I just returned from a war-torn country that’s very far from home. But I feel very much at home there, and find myself missing the people when I return to the states. This picture is a sad remembrance of a time of joy when a father painstakingly carved a rocking horse for his child. It now lies in an abandoned rubbish heap from marauders who see no value in family or the true living God. This family is long gone, taking only the clothing they wore when their community was overrun.
Although this region of the world has been on the news quite a bit recently, it has been portrayed as anti-American to the western hemisphere.
Interestingly, I don’t see that when I’m there. I wonder sometimes if the individuals making those statements have ever even set foot on that historic soil.
I don’t go there because I feel sorry for anyone, or because they can’t live without me. I’m not there to earn points with God or to look good to my friends–it doesn’t work that way. I go because God has allowed me to go, and commanded that I do so. And even though I would like to think I am helping others—I am the one receiving the blessing day after day.
Insulation from the harsh and dire conditions in the rest of the world is often an unfortunate outcome of prosperity and peace in our homeland. But not all the world is endowed with the level of freedom we enjoy in America.
If we are not careful, we can begin to believe that what happens in the rest of the world doesn’t really matter. But it does matter to God, and it should matter to us.
My pastor and friend, Dr. David Platt encouraged everyone in our congregation who is physically able, to spend 2% of their year on the mission field somewhere. That’s one week out of the year.
I must admit, initially I was skeptical. How much of a difference could my week make in the lives of others—just seven days?
What I discovered is that it makes a huge difference to them. More than they need our money—they need our time.