Loving God, Equipping People, Mentoring Leaders, Reaching Nations
There are a number of invitations for this ministry to go to Africa to minister. Two of the most recent being from Uganda and, this morning, Kenya.
I appreciate the need that exists in these nations – and elsewhere – for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached and people healed and saved. However, it appears that many of these ministries who have invited us are wanting us to come totally at our own cost. Our team pays the air fare, the resources needed while there (material for leaders’ schools, etc.), as well as our living costs while there ministering.
Now, I’m sure that they think we are rich. And, yes, in many ways we are wealthy here in North America. We live in sheer luxury compared to many other people in other nations – our life-style is in the top 3 to 5% of the world’s population. But that does not make all of us wealthy nor does it mean we have huge amounts of disposable cash floating around just waiting for a place to invest it.
Some ministries may be able to afford to take teams to these nations at their own expense – but some of us simply cannot. It makes us feel badly and we wish we could be of more help but…
I believe that for a ministry to be received and valued it should cost the host pastor or Church (and thus nation) something. They may not be able to pay the whole shot but they should be investing in the Kingdom and their own nation – not leaving all the costs to be covered by others from wealthier nations. Then they are sowing into the Kingdom and they are investing in their own nation. And, God will honour that!
The first trip I took to Ukraine over a decade ago – the youth in attendance at a camp where I spoke took up an offering and gave to me 76 Griven (3 Griven were worth $1.00 at that time). This was a very powerful time in the service. They had sacrificed and given from their own need to bless the speaker who had come to bless them. The Church in Ukraine is doing great things for the Lord and impacting their nation for the Kingdom. I believe this is the direct result of hearts that were and are ready to sacrifice and donate so that souls in their nations may come to know Jesus Christ. I believe this should be the norm for believers worldwide.
That offering was a highlight of the trip for me. It was an indication that the young church in Ukraine was alive and well and would do well because they knew how to give. They have since gone on to a place where they now support my ministry with a monthly sum – substantial sum in their situation. This is a Church that the Lord can bless – and He is.
I am not saying that every offer to come and minister from Africa and third-world nations are expecting us to come at no cost to them. But some are.
I am not suggesting that we are not able to pay our way to minister in these nations when invited – although limited in the amount of funds available for this type of mission.
I am not suggesting that they are not investing in their own nations within the scope of finances that they have and that the Lord has blessed them with.
Biut it is time, I believe, that ministries in other nations stop assuming that every ministry here in North America is wealthy and thus able to respond and supply all costs for any particular ministry trip. It’s just not the case.
And, please remember, that some wealthier nations – like my nation of Canada – are also in need of being reached and thus we are investing funds here locally and nationally to reach the lost. Some third-world countries percentage-wise have more Christians than the one in which I live.