This is a rewind post from 2007 that I worked through when preparing to leave America for overseas work. You may find it helpful too.
Why wouldn’t you stay in America? There are plenty of people who need Jesus here.
Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful to God for my country. I am thankful for my church and any other churches that love Jesus and work hard to see people come to know and understand the Gospel. We need everyone in the Body of Christ working in some way to see that the Word of God is being preached and lives are being changed. We also need people who are willing to go to the uttermost parts of the Earth where the church is weak or non-existent.
I believe that we as Americans sometimes don’t realize what we have in regards to ACCESS to the Gospel.
Especially with the recent advances of satellite TV, broadband Internet, and millions of Christian books and CD’s, each American more than has the chance to run across the preaching and demonstration of the true Gospel many times in his life in many cultural forms and packaging.
Yet in many places of the world, there is not even one life giving reproducing church anywhere. Let me give you two simple examples to further prove my point:
1. In America, tracts are looked down in most churches as an archaic outdated way to do outreach. Yet in some parts of the world, like Asia, tracts may still be the only way some one ever gets the opportunity to hear the gospel! I have seen someone receive a tract from a missionary and treasure it like a family heirloom, carefully passing it around to others who wanted to read the message. Can you imagine the average American receiving a simple Gospel message on the street?
Most would say, “Man, I’ve heard it all before” and they have!
What about Bibles? If you wanted a Bible in America how difficult would it be? If you really wanted one and couldn’t afford it, somebody somewhere, at any church, in any city in the US, would go out of there way to make sure you had one. You could always pick one up from your local hotel the next time you’re on vacation. Bible societies would send you one if you wrote and asked for it. Most of us have lost more Bibles than most of the world has handled in their lifetime! In many places, people still don’t have access to the scripture in their language. A large percentage of the world is illiterate and couldn’t read if they wanted to.
Who will go to them? Who will finish the task?
Let me leave you with this challening quote:
“Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.”
— K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible SocietyJL