Finding Joy in His Harvest

by | Feb 10, 2016 | 2016 | 0 comments

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:36-38

By Hal and Sue Hoege

For the past two years, Sue and I have represented KUMC at Joy in the Harvest in Kigoma, Tanzania. Joy was founded 24 years ago by Lowell and Claudia Wertz.

We went to Africa not knowing what God had planned for us. Friends at KUMC reminded us that God prepares us for whatever He calls us to do. And He did!

We devote most of our time to the Friday People program, a ministry to help the poorest of the poor deal with hardships. We provide food aid, help with back rent and home repairs, or assistance in getting medical care.

Recently, we were blessed to help a young boy who from birth was unable to open his eyes. Apparently, the muscles that controlled his eyelids were not properly attached. We were told this condition was relatively easy to correct with surgery. Supported by a prayer team that included his family, village church members, missionaries, Joy workers, and us, we sent him with his mother to Dar es Salaam (600 miles). The first doctors examined him but could not correct the problem. Our prayers continued as we sent him to the Tanzanian national hospital where a visiting ophthalmologist from India led a team of doctors to successfully perform the surgery.

When the boy returned to Kigoma, we took a picture of him as he stood at a window, looking up to the sky, and holding out his hands as if he was thanking God for his new-found world. Praise God!

The Lenten season is a time of preparation. People may fast, “give up” a special item or pray. A friend once asked if Lent is a time of preparation, what are we preparing for? We have all been called to be disciples and witnesses of the Good News. So during this special time – reflect on what God is preparing you for. How will you be used in the harvest field?

Please pray for:

  • The people of Tanzania so that the seeds we are planting will take root and they will accept Christ.
  • The ministries of Joy in the Harvest continue to flourish so the people of Kigoma may know Jesus.
  • The missionaries, staff, visitors, and the many supporters of Joy in the Harvest.

 Did you know?

  • Kigoma is almost 8,500 miles from Houston (as the crow flies) and is located on the western border of Tanzania on the shore of Lake Tanganyika (the longest and second deepest freshwater lake in the world).
  • The people in the Kigoma Region are 40% Christian, 40% Muslim, and 20% unchurched or influenced by Witch Doctors.
  • If a person can get hired as a day worker, the pay is about 5,000 Tanzanian Shillings per day (which at the current exchange rate is less than $2.50 USD); enough for one month’s rent of a one-room mud-brick house, probably with a grass roof and no running water or electricity.

Contact us:

  • If you would like to support this ministry, please send your donations to Joy in the Harvest, P. O. Box 496, Lansing, IL 60438, and specify “Hoege Work Account” on the memo line.
  • Learn more about Joy in the Harvest at:
  • For more information email us:
  • Follow us on our blog: 

 Next Week’s Post:  Society of St. Stephen


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