This past week I spent in the mountains of Honduras…where it is chilly! I never knew such a place existed in Honduras, a place where wearing a jacket is not only possible but necessary some days. Coming from a city where the normal temperature is probably 95 degrees, I was pleasantly surprised this the change of climate and I think it also helped prepare me for the cold Wisconsin fall I will be entering in two short weeks. But I didn’t just want to write about the weather I want to tell a little about what I was doing in the cool mountains of Honduras.
Two JPC staff members, two JPC volunteers, and I went to the department of Intibucá where many of the Lenca, an indigenous people group, live. We were able to be a part of a couple church services, teach one of the children’s church classes, put together ‘provision baskets’ full of food and goodies, and my favorite part, go into their houses share the Gospel, those baskets, and pray with the families. It was very fun to experience a little more of the Honduran culture, the old Honduran culture, just by seeing how they live. I also felt very much at home because it was not only cool weather but we were in the center of a farming community. Nearly every person’s income from this area was from farming of some sort, and everywhere I looked there was a cow tied up eating grass. What a blessing, yes, I say it is a blessing, to have the familiar sounds and smells of home.
Every day JPC sends out a short devotional and a couple of weeks ago the devotional was on Proverbs 10:5. My New Living Translation says this:
A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.
When I hear this verse all I hear is ‘harvest’, and when I think of harvest I think of my family and the work that my family does. Most of our income comes from a couple short months of the year when we harvest all that we have worked for. If my family isn’t faithful to go out, work hard, and pull in what God has caused to grow then we wouldn’t have what we need to live. I think of all of the hard work that was put into that harvest; when I look back at the verse I think what a shame it would be if we did all of that work just to be lazy and miss out on the blessing!
When I was young my family used to raise tobacco. I have so many childhood memories from harvesting tobacco, I think because it taught me so much. It taught me about patience, hard work, and perseverance. I was so young at the time that mostly my job was to help my grandma serve juice, coffee, and ‘lunch’ to the workers. But what the others had to do was very labor intensive, first plant the tobacco one by one, then wait for it to grow, then weed it, then wait for it to grow, then weed it again, then pull bugs off of it (I was always old enough for that job), then top it, then chop it, then pile it, then spear it, then hang it, then wait for it to dry, then strip it, then pack it and send it off, and then…. get paid.
My older sister, Amanda, cleaning off the tobacco planter.
It would be silly to do all of that hard work in the heat of the Wisconsin summer sun and then not reap what was sewn. Yet that verse is in the bible…so we must need to be told, we must need to be reminded.
The other thing that pops into my head when I think of the word ‘harvest’, I think of the verse , “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers.”
Thinking about this verse and the other verse at the same time I realized how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel with people. There are so many lost and hurting people that God places in our lives…we have the opportunity to be the workers he has sent to harvest those souls. He plants, and waters, and takes care of the plants, but he asks us to be a part of the end blessing!
If you ask my mom what she remembers about raising tobacco, and I think if you ask any of my family members about it, she wouldn’t say how much work it was, or how hard the work was; what she remembers is that we got to do it together, that we got to be and work together as family. And this was one thing I really admired about this Lenca village…they worked together. They allowed us to work together, and share, with them for a week. I may be interpreting this wrong but maybe God wants more workers sent to the fields to reap the harvest, not because he needs more help (after all, he is God…he doesn’t need us), but because he wants more people to share in the blessing of the harvest.
I will challenge you with this…Don’t miss out on being part of the harvest, be faithful to what God has asked of you. Don’t miss out on your blessing…don’t miss out on working together with God!
Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. so pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”