I was recently reading the promotional materials for a start up church planting mission. The material said that nationals could be mobilized to do the work of the mission at just 2% of the cost of mobilizing a U.S. missionary to the same area. What that means is that for your dollar 50 people will be missionaries, not just one. I like the part of the strategy that says we want to influence many for the sake of the Gospel. The part hidden from percentage is the cost of training, managing and mobilizing more by that staff here in the U.S.
Recently a good friend told me that an agency in Swaziland didn’t want mission teams because it took work away from the poor. I was shocked at my quick response. “That’s crap.”
Swaziland is a nation dying from AIDS, they need emergency medicine, quick care, rapid response and plans for systems that keeps a life-saving work going. The statement from the agency represents the worship of a God who is on a budget. Our trip prices include the hiring of nationals, the gathering of a team’s resources to meet a physical need for a building, like a clinic or children’s home, a side-by-side experience with the poor and the hiring of locals.
Along with mobilizing nationals, God also wants us to be a part of seeing, and joining Him in his work around the world. In Acts 1:8 it’s simplified, that He want you to witness His work! “But nationals speak the language.” God created many languages on purpose and His purposes are always to bring glory to Himself. What am I saying? Discover how He can use you in the world even if you don’t speak their language. More than once in scripture God took people’s voice from them, and he was still glorified!
Over and over and over I see this experienced first hand. Individuals who wondered their roll in a foreign land walking away knowing they connected. God’s work is not hampered by our lack of words.
Yesterday in church a young man with cerebral palsy was sitting behind me singing the songs that were on the screen in front of us. There was no understandable word from his singing, but I was moved to tears listening to his praise. God uses all of us. He has called all of us to His work in the world. He’s not on a budget, we may be, but He is not. Discovery the world!