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Christian Missions 2.0
Silent Samaritans: Redefining Missions Work
I am very passionate about missions work and I have begun developing a new vision that takes unique advantage of the distinct position in which American Christians find themselves.
Now usually terms like *new* infer the past ways are inferior or outdated. I want to say unequivocally that I reject any notion that one way is superior to another. I fully believe that the Holy Spirit uniquely gifts and empowers each of us in different ways. I praise the diversity of missions work and the vision I have further empowers traditional forms of mission projects. It is an addition with no subtraction, a new method that seeks to encourage traditional methods. It will not resonate with everyone, but if this unique emphasis rings true in your heart, I would encourage you to pray about it and perhaps lean in to trying some of these methods for yourself.
The concept of “Silent Samaritans” was birthed from research I studied that reported on the effectiveness of various missions programs. Two pieces of information rung so clearly in my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about them:
1. A missionary speaking the Gospel message to people in his home-born country will convert one-hundred times the number of people than will a foreign-born missionary who moves in to the country. Consider that, all things being equal between two missionaries (including living in the same city), the man who was born and raised in that area will do more in one year to advance the Gospel message than someone moving to that country and working for 50, 75, or even 90 years!
2. Never before have income disparities between nations been so great. The average, middle-class American (with no royal claim, no birthright of nobility, nor land titles or family wealth) can use that financial disparity to impact more lives around the world than many of the kings of past, who had to divert so much of their nationís resources to national defense and famine prevention. Even good kings were extremely limited in their abilities to help their own people.
Those two realities birthed in me the realization that while missions trips are immensely transformational for my life, I can transform the lives of countless others by taking the money I would have spent on travel and using it in different ways.
For instance, the average missions trip to Africa will cost no less than $3,000. That same amount of money can permanently lift 150 families of Bangladesh out of starvation, through the Give-a-Goat program.
That same $3,000 could also build a well that would permanently provide clean water for an entire village in Africa (around 700 people), preventing hundreds of people from dying of water born illnesses each year--or you could use that money to give clean water to 3,000 people in Africa for an entire year.
Another option, going back to the first point, would be to use that $3,000 to pay the room, board and tuition for a home-born missionary to go through a Bible college in his own country. That would equip him to impact countless lives in his own country.
So Silent Samaritans is born. A vision of missions that encourages those called in this direction to take money that they might spend on a missions trips or on luxuries that reach beyond wise financial stewardship and instead use those funds to support missions programs that impact the lives of as many people as possible.
Again, I want to be clear that I not saying missions trips are in any way inferior to this concept of harvesting where wealth is plentiful, to give from afar. Someone has to dig the wells, deliver the goats and keep the mission's infrastructure in place. I plan on going on trips someday, to get an up close and deeper understanding of the mission programs I financially support. It is simply to say that I don't have to limit my missions involvement to a couple weeks a year and a long trip overseas. We can do so much from afar.
However, it doesn’t stop there. We are also blessed with a voice like none other in the history of the world. We have the ability to use technology and the Internet to help change minds and give voice to the voiceless, at no cost to anyone.
An example of this would be the The Silent Holocaust Widget, which encourages people to add a simple widget to their blogs, websites, and social network profiles, to stand up against abortion.
The Call Response Widget is another simple way to spread the word on the horrific situation of the modern slave trade.
The ideas are endless and the impact we Silent Samaritans can have on the world is immense...even though no one will ever know the name of the person who helped them. They will only know that someone far away thought enough of their plight to save their family or entire village, in the name of Jesus Christ.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to message me. I would love to hear your feedback.