The Harvest

Oct 04, 2016


By Mary Mortenson, Director, Prison Congregations of America

If you go south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota on I-29, you’ll drive by an elevator that is on the west side of the road. For several weeks now, there have been huge areas, football field in size, with short walls ringing each, ready to hold the harvest. If you are not familiar with farm country, let me explain that in this case, an elevator is a place where farmers bring their grain for sale and eventual shipment. These areas and countless others around the country will be filled to near overflow with the bounty of this year’s harvest.

It is this time of year when my love and respect for farmers is strongest, for they have planted and then prayed for rain – just the right amount, even as they have prayed to be exempted from hail and damaging wind. And now – the harvest is at hand, and they will create great mountains of the fruits of their labors.

The harvest is not always so evident in prison congregational work, but it is there. Last month we were honored to host a PCA Pastors’ Conference, where the participants shared stories of blessing and challenge. Theirs is a unique call to bring the Gospel to people who are incarcerated, all the while gaining the trust and respect of those frontline prison employees, who may not fully understand the scope of the ministry.

A difference between farmers of the land and those of us in prison ministry is that for us, the seasons overlap. Even as we savor moments of thankfulness for a harvest story, we are busy planting seeds. Another difference is that we may never see the seeds sprout, or experience the eventual harvest. We simply have faith that hearts will be touched and a part of the world changed by our efforts. Of course, we pray that “our efforts” are really God’s plan, and we joyfully continue the work, knowing that the harvest will come in God’s good time.


Category: mission

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