Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shepherds and Bankruptcy

In the Karoo, we had lunch with a man named Johan, who was a retired IT guy.  Johan was anything but retired.  He and his wife run a sheep farm, small orchard, and bed and breakfast near Montagu, South Africa.

John tells us, orchard farms are surest way to bankruptcy.  I wish I had asked him to elaborate, but the conversation was moving too quickly.  In other conversations I learn that the labor-intensive nature of orchards makes them tough.  Trees ahve to be pruned carefully and accurately.  Trees have to be fertilized, fruit has to be sprayed to combat insects and diseases, and fruit has to be harvested and cleaned.  Every orchard needs the same things at about the same times, so competition can be fierce.  Labor in all countries, seems to be hard to hire.  But I mean good labor.  We need people who will show up, work hard, return when needed, and do things correctly.  Plus we have to have managers to manage those people.  

One complaint is that the managers don't want to do anything but manage.

Scripture speaks of laborers and harvests.  
"And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Aha, so it seems the problem is universal.  It is hard to find laborers regardless of the harvest.  But point the finger leaves 4 fingers pointed at me.

So, let us pray and labor together.

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