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The Wampi Harvest

The Wampi Harvest

The wampi harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Our phone rang, and we answered the call. Soon our family joined our neighbors in the long-abandoned orchard behind our village.

Wampi is a Southeast Asian fruit, especially abundant in the summer. The fruit hangs off the ends of the topmost branches of the trees. A rough skin covers a juicy, berry-sized fruit that may hide as many as four green seeds within. Most are sour, but some are sweet. The locals love it.

A middle-aged man took his life in his hands, climbing high in the trees. He sawed off branches heavy with fruit and tossed them down to the villagers below for processing. His wife and a friend clipped the fruit-bearing branches from the main limbs. My wife and I, appropriately socially distanced from our neighbors, then stripped the leaves away from the spindly, fruit-bearing twigs and collected them in a basket.

Sweat soon soaked our clothes and dripped from our faces in the one-hundred-degree heat. Weaver ants attacked our arms and feet, leaving swelling bites on any unprotected flesh. The mosquitoes swarming our legs seemed innocuous in comparison. Our conversation was punctuated by laughter, squeals of pain, and slapping at insects.

How do we spread the gospel as a third wave of COVID-19 sends our dense metropolis into another semi-shutdown? We spend time with those God has placed closest to us. That means joining the wampi harvest in hopes it will lead to a spiritual harvest. That means teaching piano to village children whose parents feel more comfortable sending them next door rather than into the crowded city center. That means seizing opportunities that come when all our well-laid ministry plans and evangelistic strategies get cancelled by circumstances outside our control. That means laboring together with God and trusting Him to bring forth fruit.