THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL, BUT THE WORKERS ARE FEW
New International Version
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Every time I reflect on this passage, I remind myself of our purpose as the local body of Christ.
Deer Flat Church is committed to connect people to God and to one another so that we can maximize our effectiveness as a local church.
This puts feet to our passion to see people reach their full potential in Christ. We want to help each person reach their God given potential as they discover their spiritual gifts and abilities, bringing us joy and fulfillment as we take up our towel and give ourselves to bless others.
Together, we’re transforming lives and communities by creating opportunities where barriers exist (languages, beliefs, etc), by loving our neighbors in word and deed; and by shining the light of hope on all peoples, with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Being this said, there are a variety of opportunities to serve locally. Today, I just want to draw your attention to one area with a big need: ISI (International Students Incorporated), partner of Deer Flat Church Outreach Ministry. We are planning on sowing gospel seeds into the hearts of over 100 students, by providing lunch meals daily during spring break, March 27th-31st 2023. We would love for you to come from 12pm-2pm and meet some of the students, listen to their stories, and share God’s love with them. As you come and see, God will indicate how you can connect with these students in a long lasting relationship way. For additional information about our food pantry ministry there, you may contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org 208-817-1248.
We (DFC) have been serving at the College of Idaho, directly involved since Spring 2022. One of the students (Roximar Morales, from Venezuela), visited our church as she heard by one of our DFC advocates, that one of the pastors is Venezuelan. That is what God used to make this connection happen, this is how we first heard about international students in campus which make up roughly 20 percent (nearly 200) of the student body and represent more than 90 countries with a diverse range of religions, languages, and ethnicities.
International students get to stay in campus, during their whole career (in case they can’t afford their plane tickets to go home during school breaks). This brings some challenges for them (food, transportation, medical services, host families, etc). Students might have a budget up to $800/year, which they can gather as they have “work” opportunities within campus, most likely, because of some restrictions in their type of visa.
When international students arrive, everything is new. They need someone to prepare them for how things are done, how we think, and the easiest ways to adjust to our culture. They need someone who is truly going to be their friend.”
Another way volunteers can help international students is by tutoring them in English. It needn’t be highly structured lessons. Meeting with the student on a weekly basis for conversation practice can be very helpful to the student and lots of fun for the volunteer. Some students may desire more structured in-depth teaching. Volunteers who are interested in offering this can do so by teaching Intensive English Program (IEP) classes. Students may also need help in their class subjects. Learning a new subject may have its challenges, but imagine learning a new subject in a new language. One-on-one tutoring and proofreading the student’s papers can help an international student keep up with his or her studies.
Volunteers can help in other ways as well.
- Picking students up at the airport is a good way to help students’ first impression in a new country a positive one.
- Students may also need help with finding temporary housing and apartment hunting.
- Taking students sightseeing and on shopping excursions are another way volunteers can help.
- A favorite activity of international students and Friendship Partners™ alike are meals and other social activities where interesting discussions and idea exchanges take place and perspectives on social, religious, and cultural issues are shared.
Volunteers can help in these activities by preparing meals, hosting fellowships, or driving students to activities.
International students aren’t the only ones at the receiving end of this relationship. Friendship Partners™, by their interaction with international students, receive cultural experiences which enrich their lives. Many become lifelong friends with their international students.
For More information about how to get involved in local Outreach Ministry opportunities, please reach out: email@example.com or text/call 208-817-1248
Thank you for taking the time to be a blessing for the people in our “Back Yard”.
May God Bless you much more,
In his service,
Pastor Isrrael Rodriguez.