Something to Talk About -- The Unreached and the Unwilling.
“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain….”
I was so blessed to be born in America. I have never suffered any real hardship. By that I mean my daily existence was not one of survival. This country and my parents provided what I needed, not all that I wanted. For my wants, I had to work. Still, God has blessed me.
Not long ago I spoke with an individual who had returned from a church mission trip to a third world country. A third world country is a place that is under-developed, a place with no thriving economy, a place where drinking water comes from a creek and acquisition of food is uncertain at best and none at all at worse. A place with no adequate medical care, a place whose people live in poverty and succumb to illness and disease. A third world country whose people struggle each day just to survive, just to live.
This individual distributed food items to hungry children. One such item was a small package containing six peanut butter cookies. A single child, about ten years old, received one package and immediately opened it. This child did not consume the cookies. Instead, he handed one cookie each to five other children waiting in line. What a tremendous example of God’s love being demonstrated. Not only the individual distributing the food, but the child sharing his gift with others. The day before, these children were the “unreached,” but this day, that was no longer the case. That same missionary has witnessed school children in the United States complaining to their parents about not being able to go “trick or treating” on Halloween because of the Covid pandemic. Disappointing maybe, but not necessary and certainly not a means for survival. Who then, has benefited from being in a third world country?
I doubt seriously, any other country in the world has a standard of living higher than the United States. Perhaps that alone, explains why so many people want to come here, but that is a topic for another time. Consider this topic, how is missionary work accomplished to the “unwilling?” By “unwilling,” I mean those who have no interest or desire to hear or listen to anyone preach or demonstrate good works toward another person in need. Not only is there a lack of concern, but also, a total and complete rejection of God’s love, either for themselves or for the effort put forth by others.
In my lifetime, I have met one person claiming to be an atheist and one person completely rejecting God’s salvation. The atheist claimed “reasoning” as her justification. How could a loving God allow bad things to happen in this world? The rejectionist claimed as his justification he was too old and did not need God. God/religion is alright for those that need it.
Why is it, some people (could be a lot of folks) hold to the idea they don’t need God? Is it pride? “I want to do things my way.” Is it fame and fortune they seek and God gets in the way? Or, is it simply, “I will do religion later, God can wait?”
Missionaries can’t save people. By saving, I mean guarantee eternal life in God’s presence, but they can plant the seed. Planting a seed starts a life on its journey. Perhaps someone else will later add water to help it grow. One last thought, a person does not have to go to a third world country to accomplish mission work, but if one does go, be prepared to appreciate what God and this country have provided for you.
Walter Allen has a BA degree from Auburn University and is retired from the paper industry. He is a published author and lives in Laurens County.