I was recently asked, “Why do you go to Africa all the time? Don’t we have enough to worry about over here…why do you go?” This is an age old question posed to many people involved in international missions. For me the answer is simple…I go because I must.
If I didn’t know first hand of the situations in developing countries maybe I wouldn’t have to go. Maybe if I had never looked in the eyes of a new believer as I handed her very own copy of the Bible in her heart language I could happily stay stateside bound. Once you have handed a starving child and piece of bread, put shoes on a street kid, given a bag of rice to a woman for her hungry family, or shared the Gospel with someone in a closed country, there is no turning back. These are things that change you forever.
In fact, not only must I go, I have found that I must send. In the past 22 years we have mobilized thousands of people to more than 126 countries around the world. It is my prayer that every person that goes on an international mission project is NEVER the same. I have watched college students as they grew ashamedly aware of how selfish they have lived their entire lives as they bond with a school full of orphans in Africa. I have seen the tears of volunteer, a young mother, on one of our medical trips as she realized we had run out of cough syrup and antibiotics with hundreds of coughing babies still waiting in line. Suddenly her wait time at her local pharmacy or a small insurance co-pay for her children did not seem like such an inconvenience.
How do you see the world? You may not feel that you must go. Or possibly you may not feel that you must give financially. But certainly you feel that you must do something on some level. Many Americans have lost perspective in many ways. We are consumed with getting the American dream of nice house, nice car and nice family. We have literally turned a blind eye to the rest of the world and its condition.
I pray that we find a perspective that will not allow us to sit comfortably unaware and unmoved that every 30 seconds a child dies from lack of clean water, every 60 seconds a person dies without the hope of the Gospel. God help us. God move us.