Investing Where It Matters Most
Most organizations and some rich individuals, in the recent past, have been giving large portions of their profits and wealth to charity, aggressively! Billions of dollars have been poured to pursue causes that they have interests in and believe have the possibility of changing lives thereafter. I have seen billionaires retire from corporate and business work to run their charity organizations. I tend to believe that they have specific objectives and are committed to seeing them come to fruition.
There is big money involved during my country’s campaign periods to a point that it is hard to estimate the billions of shillings given as “charity”. Cash with “no strings attached” is core to every candidate seeking to be elected to the high offices in the land. Sometimes it ceases to be a competition of ideologies and becomes a competition of who can give more. In the end, the amount given out significantly contributes to deciding who eventually wins.
The fact that people give to support a cause they believe in, is a point of interest because there is a relationship between what is given out and the results thereafter. We can all agree that it bears fruit for it is a kind of an investment. The church must do the same and invest in global missions if she wants to see souls won to Jesus in big numbers. As a missionary, I have seen small acts of kindness break barriers that would have been nearly impossible to break!
It is not a wonder that most of the unreached people, especially in Africa, are poor and majority are located in the arid and semi-arid areas. Missions is not only a project that requires an investment of prayers and commitment to win souls, but also, a commitment to meet those small needs that the people have. Whenever I travel to the city in my country, I buy as much as I can and take to the people when I return to the mission field. I buy them things like clothes, shoes, food and pens. Through this, I have been able to put smiles on the faces of many.
I once asked a girl who is a daughter to my neighbor why she was going to school with dirty clothes and dirty feet and her reply was shocking! She admitted that they barely have enough food, leave alone soap to wash her hijab! From that moment on, I made a commitment to buy soap for her, her sisters and for any other in need. I also discovered some children who didn’t attend school because they didn’t have pens and it has been a joy meeting such needs. I have severally asked my students to buy an item needed in school when they go home for holidays and when they turn up again, they don’t have it. They make it clear that there is no money at home and at such times, I step in.
Severally, during times of severe droughts in the Northern and North Eastern regions or floods in the coastal areas, as a team, we would gather what we have and have it sent to the people in crisis. We do send foodstuffs, clothes and other items the locals could be in need of. By doing this, we demonstrate both biblical principles and who a Christian really is. Our religion is in question if we only mind our affairs while dismissing the very needs of the people at our doorsteps. Or how else can we serve the nation? It would be very awkward to pop onto a Muslim with a Bible and try to preach Christ to him/her. These acts are used as “Access ministry.” These are activities that help an outsider gain access and ground in a foreign land that would otherwise be impossible to access.
It heartbreaks me to see children going to school barefoot and living on one set of clothes yet as a church, we could do something about it. It is widely agreed that if the church focused on missions, there would be more than enough resources to reach the whole world. I once got access to confidential financial documents of one of the mega churches in Nairobi. This was a report on assets and the budget’s expenditure of the previous year. I was very surprised to see that the church in one year had a revenue of over six hundred million Kenyan shillings! Out of this staggering amount, what went to ministry and missions was only seventy million shillings! For them, “missions” doesn’t mean missions to the unreached. It means visiting, ministering or engaging with other churches within the reached regions of the country. This means that only a tiny fraction of the revenue may reach the unreached by chance.
The Catholic Church has been very successful in this. I have seen the Catholic Church set up a base which has a church, hospitals and schools. Beyond this, they also go a step further to help meet the needs in the community. It doesn’t take them long to fill the big church. It is my view that if we were serious with the command to make disciples of all nations, then we would aggressively invest in missions. This would start by supporting the missionaries on the ground who would then use the resources to meet the needs that they see around. We could also set up structures that would facilitate and accelerate missions’ activities.
***Peter Kale (not his real name) is a missionary serving among an unreached people group in Northeastern Kenya