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“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2). For many years we read the above verse and prayed for God to send more workers into the harvest fields of the world. More recently, we have come to understand the Lord Jesus was saying more than making a request for more workrers. He is not only in charge of the work, but He is in charge of the harvest itself. After more than 25 years serving God in Asia, we have come to see how the harvest fields ebb and flow like the tides. Sometimes whole nations are open to the gospel, and other times they are relatively closed. It’s good to “make hay while the sun shines” and to faithfully sow the seed during slower times. Let’s take Iran for example. An early missionary named Robert Bruce once wrote about his work in Persia (now Iran): “I am not reaping the harvest, I can scarcely claim to be sowing the seed. I am hardly plowing the soil; but I am gathering out the stones. That, too, is missionary work; let it be supported by loving sympathy and fervent prayer.” Robert Bruce never saw a harvest in Iran, but he and others faithfully did their part sowing the seeds of the gospel. Today, despite the most trying circumstances, God is reaping a harvest of Iranians into His kingdom! We recently spoke with a good friend who visited the Middle East. He said he has never seen anyone as hungry for the gospel as Iranians are. Muslims literally chased up down the street, pleading for him to tell them about Jesus and begging for a New Testament. They are fed-up with their government, and they know Islam is a bankrupt philosophy that holds no hope for their lives. The Lord of the Harvest has arranged the seasons and now is harvest time for Iran. The harvest in other nations is not as strong as it used to be. In China, the time of greatest harvest was probably about 8-10 years ago. While there are still thousands of people coming to faith in Christ throughout China every day, materialism and consumerism have gripped the hearts of millions and their desire for spiritual truth has waned compared to how it used to be. Similar things could be said of Nepal, where evangelists are finding it increasingly difficult to win people to Jesus Christ. Right now, of the countries Asia Harvest works in, we would say the places most ripe for harvest are Laos and Indonesia; while in other countries, part of the harvest is ripe while other parts are not. In poor rural areas of India, for example, thousands of Hindus are repenting and putting their trust in Jesus, whereas people living in the more sophisticated cities of India are comparatively difficult to reach. The same applies to Vietnam, Myanmar and elsewhere. We would like to introduce you to a country you will have heard about often, but probably only in terms of death and destruction. Our Lord Jesus died for the 72 unreached ethnic groups and 30 million people of Afghanistan. We would like to tell you about the people of this amazing country, and we will even present an opportunity for sharing the Gospel there. Instead of images of sin-stained old men holding machine guns, which you have no doubt already seen through the media, we would like to present another side of Afghanistan in this newsletter. We want to show the lost humanity of people waiting to meet the Savior whose Name they have not yet heard. Yes, Afghanistan is a brutal and harsh place, but it is also home to millions of precious children and families not too different from people elsewhere. They want to live in peace, and they long for their children to grow up in health and wholeness. Afghanistan may be the most needy, unreached country in the world today. In many ways it is the Final Frontier for the Gospel. The Lord Jesus will not return to rule and reign on this earth until there are blood-bought worshippers from among every one of the 72 unreached people in Afghanistan. Please pray for their salvation. The Living God desires to know them! The Bible says that one day in heaven there will be “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).

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