Friday, May 27, 2016

Its not a fair comparison! America's spiritual poverty and India's

Sometimes I hear people say things like “Soon missionaries will be coming from Africa to America.” Implied in these statements is the thought, “maybe we don’t need to go or send anymore, maybe America’s needs are so great we should just stay here.”  It’s similar to saying, “With so many losing their jobs in America, poverty has grown here and now we don’t need to help those in other nations who are starving.” It just isn’t comparing apples to apples.  There is simply no comparison you can reasonably make between my friend who lost his job at Target and was 9 months without work, but still lived in his beautiful home, had plenty of food to eat, still had two cars in the driveway, and received compensation for being let off…well, you just can’t compare him to someone in India who is a day laborer working for $2 a day, who lives in a shack and when they lose their job they literally don’t have food to feed their 4 kids even a simple meal of rice and lentils anymore.  Its just not apples to apples.  That’s not to say it wasn’t hard for my friend who was unemployed.  It was, for sure.  But it can’t be seen as the same.

That is what it is like to say America needs missionaries too so we don’t need to think about the rest of the world.  Yes, it does.  Yes, indeed there are many people these days in America who are unchurched and haven’t heard the gospel, so many more than there were years ago.  Yes, America is a mission field too.  But, it just can’t compare with a place like India, or with Thailand, or with Sudan, or Bangladesh.  There you have millions and millions who have NO GOSPEL WITNESS. The likelihood of them encountering someone who could possibly share the gospel is extremely low, simply because there are no Christians among them.

I’ve been in Duluth, MN the past few weeks.  We’ve been here for our daughter’s wedding and also a bit of a vacation.  Its struck me often as we’ve driven around how many, many churches there are here.  Granted, many of those churches need revival and renewal.  But they are here!  When I think of India’s newest state, Telangana, and their Muslim population of almost 84,000,000 with not even one Christian among them…it’s just not the same level of spiritual poverty.  (For more info on the need in Telangana, check out They don’t compare!

So, Im not saying America doesn’t need the gospel.  It does.  But there are many, many hundreds of thousands of Christians here already! They simply need to be activated to share good news with their neighbors for them to hear.  In Telangana, there is no one to activate, someone has to go!  Someone has to be sent!  If not, they will die in their spiritual poverty, having never heard good news. 

Please my friends, let’s not compare the poverty of America and our unemployment issues and recession, to the poverty of India or Bangladesh or Nepal.  It’s just not fair.  And let’s not compare the spiritual needs of America with those of the unreached in India.  It’s just not fair either.  Let’s not be blinded to the extreme need of the unreached overseas by our growing awareness of the needs around us.  Instead, let’s see them both for what they are and allow God to fill our hearts with His heart, with a compassion that compels us DO SOMETHING about those needs both at home and abroad.


  1. Thanks, Cindy, for your reminder of the tremendous needs around the world. I pray like you that God will fill all of our hearts (starting with mine) with His heartbeat that truly does move us to action.

    1. Thanks for your comment Caryn! Amen! If my heart aches for the millions yet to hear, how deeply it must pain God's heart as he waits for people willing to go to them. I'm believing for many new people willing to say yes to the call.