Jul 29, 2019 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
I have some dear farmer friends who grow grass seed and other crops near Salem, Oregon. Visiting them is always a treat, but I’ve learned not to stop by during harvest time. When the fields are ripe, bringing in the harvest takes precedence over absolutely everything else. No time for leisurely conversations; no space for visitors or a fun outing. The outcome of months of preparation depends on focus and diligence during the short weeks of harvest.
For the Josiah Venture (JV) team, July represents our most significant month of spiritual harvest. During five short weeks, our team will lead 125 evangelistic camps with close to 7,000 young people in attendance. Half of these will be non-Christians, many of them hearing a clear gospel presentation for the first time in their lives.
Not long ago, I was in Wheaton for our JV board meetings and began a conversation with a receptionist in an office there. When she heard I was from JV she exclaimed, “My husband trusted Christ at a Josiah Venture English camp in Czech!” He later married her, a young American missionary to his town, and now is studying for a counseling degree at Wheaton College—in order to return and serve Christ in his home country.
The trajectory of this man’s entire life—and eternity—was changed by a short week of camp. We know that this will happen to many more young people this summer, and someday we will hear rich stories of eternal destinies changed.
But right now it is harvest time, the time when every one of us needs to work. Our JV team will spend many hours during these weeks building relationships, leading activities, and sharing both the gospel and their lives with Central and Eastern European youth. Almost 100 college students are giving three months of their summer to serve, and another 900 short term workers from the United States, Canada and the UK will join them for at least two weeks of ministry.
But this is not enough. Gospel proclamation takes us to the front lines of spiritual battle, and prayer is crucial to experiencing victory. As you spend your daily time with God, could you add a quick moment of intercession for the JV team during this month?
Here are specific requests you can lift to our Lord
- As you pray, there are unbelievers deciding if they will come to camp or not. Pray they will be drawn by God to attend.
- The gospel can only be understood when God does a miracle to open the eyes of the blind. Pray that the message will be clearly proclaimed—and received with open hearts.
- The good news only leads to salvation when it results in repentance and faith. Pray that many will place their faith in Jesus by the end of camp.
Thank you for joining us at harvest time—for more than just a visit.
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