Okay here it is. I am sick and tired of hearing people tell me to “minister where I am at.” I am tired of people telling me that the US isn’t a Christian nation and thus we need more church plants, more pastors, more “missionaries” in the US. I hurt to hear people talk about church plants in US cities bc it isn’t in “the bible belt.” Really?! C’MON! To me that is like if the rich man in the story of Lazarus were to say “Why go outside my gate when I have people inside who could use some more help? I mean the servants aren’t all Christian, maybe I will start there.” Really? No, you are using it as an excuse not to go outside your gate and get uncomfortable. I am not talking about neglecting the needs of people in the US but considering the vast amount of programs already here, already designed, why isn’t the churches expanding their arms outside the city, outside the US and into other countries that need us more. Who do not have the opportunity to hear the gospel because nobody is telling them. Because maybe one or two people are there to spread the gospel or maybe none at all! We need to further the Christianity in this nation? How many Christians are there here?! How many pastors, preachers, Fathers, etc- are trying right now to reach out to the US? Can’t we move on some? Cant we think beyond our gate? Think beyond our border? Do we really have that narrow of vision that we can only think about people who have the same color passport as us? Moreover, why when the church talks about helping people in the US does it always include a church plant? We need to open a new church for this? You’re called to here or there but instead of going there to support the local church you are going to start a new church? One that is likely going to rival the existing church that is already small and weak.
People ask me “why go outside the US when there is plenty of people here hurting?” Yes, yes you are right people here are hurting. But nobody is starving to death because of lack of food. If you are homeless there is shelters. Churches will clothe you, food banks will feed you, the government will provide housing assistance. But outside out borders things are different. The government is corrupt, there is no assistance programs. If you are homeless then- welcome to the country. Hungry? So are they all. Starving to death? Welcome to life outside Americas borders. It is a life of harsh realities. Where people die of curable diseases. Where water is infected, medical care is scarce and rudimentary, and children die by the thousand daily from lack of food. In Asia children are sold into sex trafficking by the millions. Africa children do not have an opportunity to learn and grow because schools are miles walks everyday and cost money their family does not have. In the Caribbean islands, beyond cruise ship ports, are millions of people who do not have the money to go to the doctor, even when they are violently ill. The rainforests of South America are pocketed with people who have never had the Bible translated into their language. The reality is that all of these problems exist in all of these places. Romanian orphans freeze to death during their bitter winters as they sit in the sewer drains below the city trying to fight off the cold. And you are asking me to work first on America? When will this rich country be at a place where it is acceptable to finally move on?
So dear sister and brother in law, I blame you. I was completely comfortable in my life. I had goals and dreams that included a golden retriever and a wraparound porch. I was planning on going into the FBI. I was planning on being a big hot shot at my high school reunion. But no, you had to change my worldview. When you called me that fateful day lay May and asked me to join you on your trip to Haiti I should have said no. I should have never even answered the phone. And when all the fundraising money did not come in as timely as I needed it I should have taken it as a sign that God did not want me to go, that existing in this gluttonous American bubble was not only expected- it was my calling. Instead however I decided to join you. Decided to give10 days to a good cause. Look where it got me. Look at the damage that trip caused. Sure it set me back a good chunk of change but more than that- look at what it did to my life. It wrecked it. It ruined it. It changed me forever. No longer can I only think of myself. No longer can I be comfortable where I am at. No, I have to move. I have to help. I have to be a part of the solution. I blame you for making me itch to move. For not being content doing nothing. For bringing me out of my comfort zone and showing me people that I can reach. I blame you for this ache in my heart. I was pleasantly unaware until you changed that.
I know this sounds like a very bitter view. I blame you. I blame you for opening my eyes to a world that sincerely needed help. I blame you for bringing me to a place where I could make a legitimate difference. You know me, you know I like to help people. You brought me somewhere that I had no choice but to fall in love with the children and the people and the idea that I could help them. This is your fault. Both of yours.
And with every life I am able to touch while down there- I hope they blame you too.