Pear season has arrived in Hood River, Oregon, and according to local agricultural officials, there is a serious shortage of pickers.
“The sign posted in an orchard near Pine Grove Grocery this week spelled the situation out in English and Spanish: Pickers needed.” 1
Hood River is not alone in its need for more pickers. Washington Growers Association Vice-President Dan Kelly said their 2,200 farm members are hurting. “Everybody is having issues with labor; from the Tri-Cities to Oroville to Yakima…”
Kelly further said, “he doesn’t know anyone who has a full crew and crews are working longer hours to compensate. He cited three reasons why he thinks crews are down, including fuel costs, immigration, and a change from older to younger workers.”
As I read this I was reminded of a labor shortage that Jesus said plagued a spiritual harvest of souls during His earthly ministry. As He sent His disciples out to minister He said,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
More people were ready to hear the Good News of salvation than could be told—because more “pickers” were needed.
The same is true today! The world is ripe for harvest—with hundreds and thousands of people longing to hear words of salvation and hope. But how will they hear if someone doesn’t tell them?
1 Hood River News, Sye Ryan, September 20, 2006.