Pardon me here, I don’t mean to undermine or question the good work done by those who unselfishly travel overseas, sacrificing themselves and their families in the name of spreading goodwill and the gospel. Overseas missions are very important in reaching the hard-to-reach places and bringing them hope. Saying this, I do however, have some questions.
Recently, I was talking to friend about his church and he boasted to me that they had missionaries in 23 countries around the world. I casually asked him, with no intent to judge, if they had any in Winnipeg, their backyard. He thought about it and said he doubted it. I wasn’t about to start a debate on where and how missionaries should answer their calling but I thought to myself, “Why does it seem that much cooler to do missionary work abroad than in your own backyard?” The same thing can be said of adopting. It’s more trendy to adopt say an Ethiopian child than an aboriginal kid from the reservation. It even sounds cooler too. Admit it. It’s gone Hollywood.
So, is sending aid to poor people in Africa worth double or triple that of giving our local homeless man or woman money to buy food? I know many of us do so with altruistic purposes while some of us have personal goals and egos to feed. but again, it’s not for me to judge and that’s not what this blog is about.
We are usually bombarded with photos and televisions broadcasts of the millions of people starving in the Africa but rarely of the guy down the street. If I step over that guy to reach out the ones that are across the ocean, would that make me a better missionary? Is it still considered missionary if it’s only practiced in my neighborhood? If I don’t adopt my cousin’s kid that she abuses and starves, but instead travel to Uganda to adopt the little girl I always wanted, am I still considered an effective missionary? Also, is it ok if I maintain the outside of my house, keeping it clean and spotless, while inside looks like it was hit by a tornado?
Just my take.