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Here the fields are golden and ready.

He spoke it clearly to my heart the day Dave left for the south…the fields are ripe…my Harvest is coming…Open your eyes!

See my glory–

Fifteen years ago, a man in Soddo was given a vision from God.  God told him to walk south until he could walk no futher.  There he would find a people who were ready to hear about His Son.  This man, like Abraham, went in faith.  He walked through the mountainous terrain of  Southern Ethiopia for 10 days.  For 10 days.  He walked in faith. After 10 days he arrived.  He arrived in a place that was untouched by the Word…so in faith this man began to share about Jesus…about God’s love.  One man, J, his heart was ready…and he accepted Jesus.  The first redeemed…the first fruits.  There were many witch doctors in this village that began opposing him.  They threatened his life. This man, in front of all…all who opposed him…all who possibly wanted to believe, but feared…in front of God, he kneeled and prayed.  He prayed in fervency for God to intervene.  He prayed in honesty–that if God did not, he would die or he would need to leave this village. That night, God’s power was released…those prayers were answered.  God sent a storm.  Clouds collided and lightning fell and the Power of His hand destroyed the hut and the man who opposed His Son.  The other witch doctors saw, grabbed their goat skins and fled across the river.  They have never returned. So God’s powerful love opened the door in this village, struck down his opposition and drew a small band to Himself.  A small church was started and the church was built in the place that the lightning had struck.  Always stay where God’s power evidences.  Always build where He shows Himself strong.  This was the first church God planted in the T@ra.

The evangelist, he left…he went back and shared with a Western evangelist…He quickly figured out a way to return, flew there and more came to Jesus.  Circumstances prevented them from coming back.  There were a couple more Believers who went and shared more of the Saving News…but for many, many years these believers waited and prayed.  But the Harvest had begun.

A few years ago, the same man from this mission returned.  He was the first to ever return to this village.  The believers wept and rejoiced!  J hadn’t seen his friend in Christ in 12 years! Soon after this our brother, Ben Skaggs, began going to the T@ra. He went four times a year to teach and love.  He began teaching chronologically through the Word.  There is one Bible in this village.  It is written in a language similar to their own, but many cannot read.  These people believed, but had no Word to feed on, to strengthen them…to grow. They had no one to teach or disciple their fervent hearts. A few months ago, Dave joined in this mission…bringing an aspect that Jesus did as well… “He taught and he healed the people”…Dave has had the precious honor of loving these people and bringing some basic medical care.  He has shown compassion, he has shared, he has seen God heal…the crowds have gathered. Last weekend, a harvest was ready.  

As the helicopter came near the village, a white flag could be seen.  A parade followed this flag of rejoicing across the field.  They were singing and clapping as the Good News arrived…I imagine much “hosannas” in welcoming back those who would teach and bring the hope of Jesus again.  While the helicopter was landing men thrashed away with machetes, preparing a place for them.

Preparing a sanctuary to hear and a place to receive compassion…can you even imagine such a welcome, such joy, such gratitude in another place?  These are hearts and lives overflowing with thanks.  The people of T@ra led Dave and the others to a new hut…built just for them.  This is one of the most precious gifts I think our family has ever received.  A home, a clinic –in a village in Southern Ethiopia where God has chosen to bring in a harvest in such a time as this.  I marvel at this and recognize this hut as front lines and a front row seat to the mighty work of God.

As the men taught and Dave cared…6 precious people believed and were SAVED.

They raised high their left hand…the left hand that is a symbol of filth and disgrace…a picture of lifting high what they were laying down.  Their sin was given up to a Savior who has longed for them and pursued them since before the creation of the world…The ONE who is seated at the RIGHT hand in glory, would now transform their lives, clothe them in righteousness…bring the harvest in.  They kneeled before their new King.  They prayed to receive salvation.

Not long after, some of the teachers were resting on the hill…many who had heard the teachings from earlier in the day returned and one by one were asking to receive Christ as their Savior.  18 more.  The Harvest is ready. These were the same people who said just a few months ago, “We knew we were to meet on Sundays.  So we have been meeting and praying, asking God to send us someone who could teach us.”

  They have been ready.  They have been waiting.  How many others, pray and wait…? May the Father so burden our hearts for those who are waiting and longing to hear. The Harvest is ready, lift your eyes.   


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