Pastor Long picked up her hoe early one morning to join her husband in their fields, walking past mulberry trees on a steep slope. Planted and owned by the entire village, the mulberry leaves feed silkworms the villagers keep in their homes. The cocoons the worms produce are sold to augment their meager farming incomes. Money from silk from worms from leaves — what a gift from God!But as she walked past the mulberry trees, Pastor Long noticed something crawling up the spindly branches. Caterpillars! She looked around and realized that every tree in sight was covered with the hungry larvae, and they were devouring the leaves.Pastor Long yelled to alert her neighbors, who came running down the hill. Realizing their only chances of better lives were being eaten by the hairy pests, the villagers fanned out into the trees, frantically picking caterpillars and squashing them with their feet.By noon it became apparent they were losing the battle. The caterpillars were everywhere, often out of reach, and were devouring the leaves faster than they could be picked off. A store to buy pesticides was too far away, and it looked like the leaves would be entirely consumed by sunset. The situation looked hopeless.Desperate, Pastor Long shouted, “Let us cry out to God!” The villagers ran wearily back up the hill to the little white church building. They huddled outside the church door and raised their hands to heaven, calling to God for help.While praying with his eyes to the sky, one man noticed what looked like a thin dotted line just above the horizon. The dots grew bigger and began to circle the village. It was a flock of crows, hundreds of them!Moments later, the birds dove into the mulberry trees. All afternoon, the crows gorged themselves on the fattened caterpillars as Pastor Long and her neighbors looked on in amazement. Just before sunset, the crows suddenly took flight and disappeared into the mountains. The caterpillars were gone, and the trees were saved.Pastor Long and her people — who inhabit the poorest areas of Northern Asia’s mountains and yet are rich in faith — then went back inside their little church to sing songs of praise to Jesus.The day the Crows were a Blessing: Stories from Northern Asia
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