Somebody will watch the video below, from the United Methodist News Service, and say, “Why is this woman helping people on the far side of the earth when there are so many people that need help in this country?”
Which raises three thoughts in the mind of your favorite blawger:
1. For sure, there are many and very many people needing help in this country, if by “this country” you mean our beloved United States.
But in God’s eyes there’s no such thing as “this country” or “that country,” which is why Jesus, who was very much a Jew till the day he suffered, died and rose again, commanded his disciples to go outside of the very Jewish but heavily occupied nation of Israel and into the world (Matt. 28: 16-20). It’s why Paul and the gang risked life and limb crossing borders and boundaries.
2. Any time someone questions the validity of mission work outside the U.S. because “there’s so many needs here,” they might want to consider doing more to extend help to “people here” with mission and outreach and being the “cheerful giver” of which the Bible speaks. They might want to look within themselves and ask how much they’ve really done to help people here in the home country. There’s always plenty more to do for “people here” in this country, and for more on that, see today’s news about the aftermath of Irene. If you want always to question people doing mission work outside the U.S., you might for once consider taking a mission trip or giving an extra check to help the “people here.”
3. John Wesley said, “The world is my parish.” This 71-year-old Christian is a Wesleyan (i.e., Methodist). Therefore the world, including the U.S. and all nations, is her parish.