The Christmas story is for the nations! Christ a promise to all peoples. That is not only the spirit of Christmas, but the essence of all that we do at Harvest Bridge. Over the last six months, our small team of three full-time staff visited many of our partners to reconnect after the pandemic, strengthening and building relationships in person.
In all our interactions, I can see how our staff and Asian partners have shared this journey of life in times of both joy and sorrow. Two worlds that in many ways could not be more different, have come together to navigate the hills, the valleys, the dense forest, and the deep waters of faith and ministry. That can only be a testament to Christ’s love that binds us beyond anything that differentiates us.
As we travelled difficult roads in Nepal, through paths least travelled in Kashmir, and past restricted borders in Bhutan, we were reminded of the unmatched dedication of our partners who have committed their lifetimes to serve these communities.
When we saw first-hand how some of our partners and their co-workers are working in unreached parts of India and Bangladesh, or when we heard of the impact of persecution and violence that our partners have experienced this year in northern India or the Andaman Islands, we identified opportunities where, as an organization, we could be doing more to support them.
When we see the overwhelming need as with the war in Myanmar, and when the reality of hardships faced by people are brought to our attention like during the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, we see the wisdom of Jesus in the flesh, who spent his time investing in the people in front of Him as the answer to so many pressing issues.
When we heard that one of the wells in a mountainous village dried up because they were hesitant to request funds for a deeper, more expensive bore well, we identified areas we need to approach differently so we can do better work together.
In certain situations, in Asia, where representing a western organization can change the dynamics in the room, we did not shy away from hard conversations, striving to reduce any unintended harms when we help.
When we faced completely new challenges like the illegal detention of a pastor in Myanmar, we knew it was beyond our scope and asked for help, consulting organizations with expertise in this area.
No matter how great the need and the pressures of responsibilities are in this line of work, we made a commitment and have taken steps to be Christ-like in humility and gentleness in the way we tell their stories; to highlight their voices and not ours.
In every opportunity, we are prayerfully considering what we are doing well and how we can continue to listen, learn, and grow as we follow God in this path. So, we are hopeful that the coming year will be even better than this one.
Our local partners in South Asia have proven themselves time and time again, showing that following God and serving His kingdom is worth more than the temporary suffering of persecution or hardship. We honor them.
And time and time again, we have also witnessed YOU with the unwavering and unconditional ways you serve the Kingdom through your prayers and finances, and we see the living testimony of Jesus’s words – “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” For that reason, from all of us here at Harvest Bridge team, we would like to say Thank You.