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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: Ripe for Harvest
By Rick Higginson
01/14/09


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Ticketed Passengers Only beyond this point, the sign read above the security checkpoint. The two men stopped just short of the line waiting to file through.

“This is as far as I can go,” the older of the two said. “I do wish you would take more time to think about this, though.”

“It would not change anything, Al,” the younger man said.

“You said it yourself; they’ll probably kill you the moment they see you, R.T. You don’t have to do this. You can stay here and continue to serve as you have been.”

R.T. smiled, though his eyes conveyed sadness. “It is tempting, indeed, to stay. I praise God for the time I have been here, for I have learned so much during my time in the U.S.A. You have so many churches teaching the Word of God, and such freedom that we can stand here and talk like this without fear, that it even seems insane to me that I should leave.”

“Then don’t – cash in your ticket come back to work for me.”

“You have been like a father to me since I arrived here, and now you are thinking like a father and not like a brother. Your concern is overriding your acceptance of God’s calling.”

“You’re probably right, but I still just cannot imagine what you could hope to accomplish by going back to almost certain death.”

“You don’t understand because you’ve always been an American, my friend. Your family still accepts and acknowledges you despite you being a Christian. You retained most all of what you had, but in my country, getting baptized in the name of Jesus costs a person everything. My family cursed me, and my parents decreed I was no longer their son. I lost my home and my inheritance, and the woman I was to marry was denied to me. That rarely happens here, but there, it is common.”

“I know.”

“You are indeed blessed here in the U.S.A. God has poured out His Spirit here, for there are many ready to receive it. God’s people are able to work freely and openly, and they are able to share His love in America in a way that both inspires and frustrates me, because, although you are so free to do so, too many Christians don’t share it as often as they should.”

“You’re right about that. Maybe I should go instead, so that I better appreciate the opportunities I have here.”

“Your work is here; mine is there, because God loves my country just as much as He loves America, and that is why He is calling me to go back. Even if I die, I believe God will give me a chance to share His love with someone who needs it first.”

Al nodded acceptance. “We’ll pray for you every day,” he said, pulling his friend into an embrace.

“As I will pray for you as well; both of our fields are ripe for harvest.”

“If you need anything at all - ”

“God will provide, my friend.”

“Yes, He does, and sometimes through the bounty we have here. Don’t be afraid to share your needs or requests with us; remember, God may want to bless us with the opportunity to be His instrument of provision.”

His eyes brightened to match the smile. “I will remember, because I believe that is one reason God has blessed your country so much, so that you have much to share with the rest of the world.”

“So, don’t deny us that chance.”

R.T. took his place in the line for security. “Bless you, and thank you. As you say here, see you later!”

“You can count on it.” He watched as the young man passed through the screening, and waved one last time before his friend disappeared towards the gates. Turning back towards the exits to the parking lot, Al watched the multitude of faces moving this way and that, and nodded. R.T. was right; the U.S.A. was also ripe for harvest.


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This article has been read 575 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes01/15/09
Your story made me think of the famous German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was visiting the US just before WWII broke out. He also could have stayed in safety here, but chose to go back to Germany on one of the last boats to sail from the USA for that country before war broke out. Bonhoeffer chose to return, despite the possibility of death, in order to minister to the "Confessing Church." He later died in a concentration camp.

You are correct in that there is a harvest of souls to be reaped in every country of the world.
Joanne Sher 01/18/09
So compelling and such a challenge for us. I love the way you show us the ripe fields in both places. Excellent.
Jan Ackerson 01/20/09
A tender bit of conversation--I almost felt like an eavesdropper in a very private moment.

My only nitpick would be that some of the dialogue seemed stiffer than would be indicated by the relationship between these two.

Great title and theme.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/20/09
Good message and reminder. I would have liked a bit more detail and less discussion about the Gospel. Interesting approach to the topic.
Teresa Lee Rainey01/21/09
This preached to me - in a good way. We had a missionary speak on Sunday - powerful. Your message here was so very similar to his. Indeed, there is a world ripe for harvest. I'm grateful to still be free to witness without persecution. Thanks for the reminder. :)
Beth LaBuff 01/21/09
You've taken me to the brink in this story… I feel like I should hold my breath for this man. Your title is great. This is so relevant…
Joy Faire Stewart01/21/09
"This is as far as I can go..." to me this has a double meaning, and I love that. Wonderful message on the topic, very thoughtful writing.
Sheri Gordon01/22/09
Congratulations on your EC. Well written story with a very good message. Nice job.
Beth LaBuff 01/22/09
Yay, Hoomi! Congrats on placing with this story!!
Myrna Noyes01/22/09
CONGRATULATIONS on your 5th place EC!! :)
Charla Diehl 01/26/09
Thank you for a message we all need to hear and remember. Congratulations on your EC win.
Chely Roach01/26/09
Fabulous story...congrats on your EC!