Are international missions “sexier” than local?

Is serving the needs of someone in a foreign country “sexier” than serving the needs of people in our own communities? Do people literally decide to go global over local because of something superficial? Christians probably do not intentionally say no to local and yes to global. Its a subtle thing. We probably don’t realize we’re doing it. But why? We want to love the way God wants us to love. Why does it get complicated sometimes? After all, we’re just trying to do what’s right.

Well, the truth is that doing what God wants us to do can get complicated. Actually, its better to say that doing what God wants us to do can get challenging. There is a great article in Christiantiy Today that discusses global vs. local trips. Here is an excerpt:

… there is a reason why many churches have little problem getting 25 youths to sign up for a project in South Africa, while the trip to a nearby urban community goes unfilled. The dynamics of international travel make it easier to imagine that we in the West have no responsibility for the problems “over there” beyond our occasional charity. We can feel good about our service without being confronted by our responsibility for the injustices we witness. In nearby urban centers, or a local apartment complex, we are more likely to be confronted with the reality that our lives are bound up with theirs, and we cannot so easily turn away from what is going on in front of us when it gets difficult or inconvenient.

Read the whole article on the Christianity Today website here. Although, the excerpt above may lead you to think the authors are slamming international trips, they are not. Take a few minutes to read the whole article. Its a really balanced discussion of the topic and challenges the reader in a very healthy way to consider how and why we serve. When you’re done, go to your pantry or the local grocery store and fill up a bag of groceries to take to NESAP! They’re a great organization serving our community. Their food pantry is really low right now. Let’s share our blessings with the commuinty around us–in this way and every other way God puts in front of us!

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