“HE PERFORMS WONDERS THAT CANNOT BE FATHOMED, MIRACLES THAT CANNOT BE COUNTED”. (JOB 9:10)
by Ed Hirshman
The miracle of miracles, that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. As I reflect back over the past six months of 2009 and the 150,000 plus miles of travel that the Lord safely led me over, November 25, 2009 stands out most in my mind and spirit.
During July and August of 2009, the Lord raised up over thirty- five people to visit and labor alongside our two ministry partners in Kenya and one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I watched as team members modeled the love of Christ while working out their salvation; that spoke volumes to those we visited– people who are facing severe drought and famine. I watched language barriers come down as the teams witnessed in spirit and truth to the “miracle of miracles” in their own life to many whom never had the opportunity to hear the name of Jesus. Then I watched as the Lord of the harvest drew them to Himself. I was privileged to watch the New Testament church in the Congo sacrificially give of its little in order to reproduce itself in others, people who are facing rebel forces kidnapping their sons, brutally raping the woman and genocide. (Job 9:10) Oh what sacrifice!
Union of Baptist Churches of the Congo
September and October of 2009 the Lord raised up two different groups to visit the Pokot Tribe of Northwest Kenya. One group witnessed the amazing operation of the new drilling rig, which the Lord provided in late 2008, as it brought forth water for people who were always told “there is no water”. The people describe that event as “God visited them”–a miracle? (Job 9:10) Oh what hope!
Then they were presented the “miracle of miracles and the Living water”, many for the first time. With God’s wonderful provision, He provided the finances to drill eighteen wells during 2009, yet in November there was an outbreak of Cholera in East Pokot that claimed over two hundred lives as a result of contaminated water. More wells are desperately needed!
The second group was a medical/ evangelism team doing mobile clinics in the furthest northern part of the Pokot Tribe and where the Turkana Tribe starts. The team was able to minister and share the Gospel to over 3,200 people. For many of them it was the first time that they had ever heard the name of Jesus and been given the opportunity to put their faith and trust in Him. The area has a history of tribal raids of livestock and killings, worsened by the long drought and famine in the land; the widows and orphans are countless. We had the privilege to work with a young man in that area by the name of Peter Siwa, one of Pastor Julius Murgor’s Evangelists. Having been a former Pokot warrior, raiding the bordering Turkana and Karamoja Tribes, he was led to the Lord. Having gone thru the POM ministry evangelist training for a few years, he can not only read today as result of scripture memorization but he has also planted fifteen churches and has five other evangelists working with him. (Job 9:10) Oh what faith!
The first three weeks of November 2009 I was privileged to travel to Asia and visit two of our ministry partners as well as two potential ministry partners. The first stop was with our ministry partner in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). We participated in five days of evangelism training with twenty-three national missionaries from around the country. Then we watched as they boldly went out on the streets of Yangon where the military dictatorship rules with a strong hand and Christians are jailed and persecuted and openly shared their Christian faith with others, willing to lay down their lives to further the Gospel. (Job 9:10) Oh what mercy!
Myanmar Training Session
From Myanmar I traveled to central India to visit our ministry partner in an area that is to the Hindu religion like Rome is to the Catholics and where politicians run for office with a platform of being anti-Christian. This ministry focus is church planting in thirteen villages and reaching over 230 young receptive hearts with the knowledge of Jesus Christ thru scripture memorization and the abundant love of Jesus poured out to them day after day in two Christian schools. (Job 9:10) Oh what love!
Widows Ministry in India
Next I traveled to the south eastern part of India to visit a new ministry partner. Even after a four day visit it was difficult to grasp the far reaching impact that this ministry is having on that part of India. What impacted me the most was the outreach to widows, bringing the passage of scripture to life for me in I Timothy 5:3 “Honor widows that are widows indeed.” (Job 9:10) Oh what a joy!
The end of my journey had taken me to a new country and a new partner, causing me to wonder “how firm I stood on the promises of God?”
Pakistan, 97% Muslim, doesn’t have much love for Americans and especially Christians!
But what a privilege to meet and travel with men of God who selflessly labor day after day with very little materially to further the Gospel in an extremely violent environment by the grace of God. (Job 9:10) Oh what grace!
I returned home 25 November, the day before Thanksgiving, with a renewed appreciation for thanksgiving, but unto the Lord! I arrived home with a fullness of the things of God, so privileged to have a glimpse of all that He and He alone is doing in those parts of the world, what a blessing! My only regret is that each of you could not be with me physically but I know that you were with me in spirit and in prayer. Thank you!
2009 has been a difficult year for many ministries but the Lord has been so faithful in keeping His hand upon the ministry of Harvesters International and we acknowledge what He has done through willing, obedient vessels like you; we are just the conduit that He is doing it through on behalf of the national missionaries we have been privileged to partner with.
We pray that you will continue the journey with us in 2010 in the same spirit and manner as described above that I have seen in our brothers and sisters around the world and experience Job 9:10 as I have. As we head into 2010, I stand on the promise of God in John 1:50, “You will see greater things than these.”