As the vehicle continued to accelerate along the worn road there were signs of preparation for the planting season in almost every direction. Just beyond the tin roofed homes were fields being turned over with antique farm equipment, a true testament of the poverty of this nation. As I thought about the preparations being made I was reminded of the scripture in John. “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.”
It was Monday when we arrived on site at Project Samuel. We were instantly energized with the countless possibilities at the new location. While plans had already been drawn up, the reality of the new build began to set in. We discussed the construction of a well, access to basic electric, and even the first phase of building. As we walked the property we found that the entire back half had been freshly tilled by the previous owner and we were presented with the opportunity to harvest this season. Only one question remained. What do we plant? This seemed to be the same question throughout the remainder of the day as plans were being formed. Everything seemed to show signs of a great harvest to come. And yet, I was still reminded that the Harvest is Now!
Meanwhile, the children of GuanaCastillo watched with such excitement as we made our way across the property. In fact, before we had even started the initial walkthrough Amanda had already crossed over to the barbwire fence where some of the children had gathered in their back yard. They were so excited to see Amanda. Andrea and I quickly joined her. We walked down the narrow dirt path between the rusted tin shacks that made up the neighborhood. All along the way were smiling faces so happy to see us. Julian, one of the little boys led us to a concrete slab that was littered with bottle caps. He then invited Chris to play with him. It was amazing to see the creativity in this young mind, as he constructed buildings out of his make shift legos. There was an old coffee can nearby and I suggested we try and toss the caps in the can and it was an instant hit. The laughter that arose from all of the children as they played this new simple game was wonderful. It was a great afternoon, and it meant so much to the children and their families as we spent time with them. The harvest that I had been looking for was here.
As I consider what Harvest is, sometimes I think that we have got it all wrong. That we make harvest something that it is not. When Jesus ascended into heaven he commanded us to go and make disciples. Sometimes I have viewed harvest as merely salvation. And this is certainly the beginning of the process. However, to see an undiscipled life is to see a life that bears little or no fruit. What is there to harvest? True Harvest begins with salvation but then continues through discipleship as we bear fruit. This can only take place in Relationships. Harvest to me looked like building relationships with the children and families in the community of GuanaCastillo.
In the same passage of scripture that tells us the harvest is now, we also find that one plants and another harvests— That we all have an integral part to play in the process. So whether you’re in Zambia Africa, GuanaCastillo, Nicaragua, or at home in your local community The Harvest is NOW! Will you Go? Will you Give? Will you serve? What are you doing to make a difference in someone else’s life today?