It has been a year of great loss but even greater gain. Harold Stevens, our beloved friend and mentor, went to be with the Lord whom he served so faithfully. Even in the sorrow of his death, there has emerged new light on one of the spiritually darkest continents on Earth.
Harold’s wife, Josephine, and daughter, Becky, are focused on fund-raising for the new “Light of Life” school in India, a tribute and living memorial for the man who surrendered his whole being to be a missionary and bush pilot, and took his bride to Zuzuland in South Africa in 1949.
The original emphasis of the Harvesters’ ministry was in Africa, but for nearly 10 years Harold nudged the Board of Directors to consider expanding our vision. The place in his heart where he sensed God’s leading was India – not the whole country, just a focused area – and reaching Hindu children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Several years before his passing, the Harvesters’ board stepped out on faith. What emerged was a partnership with Kamlesh and Ranu and what started as the Jagat-Jyoti Project.
As a result of our investment in India, something else emerged among board members – a new vision, one that has enabled us to understand how we can be effective in any geographic regions, or any country, as long as we are following God’s leading.
Our African field director, Julius Murgor, was educated in the United States and returned to his own people, the Pokot, in northest Kenya, and languished through five years of preaching without any fruit. One day, his wife invited village women into their hut to talk. That small group became a Bible Study and today a single core group of believers and new converts has grown to nearly 180 preaching points and more than 160 pastors and evangelists.
Julius once authored a brief biography of himself. In the last paragraph, he stated, “I am thankful to God that my one life has made a difference.” That’s my personal prayer, and I trust that it is yours!
Please understand that we as a board operate in the full recognition and appreciation that our prayer partners and financial supporters – each of you represents “one life” – are the backbone of this ministry, and because of you God has faithfully blessed financially. God has also opened some special doors – new fields of witnessing and church planting opportunities, if you will.
New believers in Pokot feel led of the Lord to take the Gospel message across the border to Southern Sudan. For several years, Pokot believers have crossed the border of Uganda to reach their fellow tribesmen. Now, they are gearing up to share Christ with the 300,000-member Taposa tribe in Sudan, and their desire to evangelize nearby neighbors is all part of the Harvesters philosophy of assisting nationals with their own missionary initiatives.
Harvesters’ ministry has already taken the Gospel to more than a half-million Pokot tribesmen. Considering our other mission efforts including orphanages, famine relief, building mission stations and drilling water wells, establishing medical facilities and schools, Harvesters and our prayer and financial partners have impacted hundreds of thousands of lives for Christ.
The board continues to be open-minded as it relates to new fields of harvest. The Harvesters ministry has been so blessed to be partnered with Philip and Rose Ochieng and the Grace Outreach Mission in Uriri, Kenya, for example. Philip and Rose support dozens of children in an orphanage and they operate a self-supporting farm project. Most importantly, they love the Lord with all their hearts, and they share Christ in their daily walk.
As the calendar year draws to a close, we encourage you to remember Harvesters and these areas of need as you plan your year-end gift-giving. Only God knows what He plans to accomplish next year. Whatever his plans are, all of us desire to be available and useable.
We have seen so much good come from this ministry over the years and we, in no way, doubt God’s presence and direction in all of it. It’s abundantly clear. God is still on His throne. God’s angels are still active. We know miracles are not out of date. And prayer gets results.