On Monday I shared with you the exciting news about my soon coming missions trip to New Zealand. I am greatly looking forward to the trip and to seeing what ministry doors the Lord opens up along the way but I’ve gotten a few semi- negative responses upon hearing about the trip such as:
“New Zealand? They don’t need you guys (presumable Christians) over there! They have plenty of money in New Zealand. Go to Uganda where the poor people are. They’re the ones that need you!”
After I got over the initial surprise I began to think critically about the question:
Why New Zealand and not Uganda?
Why would we even bother to pick up and go across the world for 5.5 weeks to people who speak English and by worldly standards are “rich”? Why do THEY need us?
Well, the truth is they don’t need us and neither do the people in Uganda. They need Christ not primarily our money because it’s not about the money, it’s not about lack of education, it’s not even about starving children. It’s about Jesus and His saving Gospel.
Should those who are in the Gospel be attending to the poor and needy in our world? Yes, absolutely! If you name the name of Christ but have no concern for these who are hurting among us, I would question if you really are in Christ because the fruit of the Spirit is love and kindness. We DO need to care for the sick and hungry. We DO need to show them Christ’s love not only through our words but through our actions but we can’t forget that the people of America, Britain, Astralia, France, New Zealand and the like. They need Christ just as much as the impoverished child in Uganda.
Poorness of soul is unequivocally poorer than poorness of means because material wealth or lack thereof will end at our last breath but wealth or poverty of soul will live eternally on.
We should not neglect the material needs of the world but let us be careful not to turn missions into merely feel-good clean water and new shoes operations. Are these things needed? Yes! But the need for the Gospel and encouragement in faith is far greater. This need stretches farther than just the poor in Africa. It reaches to every corner of the earth, America and New Zealand included.
So, why New Zealand and not Uganda?
Because both places need Christ and the encouragement of fellow believers but New Zealand is where God has opened the door for me and my family to serve at this time.
God has called all Christians to use their spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ and further the Gospel. We should not discriminate between those who He has called to serve in deepest Africa or those He has called to serve in New Zealand or the US.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into ALL the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” -Mark 16:15
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” -Acts 1:8