Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful..." He also said, "But the laborers are few." Where I live in South America both these truths stare us in the face every single day. Whether we are driving through the gnarled traffic from one place to another, or whether we are out in other communities--rich or poor, it does not matter--we face a massive harvest. We face thousands upon thousands every day.
Today was no exception. Not at all. I went out with two of our finest. I took them to Lima's south cone. There we walked on hill after hill, talking to men and women that I had worked with in prior times. But this time things were a little different. On one hill where we stood, a lady we did not know came to us. She said, "Please come back. Please help our people. We need so much help here. Many of us are starving. Come back at Christmas and have a hot chocolate night." I asked the woman her name; she is Soledad T. Her name means "Solitude (as in, peaceful)." It can also, however, mean "loneliness." I did sense a deep loneliness and longing in the lady. It was obvious Christ was calling out to us through her.
In another community they asked me to explain my long absence. It was hard to explain, since they have no frame of reference for a furlough period. But what I learned broke my heart. All workers we had sent there had left. Some workers who had come in from another church also had left. They were abandoned, when it came to Christian teachings. The men I spoke with asked me to please help with two things: reestablishing the church, and helping them establish a daycare center so that mothers would have a place for their children while they worked.
Again, I was moved. It was not as moving, though, as when some who recognized me, ran to me to greet me with a hug and a kiss. Such Christian affection is a breath of fresh air in such places of darkness.
From there, we moved on to a few other communities, places we sensed God's call to us. I cannot fully explain the sensation and the thoughts that overcome me when I stand in the midst of a large housing community where there is no visible Christian witness. It's painful and at the same time joyful. The mind drums up visions of believers gathering together to worship the King. I can almost hear the praises rising up to our Lord.
Then reality hits. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. I am so grateful Jesus told us how to handle that: "pray, therefore, to the Lord of the Harvest, that he send forth laborers." It's his job to send out the laborers. It's our job to pray for him to do so.
Please join me in praying for laborers to carry the message of redemption to the countless hundreds of thousands in south Lima that need a relationship with Jesus.