust that God will take care of them if they risk anything or all. We see it here all the time. Even those who come find it difficult, frustrating, and depressing, and sometimes all three at once. Yet, they are here--not because they alone answered "here am I, send me" but because hundreds and sometimes thousands of others also answered that same call by supporting, encouraging, and comforting those who are here, and thus participating in the Great Commission to their own abilities. There is a man who heard me speak about our activities here eight years ago while I was still living in the States. He was a quiet man in less than good health and on a very limited and fixed income. He told me that as long as he was alive and I was working for God in Tanzania, he would automatically transfer $15 a month from his meager income to the One Book Foundation (which supports our work here). He has done just that for over eight years now. Fifteen dollars a month may not sound like much but he has given over $1,500 over the years. His faithfulness has allowed us to do much. Just in saving children from malaria, fifteen dollars a month is three mosquito nets which can save three to six lives. In a single year, that is at least forty children (and/or their mothers) who are still alive. I don't know what $15 buys in the U.S. these days, but I'm guessing that it is just dinner for two at a fast food joint. Skip one fast food dinner and save three or more lives. In a year, it would also buy 24 Bibles in Swahili that would reach about eight people per Bible or allow almost 200 people to read and reread and study and be inspired by the word of God in their own tongue. That one quiet, generous man (remember the widow with her two mites?) has labored mightily to expand the Kingdom of God by making one, small, automatic contribution every month. The laborers are there and many are willing. Some just don't think their small donation will make much of a difference. Come visit us sometime and we will introduce you to the children and new Christians who are both alive and live for Christ because of $15 a month. You can change the face of Christianity with your prayers, your messages of encouragement (we read emails over and over that keep us going), and your small donations to help bring in the harvest. Do join us however you can. Those who do earn the right to hear the words "well done, my good and faithful servant." Join them and us in following Christ and living His words.
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