News & Updates
by Rev. Casey Southerland
PMU Field Director, Cincinnati, OH
the Missions Banner, July 2021 (online edition)
In northern Cincinnati where our PMU office is located, and I suspect in your community as well, there are signs in many windows and outside of businesses promoting the needs for workers. “NOW HIRING” and “APPLY WITHIN” signs are scattered all over the community. In fact, the local amusement park is hiring employees for $15 per hour, with the possibility of making it $18. Employers are experiencing a labor shortage unlike many of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.
While the reasons for the shortage aren’t pertinent to this article, the fact of our current situation serves as a timely reminder of the words of Jesus in his earthly lifetime. Matthew’s gospel records the situation for us:
Out of compassion Jesus was drawing the attention of his disciples to the need of multitudes who were struggling under the weight of the curse of sin.
What is the need of our world today? Is it for people to return to their jobs in the manufacturing and hospitality industries, providing goods and services? Well, yes, in a one sense there is a great need for that in our day. But a greater need would still remain. Even after men an women are restored to their forms of employment disrupted by a global pandemic there will still be multitudes of devastated souls, “weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd”. And this situation is even more universal than was the global pandemic.
So, what are we to do? The solution Jesus gave to the disciples in their day is the same solution for you in the world today. He told them, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38). The bottom line is this- we need laborers preaching the gospel. The world needs laborers preaching the gospel, and the way to accomplish this is on our knees before our Father, praying that He, the Lord of the harvest, would send out more laborers.
We are deeply grateful for the laborers the Lord has given to our agency and the other pastors, missionaries and lay-people who are proclaiming the gospel in your neighborhood and around the world! But these laborers are few in comparison to the multitudes among which is a plentiful harvest.
Will you join us in praying for the Lord to provide laborers to be sent out into the Lord’s harvest? Ask whether you may be one. Encourage young Christians to consider their lives; ask our Father to give them a deep compassion for lost people and wisdom in how they may be called to serve as His laborers for the gospel.