|From the Editor -
||Ripe for the Harvest
There was something in the verses that missionary shared about going into ALL the world that touched your heart like never before. Could it be that the Lord was calling you to be a missionary in a foreign land? No, that could not be! Could it?
How Shall They Hear?
By David Pryor
As you slow to a stop inches behind the car in front of you, you squint your eyes and peer through your car’s windshield. You strain to catch a glimpse of the cause for the backed up traffic ahead. But there are just too many cars on the freeway to see the reason for the delay.
"Fine time for a traffic jam. Now I’m really going to be late!" You mutter out loud to yourself.
As you move forward a few feet, stop, move forward a few feet more and stop again, you try to control your frustration.
Your thoughts run back over the last few hours. The reports you had to finish at the office caused you to leave later than you intended. Why did your department head decide he wanted them today? It was already going to be a close call getting to your daughter’s piano recital on time. Now with this delay you are going to be late for sure.
"Come on, come on!" you mumble through clenched teeth as you hit your palm against the steering wheel.
You begin trying to think of an alternative route you might take if you can just make it to the next exit. But there is no better way to go.
You let out a long sigh and remember, as a Christian, you should not get so uptight at unavoidable problems. You pause and pray silently asking for the Lord’s help in getting to the piano recital.
With that done, you try to think about something else. A thought in the back of you mind leaps forward. It is a memory of the missionary that spoke at your church last month. He only had fifteen minutes in the Sunday morning service, but he shared about his work with unreached tribal people in Papua New Guinea with an urgent fervor.
Life, Purpose and the World
By Suzanne Rowe
Without purpose, the people perish. Why strive for nothing? Only in God does life have meaning. He gives generously, but His gifts are to be used wisely. We’re only stewards, after all. We spend a brief time on earth and then move on.
My life has been one of abundant blessings, meaning, purpose and even fun along the way. It is a privileged life, and with privilege comes responsibility.
Life for me began in a land not my home. It is a land distant from that of our ancestors. It is a land of mountains, islands, sea, volcanoes and tribes of people speaking many different languages. Our parents and grandparents were white people there in a black land, seeking to ‘make a difference’.
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Will You Not Go?
By Bill Shurkey
The fields are white with the ripened harvest
But no workers prepare to reap.
My storehouse is defiled and polluted with chaff,
My barns lie in a heap.
Why are you reapers at ease in Zion
When your lives are not your own?
I purchased you with the blood of My Son,
To gather the wheat that was sown.
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The blaring of car horns snaps you back into reality. You blink a few times and realize that the cars ahead of you are moving. The drivers behind you are rather upset that you are still just inching along. So you stomp the gas pedal and get going.
As you accelerate and match the pace of the cars ahead, you think to yourself, "I am so busy here with work and the School Board. What I do is so important and needed. How could I give up our house and my career and go to some backward country? Surely somebody else is in a better position to go!"
Quickly your mind returns to the cares of the moment and how you might still get to your daughter’s recital on time.
You put any thoughts about being called as a missionary out of your mind…even further out than before.
Thousands of miles away, the missionary that you recalled is arriving back in Papua New Guinea. As he and his family wait in line to clear Immigration, he reflects back on their just completed furlough.
He thinks about how he poured out his heart concerning the need for more people to be willing to carry the Gospel to those places in the world where the Truth still has not been heard. Most people were cordial; some even showed concern about their personal responsibility to obey the Great Commission.
But overall, it seemed that the busyness of their lives and the cares of this world had changed the Christians in his homeland. Most were not willing to give up what they had in order to go and serve their Lord in His harvest fields, wherever that might be.
Suddenly the missionary’s vision blurred. Tears welled up in his eyes and tears began rolling down his checks. His wife noticed and knowingly put her arm on his trying to comfort him. He bowed his head and prayed, once again, that the Lord of the Harvest would send laborers into the fields.
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"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14-15 KJV)
This month’s articles for Ripe for the Harvest address our need to be willing to answer any call the Lord may have on our life to special service as a missionary. If the Lord truly is calling us to such service, it is not a punishment…it is a privilege!
If you surrender to such a call on your life, the Lord will give you joy and contentment like you have never known. Yes, being a missionary is a difficult and often thankless task. But it will be worth it all when we stand in Heaven and hear our Lord say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"
David Pryor and his family are independent missionaries serving in Paraguay, South America. David left his job as a corporate president 16 years ago in order to answer God’s special call on his life. The Pryors’ motto is: Gods Work in Gods Way! They purpose to pursue the Biblical plan for missions and prove that New Testament principles still work today. (Website: http://pryors.net/)