Matthew 9:37-38 (NLT)
[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."
Cultivating hearts takes time!
Do you wish sometimes that the work you do for God would bear more fruit, more quickly? George Budd, a member of the AFCI Canada team, has been working among native Indians for the last four years. He ministers to the Curve Lake First Nation by running Sunday services, distributing the "Indian Life" newspaper, running a program for children, doing visitation, discipling, participating in community events, coordinating volunteers, and fundraising. During these four years, he has not seen measurable growth in church attendance, though he does sense God at work in individuals.
Recently they began a "Breakfast at the Church" program once a month, inviting friends for a meal followed by an informal worship service. "Breakfast at the Church" has proved to be popular and, on Easter Sunday morning, 55 came for breakfast and most stayed for the service. "This may seem small to some of you, but in our situation that was a thrilling morning!"
For investors looking for a quick return, 55 people coming to a church breakfast may not seem to be a significant event. Modern communication has so accustomed its readers to large-scale results from the preaching of the gospel that, from a marketing perspective, most everyday mission work seems insignificant.
Helping individuals reach a place where they long to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ requires patiently cultivating hearts through prayer and Holy Spirit-directed action, usually over a long period of time. William Carey, the father of the modern missionary movement, laboured in India for 7 years before he saw results from his preaching and hard work.
When there are great breakthroughs, usually it is clear that many over time have prayed and worked to prepare the field. Are you already a part of the 'hidden' work of missions, interceding for those who are living in darkness? Be encouraged that the Lord is "in charge" and at work alongside you though you may not see the full results yet!
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