Landon made a great comment to recent post entitled A Global Vision . It was so good that I felt it needed its own posting. Here it goes…
Interesting thoughts…. What about people who do not come through an organization but find a way for themmselves? Most people in America have never even considered the lay workers in the third world. Should we abandon the East? Absolutely not! We need more volunteers, not necessarily ‘missionaries,’ but volunteers. Every christian is qualified to spread the gospel. Volunteeers cost nothing. They can move into a country, find a job, and support themselves. That is what I have done and what many others have done before me. Volunteers can work with the organizations and are not part of the costs. As Reece can tell you, there is a need for people just to hear the gospel. I believe the desire for abandonment of Asia comes from a love of money. Sometimes disguised as ‘stewardship’ in church jargon. It costs too much so lets hang on to the ‘talent.’ Is christian stewardship based on ‘investment’ or on giving? Does God care about costs? I don’t personally believe that God is concerned about money. God will take care of those who are willing to step out and follow his commandments whether they have money or not. If ‘organizations’ restructured how they spend their money the costs would not be so high. I came to East Asia with 500 dollars plus the cost of my airline tickets… I have not had a problem living off of the wages I am earning here…In fact, I have money saved right now!
As for the second answer that is a nice way for people to get around the G.C., but the fact is that if God calls you to a place he will conquer people’s hearts regardless of the obstacles and even if only 1 person accepts….1 person…. all the money in the world is worth it. Remember the shepard and the lost sheep. Truly, it would be best for the natives to be witnesses, but they need role models, they need trainers, and they need to know they have support. It is nice to say we should just pray, but God has left an open door for work in many of the Asian countries (i.e. people’s desire to learn English). The quote from Africa doesn’t apply to Asia…I don’t see the connection. To be sure, The Western Arguement comes up, but it is a weak one. Some people here say they trust foreigners more than their fellow countrymen! Also there are too many people here for the natives to be effective without other help.
The third answer. I agree. The reason why is because of the way in which western ‘organzations’ choose to spend the money. Things that are practical in America. They forget that Asia is not America and that resources should be allocated differently. Many organizations are changing this and are not ‘hindering’ the spread of the church.
I would say that more volunteers are needed not less. Volunteers willing to step out on faith as the early church fathers did. Paul was a lay minister! He made tents to support his ministry!! We should follow biblical examples like Paul.
If you are interested in coming to East Asia feel free to contact me and maybe I can help you out.