Hearts for the Harvest – Recap

When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.

Acts 21:5-6

Cultivating Hearts for the Harvest

Missions conferences cultivate hearts for Christ. They are also bittersweet. Albeit they are far more sweet than bitter. It is, in fact, the sweetness of our time together that makes our parting ways seem a bit bitter. Acts 21:5-6 describes this type of bittersweetness. For seven days the apostle Paul and his missionary companions enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship with the disciples in the city of Tyre. Then they came to the time of their bittersweet departure.

Such was our time together with three exceptional missionary families over the course of four days. We were blessed to host Ben and Dani Jacobs (Brazil), Tate Kennedy (Czech Republic), and John and Becky Shirley (Live Global, International Orphan Care). We enjoyed sweet fellowship around the Word of God on Sunday with these families. Tate shared the Word of God in our combined Sunday school. He encouraged us to search out the lost of the harvest fields of the world. Ben Jacobs shared in our morning service from 1 Kings 19. Ben challenged us to focus our hearts on seeking the Lord of the harvest. On Sunday evening John Shirley preached the word of God. He exhorted us to live as ambassadors for the Lord in the harvest fields. Having been richly communicated, the Word of God has encouraged us to live with hearts for the harvest.

On Monday through Wednesday evenings we enjoyed fellowship around the dinner table each night. Following dinner we entered on a journey into the mission field of each of our missionaries. In these breakout sessions we learned of their calling and ministry. By the end of Wednesday night it was time to part ways. Our hearts were full of the glory of God. As our text says in Acts 21, we too, knelt on that bittersweet shore. We sent our missionaries off to their next appointed destination and we went to our homes. We went, not passively, but actively seeking to cultivate hearts for the harvest field in which God has planted us. May we, like our missionaries, faithfully tend to the fields around us.

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