Years ago when I was working in China, I went with a friend to visit his family who lived in a rural village. It was harvest time so as we rode the bus we passed farm after farm of workers cutting and bundling the stocks or rice. When we arrived at his village, I noticed the farm workers were bringing the freshly cut stocks in from the fields and laying them near a group of women who would then pound the stocks against a wall till the kernels of rice fell to the ground.  These workers worked from sunrise to sunset receiving roughly $1 a day for their labors.

I asked my friend if he used to work in these fields.  “Yes,” he replied, “but since moving to the city no more.  This is a job nobody wants.  It’s tough and pays little.  The jobs in the city are much better.  The only reason I’d come back here to work is if my father or mother requested to come back.”  We chatted a bit more about sowing and reaping and harvesting rice, when he made a profound statement, “Most of us hate this kind of work, but if your father asks you to come home and help with the harvest, the son is obligated to go into the fields and work.”

There are still thousands of harvest fields needing reapers.  Many of these field are inaccessible to professional Christian workers. These fields are tough, and the pay is little.  Yet these fields readily welcome people who create better jobs – plus THE Father has asked, actually commanded us to go.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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