My daughter comes home tomorrow. A cool enough statement for any dad to be excited about, but this homecoming is extra special for me. My daughter, Samantha (aka Sam) has been on a Teen Missions summer mission trip to the Navaho reservation in Arizona for the past 6 weeks.
For the past 6 weeks Sam has lived in tents as has the other 22 other teens on her team, done her laundry in a bucket, wore nothing but long pants and construction boots, given up TV, radio, internet (including Facebook!) and her cell phone, to work manual labor construction. Her team’s project included landscaping, painting and fixing a porch at a church on the reservation. In addition to the construction, her team took part in witnessing activities on the reservation and local area.
Sam’s team was one of dozens of Teen Missions teams across the globe this summer with teens who volunteered to not only give up their summer vacation at home, but also who had to raise the financial support needed to go on the team. In the case of Sam it was about $2,000.00 raised from family, friends and churches, bottle drives, and savings. Most of the teams combined a work project during the week with evangelism on the weekends with local churchs and missions groups. Kudos to all of the TMI teams for being willing to give up much to help so many around the world.
“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
Matthew 9:37 (New American Standard)
Sam’s absence this summer has gotten me thinking. As I prayed for her and her teammates each day I also found myself thinking and praying for direction on how I could make a difference back here at home. A difference in my work, in my home, my town, even in my local church. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Sadly far too many of us forget all about missions most days. When I was in high school I went on two TMI summer teams and loved the experience, yet over the years since I’ve let family and work and this thing called life change my focus. We tend to put missions work in faraway lands where you risk life and limb to reach the lost souls. We are really good at praying Matthew 9:38 “So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” That we totally forget about the verse before – “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” We forget that we live and walk among harvest opportunities each and every day and we don’t have to go miles away to show others the positive power of Christ. Sometimes we only have to go next door or down the street. Missions work is not for a select few or for those who travel to foreign countries, missions is for each and every one of us who are called to be the laborers in the harvest.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
What ways can you and can I find ways to be laborers in the harvest?