"And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:35−38 ESV).
On my recent visit to the Philippines, I stood beside Jocelyn, our Philippines national director, and looked out over an enormous stretch of rice fields. She said, "The harvest is ready."
She is indeed correct — and in more ways than one. October 2023 was the first time I had visited her since 2016. Values Education, the ministry she leads, is growing, and the opportunity to reach Filipino children for Christ is enormous.
Values Education is a unique outreach that trains and equips volunteer teachers to teach about Christ, the Bible and Christian values in every school. This ministry began in one school in 2007. Today, the outreach is in over half of all of the nation's provinces, and well over half a million children have come to faith in Jesus since it began!
As we spent hours traveling by car together, I often saw farmers using water buffalo in the rice fields. This work is long and strenuous. Some farmers now have access to more modern equipment, however, and are better equipped for their work. This not only reduces the physical toll on them, but also increases their efficiency and ability to harvest more and at a faster pace.
This Thanksgiving, I come to you, our faithful financial and prayer partners, with a grateful heart. Your support is helping our ministry partners, like Jocelyn, reach more people, more efficiently and more effectively, than ever before. You are helping to accelerate the movement so they can reach their own people. You are providing the literal gas to help them transform their nations from within, village by village.
We thank God for you here in the United States and for our partners serving overseas. Together, we are reaping the harvest of souls for the Lord. Let's continue praying for more children, families and communities around the world to be transformed by our Living God!
With great gratitude and joy,
As Director of Partner Development, Erin Menke-Assam enjoys engaging people in the ministry and helping them to become part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Erin earned a Master’s degree in International Public Service from DePaul University. Her experience in international non-profit organizations includes development, serving as a literacy trainer and helping to implement literacy programs internationally.