I realize, as my blood pressure finally returns to a normal “healthy” level, that in my all too common hot headedness I may have offended some of you with my recent post. I wish first to apologize and then to explain.
I sincerely apologize if any of you were offended by what I wrote recently.
Please give me an opportunity to explain. I am a firm believer that all of us are called to be missionaries, pastors and saints, though not all of us are called to do this overseas. Some of us are called to Denver, some to Kansas City and some to the ends of the Earth. In a recent conversation I was able to mull over further my sinfully critical nature and reevaluate things. I know that for me it is easier to minister to people who are physically poor. Those that struggle to survive and lack the basic essentials like food and water. I have little patience or passion for people who are emotionally or mentally poor; those that need someone to come along side them and walk with them a ways to get them out of the valleys of life. Someone needs to be a missionary to them, but Lord knows it can’t be me! With that in mind- I do not believe people who honestly feel called to a certain place in the US are just unwilling to be uncomfortable for God. I also do not believe that all the Christians in the US are called to be where they are, and yes I do believe some of them are unwilling to be uncomfortable for God. But hey- I cannot judge them, I use to be there.
Someone close to me recently said “the rich need God just as much as the poor do” – actually even more if you are willing to believe the Bible where it says it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man get into heaven. Please realize most of my frustration in the previous post stems from conversations I have had that have made me angry. Conversations in which I have heard about churches taking missions trip (even overseas) and spending 3 days working and then 4 days at a 5 star resort because the people like to “mix vacation and mission.” Or conversations about how Americans need God just as much as other countries. It hurts because though yes Americans do need God, there is a vast amount of people in this country that know Him and can be missionaries here whereas other places are not nearly as lucky as we are. In church on Sunday we saw a clip of a village in Africa as they celebrated, weeping in joy, as the plane landed that had for the first time, the whole New Testament translated into their language. How lucky we are!
I honestly do not know how to reconcile how I feel. On one hand I agree America needs missionaries. On the other hand I believe it when God asks “But if anyone has the world’s good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him (or in other translations “refuses to help him”), how does God’s love abide in him?” I am at a loss fellow believers. I feel righteous anger when I know of Christians who do not use their God given talents, skills or ethics to help people (in America or beyond). However I feel just anger (righteous or not) when people challenge overseas missions or worse, use overseas missions as an excuse for an exotic vacation.
To end I would like to say, I believe everyone has somewhere they can be most valuable and they are passionate about (what I dub a “calling”). It is not my place to judge that. God made us all different and effective in our own ways.
Please give me your thoughts do you think American Christians are doing enough overseas? Do you believe we should focus on where we are at first (the ‘bloom where you’re planted mentality’)? Or do you think one area (America or beyond) deserves more attention?