Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fields ripe unto harvest

I just received Elkin's report (that's him in the photo) from Dominica. During the months of November and December he had 107 Bible studies and 17 that were scheduled did not meet--they were sick, had to go to town, etc. That's over 50 Bible studies each month, over 60 if you count the ones that cancelled.

I've done that before, for 3-4 months at a time, but there aren't many places you could find that many people who will commit. In the States most people are "too busy" or satisfied, so while Bible study may be a "good thing" it's not urgent, it's something you do only if you have nothing else to do. But in Dominica and other islands like Grenada and St. Vincent, where most people live on agriculture, there is a greater recognition that they need God. It seems that when any minor crisis can disrupt your whole life, it is much clearer that you need help from God. I'm certain this same willingness to study is manifested in other agrarian societies throughout the world--I'm just familiar with the Eastern Caribbean. While there are always those seeking the truth at home, many times the opportunities are greater in other places.

Or perhaps the reason we don't have as many studies in the States is also because we Christians are not talking to as many people. If someone comes to us for a Bible study we are glad to teach them, but we don't really go out seeking them. We tell ourselves "no one is interested" or "I can't do that" or even "I just don't know how to approach people". The first excuse is basically untrue--there are always people looking no matter where you live--I've preached in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, St. Croix, and in every place have found those who are looking. I've preached meetings, etc. in 10 other countries and always meet those who were seeking and found the truth, besides those that are still seeking. The other two excuses reflect more on the one making them than anything else--like everything else we can learn how to approach people. Even if we can't teach them ourselves we can make the initial contact and set them up with someone who can study with them.


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