Treasures of the Heart

Providing Humanitarian Aid for Orphans, Sick Children, and Children in Need.
Russia, Republic of Georgia, Sri Lanka, India, and Haiti

Contact Us:  (409) 898-1937
Email Updates - 2009

What do you mean they stole the potato crop out of the ground? How do you steal a crop out of the ground? Well, it must be easy, someone did it.

When the news reached the U.S. from Barskoe Gorodische Orphanage, we thought they were joking. Sure enough, the crop of 2000 was gone... overnight... plowed up... plundered. The only thing left was a freshly turned field.

Once again, we were greeted by disappointing news when our small group arrived in Barskoe in 2001. The potato harvest was pretty much a failure. Following a 74 day drought, the potatoes were no bigger than golf balls. Potatoes are the mainstay of their food supply. For the second year in a row, the kids were facing winter with an empty root cellar.

At the hotel that night, the answer came, "Go to the field and pray a hedge of protection around those potatoes." The next morning, we returned to the orphanage and explained to Alex, the director, how God is interested in potatoes. He listened carefully, if somewhat doubtfully. But, what did he have to lose?

We loaded into the van and drove several kilometers to the potato field. The fields are located across the street from the Barskoe village. Now we could understand how the potato crop was stolen. After all, everyone's field failed and they needed food, wherever they could find it.

As our van rolled to a stop, the workers in the surrounding fields stopped working and just stood there staring at us. Seems as though a taxi full of foreigners is not a common sight in their neighborhood. The vast acreage is divided into separate plots by little wooden stakes marking the boundaries. Alex showed us his boundaries.

I guess it would be safe to say what the workers witnessed next was quite a sight. Chances are slim and none they had ever seen it before. Our group walked out in the middle of the field and stood in a circle. As we held hands, we prayed for rain to end the drought and God's Divine Protection on the dirt and it's bounty. That field was going to have to produce. It simply did not have a choice.

We waved at the other workers as we drove away. They just continued to stand there, staring, not sure if they had just seen what they had just seen.

The next day, it rained in Barskoe. Don't you just love it when God sends a sign?

When we returned to the U.S., we made Potato Patch Prayer Cards to give out to Friends of Treasures. That field didn't need rain. It was bathed in prayer.

2002 saw a worse drought than before...95 days. And it was harvest time. Remember, it rained the day after the prayer...

Perhaps we set our sights too low when we prayed over the orphanage's field. We should have prayed over the region.

When the kids took to the field after the drought in '02, they dug up the biggest harvest they had ever seen. The potatoes were huge, far bigger than they ever had before. When we next visited Alex, he was all aglow in excitement, "I knew it was your God that saved our potatoes!"

Why did I say we had our sight too low? From one row to the next, on both sides of the field, the other fields' crops failed, as they had the year before. Two feet away on both sides, the harvest was overflowing. What made the difference? Why did one field produce in the midst of drought, while the others burned up in the dust? Prayer.

Maybe not today, but some day, the other workers will come up to Alex and ask him, "What were you and those foreigners doing standing in a circle out in the middle of your field? How did you grow such big potatoes? Your field had no more rain than our fields did."

Alex will answer, "We were praying over our potatoes. Did you know God is interested in potatoes?"

© 2002 Howard K. Barlow

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