(Excerpted from August Prayer Letter)
Many years ago, my friend John Lucas and I wrote and sang an evangelistic song entitled “The Harvest Is Over”. It was taken from Jeremiah 8.20: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” This verse was likely a type of proverb among the Jewish people, spoken in situations that seemed hopeless and where no deliverance was in sight.
Someday, there will be people speaking that proverb in a similar context. The spiritual harvest will be over and the Day of Judgment shall have come in which there shall be no deliverance. Those who are destined for a Christ-less eternity; who today are indifferent to the Gospel and unrepentant in their sin will woefully and bitterly lament, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
Today, however, in the middle of August, the summer is almost over and there are yet millions of people in communities all across the country that are in desperate need of a Gospel preaching church. Our task in church planting is to reach as many of those millions as possible before the spiritual harvest is past and the summer ended … leaving them yet unsaved! The task is enormous. Its enormity, however, is no reason to abandon the task; it is reason to pursue it all the more fervently!
We appreciate your continued involvement in our ministry through your faithful prayers on our behalf. Pray that God will provide open doors of opportunity for us to pass through in pursuit of our task!
Here are some other ways in which to pray:
1. We rejoice in the commencement of Matt Floyd’s ministry as pastor of our church replant in Osceola IA. Matt has been there for a month now and there are many encouraging signs of “new life” in that rural church. Pray that the church would grow under his leadership and that the community will be reached for Christ as never before.
2. MCE has established a new replant work in Summit IL. This church has had a long and rich history but has fallen on difficult times and we have been invited to step in and oversee a re-establishment of the church. We will be working with the current pastor in this effort. Pray that our relationship with this pastor and the remaining church folk will be productive to the glory of God and the benefit of that community.
3. The VISION AMERICA endeavor continues to move forward. When you receive this letter we will have eleven IFCA-related churches officially working in a spiritual, sponsoring partnership with a new USA-based church plant project. Praise God for those 11, and pray for at least another 89 in the coming months!
4. Thanks for your continuing prayers for my sister Noreen, who continues to undergo the treatment for her cancer. She is doing well and, aside from being very tired most of the time, is making progress in the fight. The doctors are encouraged with the results of the recent PET scan. Treatment is anticipated to go through the end of the year. Please pray for Noreen and my Mom in California. Finances are very tight with Noreen not able to work at present.
5. Speaking of finances, our own finances are stretched right now by the nasty medical/dental expenses that we have incurred this year in a spate of visits to the hospital/doctor/dentist. It never ceases to amaze and discourage me how much a few minutes in the office of a medical professional, or a small bottle of medication, can cost! We are thankful for the treatments and for the fact that we enjoy very good health. Please pray for God’s provision of the financial need to pay these expenses not covered by our health insurance.
6. Charissa (our little girl) will be moving to Des Moines IA (3.5 hours away) at the end of August. She is flying the coop (again) and will be ministering as a house parent at Ruth Harbor (a home for unwed pregnant teenagers). We are happy for her and excited to see her take on this challenge in an area where her heart is burdened. We are sad to see her go and deeply depressed about the prospects of not seeing her smiling face every morning and getting a goodbye and goodnight kiss every day! So … pray for her … pray for us. 🙁
7. Our travel pace has subsided for the present since we are no longer needed on a regular basis in Osceola. While there are still other travel and ministry opportunities, we are grateful for the opportunity to be home on weekends, perhaps as much as we are away. Thank the Lord with us for such an opportunity! We may still be making regular week-end trips … to Des Moines! 🙂
8. The creation of the second module of the church planter’s curriculum (Leadership and Communication) for Tyndale Seminary has been finished and is being packaged for delivery. This was a chore, but a worthwhile one I trust. I’m glad that it’s behind me.
9. I would like to make a trip to California before the end of the year to visit my mom and my sister. Please pray that the time and the means will be made available.
There are many other things for which you can pray in regard to our ministry with MCE. We are so thankful to those of you who receive this letter who generously contribute financially so that we can continue in this ministry. We are also thankful in these days for the additional opportunity to serve IFCA International as an administrative consultant in a “special projects” role. That has helped to increase the amount of financial support which we have garnered, taking more of the burden off of MCE. There is still a continuing need there, however. If you would be so inclined to have a part in adding to our current level of financial support with your gifts we would be deeply grateful. Send them, designated for “Jeske Support” to MCE, PO Box 337, Remington IN, 97477.
A final note for you techies! Some of you were reading my blog, Jeske’s Law, which recently moved after I inadvertently deleted the account. It is now at www.jeskeslaw.wordpress.com. I hope you will continue reading. I’m also tweeting on Twitter (doesn’t sound very “manly” does it!). You can follow me at thjeske; and you can also find Linda and me on Facebook these days. Come and say hi!