I was inspired yesterday to write a blog today on Labor Day by my wonderful pastor, Steve Garrett at our home church, New River Fellowship.
Our staff at Visiting Orphans has had a heavy heart this Fall season. Maybe not everyone as much as me since I oversee everything, but what has been difficult is watching as trip after trip was cancelled this Fall season due to lack of interest while our Summer 2012 trips and December 2011 trips fill up with waiting lists. Sure, we know all the reasons. We understand that everyone is heading back to school and most are focused on this time of their personal lives or family's life. However, it still burdens us as we know how much these children need each one of us.
Autumn or Fall is my favorite time of year. I purposely got married in October for this reason and now God will be blessing us with the birth of our first child in the Fall as well. I love the new crisp chillier weather and the falling leaves and wind. But I also love how this season is considered the Harvest season. Recently I read this blog post entitled "When Visiting Is Enough". The author of this blog explained how one visit to a child can indeed change their life. If you are willing to go, obey and be used, God can use YOU to plant a seed in that child's life. Yes, it can be excruciating to then leave, walk away, not knowing what will happen to that child. But for this particular blogger, years later she was able to actually see what happened to the seed she planted!
As she returned to Russia, to the same village where she told this little girl about Christ, she found out that this little girl, through the help of ANOTHER christian in Russia had and was still being discipled! She had aged out of this orphanage but was now living with the hope of Christ.
So yesterday while I was worshipping the Lord spoke to me and said, this is the Harvest season. If my workers would just GO, they could be the ones to bring in the HARVEST of those who went on all the Visiting Orphans' Summer trips. Those who planted the seeds. The ones traveling this Fall season will be used by God to continue watering these seeds, bringing in the harvest. He wants us to participate in what Jesus has already started in these children's lives through others.
Do you think that investing in ONE child's life makes a difference? Jesus thinks so. When Jesus walked the earth, He was here to die in our place. He has SO much to be concerned about each day and moment. Much like we do this Fall season. However, in John 4, Jesus chose to speak to ONE Samaritan woman. The jews considered the Samaritans lesser than themselves, yet He esteemed her. So she had an ENCOUNTER with the one true Messiah. And through this one woman's changed life and testimony many her in town also chose to believe in Him. (John 4: 39). With all the cares in this sinful world, Jesus chose to spend 10 minutes in conversation with this woman. He chose her. One person and her life changed MANY. Her encounter with Christ reaped a harvest.
"Do you not say "Four months more and then the harvest? (Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec) I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!! THEY ARE RIPE FOR HARVEST. " Even NOW the reaper draws his wages, even NOW he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together! Thus the saying, "One sows and another reaps is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor". John 4:34-38.
Don't you just love God's word?! We just need you to GO this Fall season.. Please enter into His true labor this Labor Day and choose to change the life of one orphan, one child, and bring in the harvest. That's what this season is about. Let your feasting this holiday season be to do the will of the one who sent Him.
"My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of Him who sent me and to FINISH His work."
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".