As I eagerly wait for autumn, nay, yearn for chilly fog-bound misty mornings that will burn off later in the day leaving laser-like shafts of golden sunlight to pour through my windows making even old things look new, I think of Africa and their two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. I check the weather forecast in Dodoma every morning. It’s hot and sunny now with no signs of rain on the horizon. When they do get rain it is often too much or too little. For several years they have had too little leaving drought conditions which lead to famine. What will this “rainy season” bring I wonder to myself. The students will leave soon hoping to plant crops and to pray for rain that will make them flourish but there is no guarantee.

Schools used to shut down when our country was young so that everyone could help bring in the harvest. Planting and harvesting is a time-critical activity. Crops in Dodoma looked so withered and pitiful when we were there ~ a few stalks of corn, nothing like our tall waves of grain in Nebraska or Maryland. There are no irrigating systems in Dodoma; all they can hope for is rain from heaven.

In Matthew 9:35-10:4 Jesus says that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. He must not know about Dodoma. Has he overlooked that part of the world? Barbara Crafton always sees the metaphors in the bible and she says we miss that Jesus is speaking of urgency, not just that harvesting is a big job. This is what she says: “He’s not just saying it’s a big job. He’s saying it’s a big job that can’t wait another minute. You don’t have unlimited time to touch the lives you are called to touch in the course of your lifetime. The person before you may never be before you again, and you may never have another chance with her. You may never see him again. If someone is going to experience Christ by experiencing you, you’d better start now. As if there is no tomorrow. There may not be.”

There is an urgency about Africa and those I have come to love there. I cannot make it rain but I can try to make their lives known to you that in turn might make you feel we cannot wait another minute to give them aid.

While I was in Africa this past summer (their dry season) two friends of a lifetime died in Virginia. Yesterday, the husband of my friend Peggy Joyner who died suddenly after not being sick one day in her life, sent me a check for Karimu to honor her life. We are all called to enlarge the Kingdom, all called to help others. I’m soon to be 76 and my chances are diminishing. Soon I may need help too. But while I can I am committed to those who happened to be put on my path. They are people like Moses Matonya, Alex Mshoka, Daniel Fweda, Stephen Mnubi, who is being sponsored by a small church in Pinedale, Wyoming, little Hildar in Jessie’s school, Musa and Lidya, Joseph and Christant and Kilian ~ the list goes on and on. We met their families and ate at their tables. Little Sechee cried when we left. They are now part of Jessie’s and my family. Pray for rain for them and please help us to help them. Remember a little bit may stand between them and starvation.
Blessings to you this season of harvest.