Thursday, September 20, 2012

The New Face of Missions?

A few weeks ago I linked up to this article (? can you call that an article?) because I thought it was a fairly accurate representation of how my generation thinks and functions.

We want real, we want truth, we want to be involved. People say we're apathetic, I disagree. I think we're biding our time until you baby boomers decide to hand over the reins.

Then you'd better hang on to your dentures.

Last Sunday I attended a barbecue hosted by Mission Projects Fellowship. This is an awesome organization that funds very practical needs of missionaries around the world. They're not affiliated with any particular missions organizations, but they connect with various missionaries and missions groups to supply specific needs.

On this particular Sunday, MPF was just trying to raise awareness and interest among a new group of people. They were also raising funds for a chicken coop for an orphanage in Kenya, but that was secondary to simply exposing themselves and their purpose.

At one point, an older gentleman (who turned out to be the President of the Board of MPF) stood up and gave a brief explanation of how funding a chicken coop was at all related to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And I was totally bemused.

Of course a chicken coop is spreading the gospel of Christ! Of course this is reaching out to a people in need! How on earth is this not a "missions" project?!

And therein lies a very great difference between myself and my parents (and grandparents) generations.

I checked with a couple others to verify.

This is completely obvious to me. Supplying a children's home (and thus the children) with food, nutrition, income, and a purpose is to supply a children's home with some very basic elements of life. How on earth are we supposed to "reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ" if they can't focus on anything but how hungry they are and how worried they are about where their next meal is coming from?

What about "the least of these"?

What about "giving to the needy"?

What about "feed my sheep"?

This, apparently, is not obvious to everyone, since the President of the Board felt the need to stand up and clarify.

For all the flak my generation receives, and for all our flaws and faults and problems (seriously, why can no one sit through a single meal without checking their phone at least once?!) I am proud to be a part of a generation that is willing to lay aside the glamorous role of "winning souls" and settle for feeding hungry children and giving them a chance to survive. I'm proud to be part of a generation that recognizes the importance of basic human needs, and is willing to admit that providing an orphanage with a viable, sustainable small business and food source is more important than services that make US feel important.

If you're interested, check out their website. It's pretty awesome.