Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)
TITLE: Ripe for Harvest
By Rick Higginson
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“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.”
“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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