The Harvest Is Plentiful (Right Where You Are)

A prefield missionary’s guide to serving God wherever he places you.

Just next door, an older gentleman eagerly carves through the chronological Bible study “The Roots of Faith.”

We gave it to him after noticing his hunger for the Word of God, but his passion did not end there—he invited seven of his friends to join him in the study. In the next town over, another man has been growing leaps and bounds spiritually, partially due to us simply sharing our testimonies but mainly through God’s grace and sanctifying work in his life. It has been a joy discipling him.

We feel Lord moving even outside personal discipleship contexts of ministry, like when we speak to churches on Sunday mornings. We are humbled with encouragement when both young and old approach us with a twinkle in their eyes. They often share how the Lord’s calling on our lives has inspired them to follow Christ closer and plug into ministry.

Even our doctor seems to be warming up to the idea of Christianity. Over the last year, we have handed out hundreds of tracts. We even had the opportunity to bring non-English speaking folks to church—and found them translators. The “God stories” are endless.

Where is this thriving ministry that God is blessing so abundantly? Africa, Asia, or maybe Europe? No, it is right here in US during our deputation journey.

While I have been involved in missions since I can remember, it wasn’t until I joined ABWE and married a gifted and passionate man that I realized how much God can accomplish in prefield ministry. Once the crazy season of foreign missions preparation began, our minds were swirling with fundraising, travel, and critical training sessions—on top of the responsibilities of everyday life. Throughout this time, we were exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

And this brings to bare a challenge. Consider those whom you meet through ordinary interactions—pumping gas, checking into a hotel, grocery shopping. Open your eyes to the eternal needs of the garage employees when your car can’t handle another mile. How many do you encounter while on your daily walk or eating out on Friday nights? Take five minutes to engage these souls in conversation, offer to pray for them right there, or hand them some literature. Is the individual already a believer? What sweet fellowship and great edification can come through such an encounter with the stranger who loves Christ!

Contrary to popular belief, ministry is not limited to those “super Christians” who settle overseas. It is for every Christian, wherever our sovereign God has us in the moment. There are unbelievers in your midst who need the hope of the gospel. The Lord has placed you where you are right now to accomplish something for his eternal kingdom. Your ministry is not in the uncertain and distant future. It is here and now—with great reward. Don’t wait!

Editor’s Note: Learn more about Mary Ellen and Caleb’s journey to the mission field.