I’m back from out of town, where I was unable to post my normal daily posts. I’ve been praying that the Lord would open my eyes to those white unto harvest. Please enjoy this commentary from Dr. Harold Sala of Guidelines International:

“Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4:35)

It was a very warm summer day when Jesus and his disciples stopped at the well of Sychar to have a drink of refreshing water. You read about the story in John’s gospel, fourth chapter. It was high noon and very hot. A woman came to draw water and Jesus asked her to draw water for him. This initiated a conversation between a woman who was a Samaritan and Jesus. Samaritans and Jews were hostile to each other. That day Jesus told her things about her that shocked her. Jesus asked her to return to her village and to bring back a crowd with her. “This man told me everything I ever did,” she explained and a large group wanted to meet this Jesus, allegedly from Nazareth.

As the Samaritans, dressed in white to repel heat, made their way through the fields of grain, Jesus told the disciples, “Lift up your eyes to the fields for they are ‘white unto harvest’.” His reference was not to the grain but to the men and women coming to hear what He had to say.

Fields, white unto harvest! Today when fields that are white unto harvest are mentioned, I think of Asia where half the world’s population resides, with it’s Buddhism, Animism, and Hinduism. I think of the Far East where far more than 1.6 billion people follow Mohammed. I think of Africa where paganism often reigns, and Latin America where many know the name Jesus Christ but have no personal relationship with him.

Whoa! Hold steady. Did you happen to think of your neighborhood—where you live? If we’re talking about reaching the unreached, do you have to go to Bible school or get training, take two years raising support, and then cross an ocean to reach the unreached?

I’m thinking of a woman whose story I once told on Guidelines who realized there was a flood of immigrants who had moved into her neighborhood, often as unwelcomed guests who didn’t speak English, who didn’t dress like everyone else, and where not appreciated. She began by reaching out to some of the women, volunteering to help them get their kids in school, providing food and basic essentials, and helping them learn English.

Retired Major Frank Butsko goes into a men’s prison each week and discovered that there were a significant number of Chinese men who had been confined until their visa situation could be straightened out. They spoke little if any English, so Butsko procured some of our Guideline publications in Chinese and began striving to break down the walls of separation.

Finishing the task of reaching the unreached starts where you are—not at some geographic spot on earth thousands of miles away. Shortly before Elisabeth Elliott’s death I stumbled across a recording of an interview I did with her years ago. I said, “Today we have a generation of people who never knew your husband, Jim Elliott. What kind of a man was he?” She replied, “Unlike many today who ask the question, “Who am I?” he asked, “Whose am I?” referring to Paul’s statement to the Corinthians, “You are not your own; you were bought with a price!”

He belonged to Jesus Christ and did His bidding. And when you reach out to your neighbors and friends who need an understanding of who Jesus is, you are helping to finish the unfinished task right where you live.

God may never hold you responsible for not going to Delhi or Beijing or Timbuktu, but He will hold you responsible for not going next door, or into the inner city—a 30-minute drive away, to provide a cup of cold water, a warm jacket, or a Bible that explains the way to heaven.