Ever wonder how Joshua felt as he gazed at the Burmese man that was part of an evangelical outreach to an area in Chin State, Myanmar.massive walls surrounding Jericho? In his mind’s eye, he was certainly considering a military campaign. Perhaps, a siege?
But suddenly God appeared and promised Joshua a different kind of victory. I suspect the look on Joshua’s face would be priceless as he listened to God’s battle plans: March around the city for six days with seven priests carrying trumpets. On the seventh day, have all the people shout after hearing the trumpets blow. Then watch the walls of the city collapse.
In all honesty, God’s instructions were weird. “Did I hear that right, God? Perhaps, I should get a second opinion?”
David Platt describes this episode with Joshua in his best selling book, Radical, Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream.
“In direct contradiction to the American dream,” Platt writes, “God actually delights in exalting our inability. He intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need for him. In the process he powerfully demonstrates his ability to provide everything his people need in ways they could never have mustered up or imagined. And in the end, he makes much of his own name.”
In Myanmar, Pastor “Benjamin” is helping to support the ministry with a pig project; he has sold more than 50 pigs since its inception. He has no money but he’s praying about starting a Bible College/training center in Yangon to equip people to preach the Gospel and train them how to go and do it. Surrounded by huge Buddhist temples, he travels widely under threat of great personal danger to tell others about Jesus.
In Pakistan, Pastor Bashir and believers have been dealing with severe flooding, yet their outreach efforts have not missed a beat. They carry forth the Gospel with the least amount of financial support. Yet they consider these challenges exciting.
At Good Samaritan Sewa Kendra in India, Kamlesh and Ranu are effectively reaching families with the Gospel through the children who are educated in the Christian schools, despite the fact that the school buildings are overcrowded and there is a critical need for a school bus so the ministry can expand its impact in the villages. They see overcrowding as a blessing.
In India, the Christian Youth Services Center continues to minister to different groups in Andhra Pradesh despite erratic funding. Edwin continues to place emphasis on the Widows Ministry, educating children through Bible studies, and teaching girls and older women vocational skills. God has made provision for a library of 6,000-plus books.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pastor Habimana of the Union of Baptist Churches Goma reports that many people are coming to the Lord and the number of churches is growing. Numerically, there have been more than 134 church planted, and the ministry reaches out to orphans and widows and operates 18 schools plus a Bible school.
In Uganda, Pastor Sam is thankful that To Africa With Love Ministries is able to witness the Lord’s provision in church growth, and the training of pastors, all with a meager amount of funding.
In Kenya, there’s a waiting list for children to enter the orphanage at Grace Outreach Ministry. The church is mindful to look after widows. To supplement their diet, Pastor Philip is overseeing a farm project that grows maize and sugar cane, and a fish project where fingerlings can be harvested in less than eight months. And a new school is underway. Sticks and mud for now. “We only started by faith and by faith we shall grow,” the pastor says. God made provision for a tractor last year that makes the farm project much more effective. Now, Pastor Philip is praying for a pickup truck.
The newly opened Chemolingot Children’s Home in East Pokot is straining to house all the orphans, and another dorm for girls is already needed, says Pastor Yusef.
The Kodich Orphanage is utilizing solar water pumping for its attempt to grow some of its own food using drip irrigation in its small garden project.
The Kauriong Orphanage is utilizing solar power to charge and operate a DVD player with sound and a projector so Pastor Solomon can extend his ministry into northwest Pokot. He uses the Jesus Film in the Pokot language as well as the God Story and several other videos in the Swahili language.
At all three orphanages, the children learn about Jesus Christ, and they develop a passion for sharing Him with others. A formal training session for orphanage managers and pastors was held in January. It’s the first time these men have been together in the same room and was a great opportunity for them to dialogue with each other.
The Lomut Secondary Mixed School faces all the challenges of funding for existing students and the additional pressures created by increased enrollment.
In East and West Pokot, Harvesters continues to drill water wells as the Lord provides the funding. Each borehole ‘investment’ has eternal benefits. The fresh, clean drinking water brings stability to thousands of nomadic tribesmen, which makes it much easier and faster to reach them spiritually.
Spiritually, until we all come to the well, we wander.
The Water Fall Project that started nearly 10 years ago in West Pokot is now complete. A steel pipeline brings clean water from the mountain more than 13 miles down into the Rift Valley. The plan is to implement a Pilot Farm Project near the pipeline and prove an ability to produce fruits and vegetables in this arid land that will begin to mitigate the starvation that is so rampant.
The transition to first-time farming is a big step for these nomadic tribesmen. They’ve never had easy access to water before.
When the Pokot begin harvesting crops at the Pilot Farm Project, then we’re believing that God will provide millions of dollars for the full-size Drip Irrigation Project, an investment that literally can break the cycle of hunger in East Africa and rapidly open the door for God to powerfully demonstrate His provision. This is a natural extension of the original Water Fall Project.
But first, we understand that Harvesters must be tested in the little things before asking God’s people to endorse such a monumental project.
The people are still struggling to overcome the challenges facing the Goat Project. Wood fences and buildings will not last because of the ferocious termites. Using other materials, like steel and concrete, present a new set of challenges and expenses.
Construction is beginning at the new Cheragan Mission Station. It’s never easy to coordinate the availability of funds with the availability of materials and a competent crew. Yet, God has faithfully provided for the construction of boreholes and mission stations since 1997.
God Is In Control
You might not see much evidence of church growth in America, but our ministry partners in Myanmar, Pakistan, India, Congo, Uganda, and Kenya are proof positive that the church is growing elsewhere on the globe. The growth is not measured in bricks and mortar, or parking lots and pews, but it is measured in souls. As mortals, we can build just about anything. But only Jesus saves.
At Harvesters, we realize that God is divinely orchestrating the outreach of this ministry so that in the end only He can get the glory for what happens. As Platt writes in Radical, “This is how God works. He puts his people in positions where they are desperate for his power, and then he shows his provision in ways that display his greatness.
Harvesters International Ministries remains a conduit for churches and individual believers to put legs on their faith.
A single individual gave $50,000 as seed money to build the first mission station in Kenya. A single individual gave $135,000 as seed money to build the Water Fall Project starting nearly a decade ago. A single individual has pledged $100,000 for the Pilot Farm Project.
Individual churches and foundations have given from $25,000 to $100,000 for specific projects, either as seed money or full payment.
In addition to sizable one-time gifts, a significant portion of Harvesters donations come in the form of gifts ranging from $5 to $100, from individuals, Sunday school classes and churches. I can tell you with absolute certainty that God has multiplied every dollar hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. I don’t understand how He did it, but He did it.
And not one dollar has been sent to the field without asking God to multiply it and use it for His glory. And not one project has been discussed, much less started, without many seasons of prayer.
Will you pray? The lives of individuals and families can be changed for eternity. These are the “fruits” of our labor. But only Jesus saves.