Tag Archives: missions

What Africa Needs Now

An atheist ex-pat from Malawi writes about how important Evangelical missionaries are to the future of Africa. Not just the work they do, but what they believe. I read it from a position of ignorance, but I hope that he is right. Looking forward to discussing this with my brother-in-law Scott, a missionary in Tanzania.

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.

Read the rest of the article here.

I know some the folks who hang out here have some unique insight into this issue, and I’d love to hear it.

Pray For Paul, Teri, and Carrie

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this here, but if you think about my mom, dad, and sister in the next two weeks, you’ll be sending your thoughts, here, outside of Kampala, Uganda.  They’re participating in a two and a half week missions trip, partnering with a ministry called Embrace Uganda.  You can see them in the picture that I linked to, all huddled on the left hand side.   They departed last Saturday morning, and they return two weeks from today.  

Now, I know that for those of you unwashed heathens, the word “Missions,” or “Missionaries,” perhaps conjures perhaps images of that awful movie, “At Play in The Fields of The Lord,” which you know was fiction because Daryl Hannah was married to John Lithgow.  That movie also treated us to our very first Kathy Bates nude scene.  Hooray!

Missions also conjures images of forced conversion, tract-wielding hippies, and bike-riding Mormons.  It’s an unfortunate stereotype, unfortunate because like all stereotypes it’s somewhat earned.  

Let me offer you a different image.  Doctors Without Borders.  For these two weeks, my dad, Dr. Suburban Family Man, will be treating HIV patients in a small village in Uganda.  He will be The Man, supervising any and all medicine practiced in that village.  

Mission work in the 21st century is more about serving, and giving.  For weeks, my parent’s bedroom has become a clearing house of goods collected for this village.  They packed, and paid for, 12 suitcases full of shoes, medical supplies, and clothes.  My mom texted me and told me that the workers in the clinic openly wept as they went through and selected new shoes for themselves and their families.  

The cool thing about going on a service trip like this, and although I’ve never been to Africa, I’ve done a little of this type of thing here in California and Mexico, is that you are forced to surrender your agenda.  Even on a vacation, you’re in charge of your fun, and (at least for me) there’s always this lingering feeling of, “Are we having enough fun?!!?”  With a trip like this, that pressure is off.  There is no agenda, save whatever God places in front of you in the moment.  It’s a very liberating experience, surrendering your agenda.  

Now, for those of you who know my family in person, the idea of these three camped out in a Ugandan village is pretty awesome and hilarious.  Erica and I are seriously hoping that they get converted, rather then the other way around.  

Pray that they will be able to bless those with whom they come in contact.  

Pray that the goods and money that people in our community donated will make a lasting impact on those receiving the gifts.  

Pray that my family will get their heads spun around and put on again, unable to see life the same way ever again.  

Pray, above all things, that God will be honored, and Jesus’ kingdom of justice and mercy will be advanced in small but significant ways.