28 August 2009

100% Used for Gospel

"Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38

I got an absolutely amazing, uplifting mailing this week- a thin magazine called send! by Gospel for Asia. It brought tears to my eyes multiple times: an article about having a soft heart (think I qualify?), and one about the God of the universe that understands how badly a family needs their ox, who was healed from a snakebite by a Christian missionary, and how that act led the family to believe. *sigh of contentment*

I had emailed for a free copy of their book Revolutions in World Missions last month. When it came, I read 3/4 of it and noticed on the inside was a rip-out subscription card, for another free copy of the book! I went to bed without finishing it and the next morning gave it to the missions elder at my church. My next copy should come in September, I can finish it and give it to someone else. It was really a motivating, convicting book. It was partially a personal/ organizational history of the founder of Gospel for Asia, and partially an explanation to Americans why native missionaries make so much sense.

Two things I became convinced of:

1. Native missionaries just make so much more sense than sending people from a foreign country! Native people know the customs, the taboos, the language, and can live happily and comfortably in the native places with familiar prices. These missionaries learn of Christ and have a heart for their own people. No barriers need to be overcome, no special training is necessary to teach them about the country and its people.

2. The amount of excess that we (Americans) have is so ridiculous. We don't even know how much junk we have. Have you noticed the amount of storage unit rental facilities there are in this country? Are your closets and under your beds and your garage and your attic as full as mine? Do we really need even half of this stuff?! After reading only 3/4 of "Revolutions in World Missions" I listed a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and have been slowly selling it off. I have $28 so far and I'm going to start a sponsorship of a native missionary.

At this link, look on the right for videos called "saved by a sari" or the one about the native missionary named Titus. They are so wonderful and give insight into this foreign and productive organization. In this day and age, Gospel for Asia gives a total 100% of your sponsorship to the native missionary. Wow. I was thinking about beginning a sponsorship of a child through World Vision, an excellent organization, but then I got to thinking about the exponential rewards of funding a missionary, and I reconsidered.

In the book, the founder explains how he would talk to American churches about Gospel for Asia and try to get new sponsors. He would talk to some people after the service, get a few new sponsors, and get taken out to IHOP or somewhere for lunch. The tab for the lunch was enough for two months of sponsorship! He began to write about the affluency of Americans and how so few of us are able or willing to go on missions, even in our hometown. Fine! He says-- send money and you can easily support a missionary in Asia who will reach his own people. Think of the population of Asia. Think of the people plagued by evil spirits. Think of the hordes of Asian people who will welcome you into the kingdom, who met Christ through a native missionary who you supported! Think of that!

(I just wanted to mention that I have no affiliation with any Christian organization and there is no financial benefit to me if you signed up to become a sponsor. Just to let you know. I know a lot of blogs out there have other motives. Not me.)