The harvest is plentiful
Back in the United States, the sight of leaves changing colors signal that it’s the beginning of Autumn. In Phrom Khiri, the sights of multiple large crates signal that it’s the season of harvesting mangosteen. Mangosteen (‘mang-gut’ in Thai) can be described as a fruit with a hard, dark purple outershell and a sweet, tangy white pulp in the inside. It’s one of our family’s favorite fruit here in Thailand.
Phrom Khiri is a mountainous town with many fruit orchards. It is a major grower of mangosteen as well. It seems everyone in town has a farm somewhere, and so now they all are harvesting them and putting them in crates to distribute and sell. Every house and store seem to have crates stacked high in front of them. Trucks big and small are driving around carrying mangosteen. There were also some Chinese visitors who have come to supervise the delivery of the fruit out of country. Relatives and friends come from out of town to help quickly collect all the fruit. It’s really a community effort!
We reap the benefit of living here through all our friends in town who have been continually giving us mangosteen. They have been saying the harvest is very good this year! As I have been observing these activities the past week, I am reminded of what Jesus taught In Matthew 9:35-38:
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
So many people are in town and so many crates are being used to collect all the fruit. Thailand is a field that is abundant and full. So much fruit that can be collected. But not enough workers. The majority of Thailand has yet to hear the gospel. Christians still only represent 0.5% of the population.
Phrom Khiri has yet to have an established church. Walailak University about 30 minutes away is the largest campus in South Thailand, and yet it has no one to reach out to the students who come from all areas. There is an urgency. Just like all the people in town urgently harvesting and packing up the mangosteen to send out across the county and the world, our hearts burn for the lost.
As our coworkers, Steve and Angel McCallum, continue on to church plant in Phrom Khiri, we have recently moved on to do student ministry at Walailak University in Tha Sala. We have felt for a long time that one of the prime groups to reach out with the gospel is university students. It is a time where they seem to be the most open and receptive to new ideas. We want to take this opportune time to reach out to them.
So would you please pray for us as we begin student ministry in the town of Tha Sala, and to reach out to the undergrad and graduate students at Walailak University. Please also pray for more workers to come and help with the work. As the locals have been anticipating and planning for the large harvest of mangosteen, may we all be doing the same to bring more people to the love of God.”