Why are we choosing to be missionaries overseas when there is a mission field right here in our backyard?

“Why would you go, and take your children away from their grandparents…uproot your entire family…compromise the experiences your children will have…get rid of all your possessions…say goodbye to family and friends…when there are ample ministry opportunities right here in the United States?  What’s wrong with the mission field here in your backyard?

These are just a few of the many questions we have received by loving, well-intentioned individuals who are trying to understand the burden we feel towards the missionary calling. 

I hesitate to answer the questions we are getting because I know there is value in every Christian ministry, and I don’t want my passion for missions to discredit the need and passion for Christian workers here in the United States.

However,I am a person who is highly motivated by statistics.  Although pictures of small children in the African Savannah do pull on my heart strings, it’s the sheer disparity of resources between the world of American Christendom and the unreached and unevangelized people groups around the world that drives us to uproot our family and go. If you’re like me and statistics grab you…prepare to have your mind blown!

The Current Global population is: 7.56 billion.  Those who are considered Unreached make up 42.2% of the world’s population, and the unevangelized make up an additional 11%.  This means that 53.2% of the world’s population is completely untouched with the saving knowledge of the gospel message.   When we have a true grasp of what that means for their eternity and their souls, this is a staggering number of people without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Here’s a few more crazy stats…

  • Christian’s make up 2.2 billion people worldwide, but whittling it down further only 550 million are Evangelical Christians.    
  • 4.19 million out of the 2.2 billion are Christian workers.
  • 95% of the 4.19 million Christian workers are ministering to established bodies of believers within the Christian world.

How are the monetary resources allocated?

  • Christians make a total of $42 trillion per year.  Among Evangelicals the earnings are around $7 trillion.
  • The total given to Christian causes is $700 billion
  • This is almost the same amount of money spent on the American Christmas. 
  • Annually there is $45 billion given to missions.  While this is fabulous and it is the primary reason there is ongoing work throughout the world, at only 6.5% of total giving,  it is extremely out of proportion to the amount given to support ministries within the Christian World. 
  • To further put this in perspective, there is more money spent in America on Halloween costumes for dogs than missions. 
  • The average American Christian gives less than 1 penny per day towards global missions.

We feel like we are exploding with the burden that more than half of the world has no opportunity to be exposed to the one thing we consider most important in our lives. There is nothing that will change your life in a more powerful way than the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s Word.  This is why we need to respond to the Great Commission and Go.  

And yes, there is Christian work that has value that can be done here in the United states, but 99% of Christian workers are already here ministering to the Christian population.  It’s the scarce few that are willing to uproot their lives, give up their access to ice cream and Netflix on demand and move their families into unchartered territory. And while it may seem uncertain and sometimes scary, it is the greatest adventure we will ever be a part of and there is NO safer place than being in the center of God’s will.    

Interestingly enough, we were just reading a biography about Jim Elliott to our children. Jim Elliot was a missionary to the Auca Indians in Ecuador, and through his life and death his work transformed an entire village for the gospel.  Jim Elliot’s motivation was very much the same as our own. He was motivated by these very same stats and by the compelling urge to be a part of the solution.

So Papua New Guinea…here we come!  …our hearts’ desire is to be just “one cog in the machine” reaching out to some of the 600 plus language groups in PNG that currently don’t have the word of God in their heart language.  And while Bible translation isn’t our specific skill set, Wojtek can use his skills as a pilot to deliver Bibles to remote people groups, to transport supplies and medicine to missionaries serving in the Bush and to bring Hope every time he starts his plane engine and makes a flight for the Gospel.  Jen will be taking her skills to the medically underserved and impoverished individuals of the highlands in PNG. She’s going to bandage wounds, administer life-saving medications, and share a life-changing and heart- transforming message of Hope. 

We’d like to invite you to join us!  As you go into the stores this fall and see the pet Halloween costumes, and all the beautiful Christmas decorations, we pray you are reminded of the faces of the unreached.  We’d love for you to join our team of financial partners to help us reach 100% of the monthly budget set by Wycliffe, for us to go. Our current need is regular givers that will help keep us on the field once we get there.

Till all have heard…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s