Dear ABWE guy…

17 Dec

Dear Missions guy,  I tried to email but you did not respond.  I am sure you were busy out raising money…er reaching people for Christ. It seems you and I have a little issue and I just wanted to hash it out. So it seems that you think American cross-cultural ministry is a “waste of life” and that we should not be doing it because there “is a church on every corner.”  Wow.  I am sort of shocked,  but I guess I am glad that we know how you feel.  I guess if you feel that way,  you feel that way.  It was the way you expressed your feelings that bothered me.

Missions  guy,  did you really think it was smart to tell a young girl,  who has dedicated herself to cross-cultural ministry that she was wasting her life?  Did you really think it was wise to tell her that we already had too many churches here?  She came home from your West African fundraising dinner very disappointed and that I think is a shame.  Frankly, A-guy , that makes me angry.

Your attitude is not only ignorant and offensive,  it is patently unbiblical and it also shows that you don’t really care all that much about West Africa.  Here’s how I know.

See if you really cared about West Africans you would have celebrated this young lady’s ministry.  You would have fallen in love with it and begged to pray for it.  Because she was the key leader in what as far as I know it the only ministry to Sierra Leonans in this town.  Now if I know my geography (and I am not great at it but I can read the map),  Sierra Leone is in West Africa no?  If West Africa being reached is your job,  you might have wanted to hear about how she ran a program called “Houses of Learning” where she set up in home turtoring for children from Sierra Leone.  You might also have wanted to hear about the “Friendship Dinner” she set up where Muslim parents cried and asked why she loved their children so much.  Your heart would have swelled as she shared how these dear souls from Sierra Leone asked us to share “the reason for the hope that is in us.”  Perhaps even you, might have been moved to tears as you watched videos of young men from Sierra Leone being Baptized.  Instead you told her she was wasting her life.  Because we have to many churches.  We will come back to that latter.

Here is another thing I don’t understand Missions guy,  if she were to agree with you and give up,  as I assume you think we all should, what would happen to these groups from Sierra Leone.  I mean I know there is a church on “every corner” but if those churches are being so effective why is there only one trying to reach this group?

But Missions  guy it is not just this group,  in our neighborhood there are over 48 different languages spoken,  if as you suggest we are “wasting” our lives, what about them?  In our neighborhood the 48 languages represent 48 different people groups.  Of the 48 people groups only 2 have active ministries to them outside of the ministry you have deemed “wasteful”,  those groups are white Americans and Hispanics.  The ministry to Hispanics takes the form of a Catholic church.  So even if we grant that (which I doubt you would) that leaves 46 people groups.  Maybe you are right,  why would we waste our lives on them,  when we could spends 100,000’s of thousands of dollars to fly across the sea and reach their country men.

Then of course we come to the key issue, even leaving aside the Cross-cultural nature of our work.  Does America need more Churches?  You seem to think no.  And yet every statistic we see tells us that America is the 3rd largest mission field in the world.  You seem to think that America is reached,  and therefore we can “Move on.”  I would suggest that this very attitude has largely contributed to the fact that America is a post Christian nation.  At what point will you admit that America needs reaching? When will you come to the realization that immigration is changing the racial and religious make up of our country?  When will you see that there are millions is this country who need Christ and have not heard?   When the money for your current mission dries up?

I think it is safe to say that anyone who claims to care about Christ, about unreached people and about Missions would be embarrassed by your remarks.  I am praying that your heart will be captured by Christ before it is too late.  Before you have wasted your life.

D

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7 Responses to “Dear ABWE guy…”

  1. a December 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    Oh poop. thanks for choosing to end your blogging hiatus today of all days. I have had a horrid week, and it just got a little better.

  2. poopemerges December 17, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    A,
    I am glad my bad days can make others bad days brighter. 🙂

  3. Becky December 18, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    What saddened me was when I talked about the possibility of training people in the Philippines to teach English in China. He made it sound like I needed to inspire the natives (not the words he used, but the attitude) to care about missions, when it was truly quite the opposite.

  4. poopemerges December 18, 2009 at 12:17 am #

    That is because he likely has a messiah complex and has no real trust or the indigenous people, and no respect for them. That is why agencies like this continue to spend huge amounts to send Americans to be primary leaders in fields where strong indigenous churches are thriving. Which is wasteful and wrong headed.

    Thank goodness Converge is its own Mission board…and thank goodness we value indigenous churches!

  5. Joel Shaffer December 18, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Very good push back D to some traditional thinking when it comes to cross-cultural missions. Frankly, I am surprised that an ABWE rep or missionary would take this position because ABWE is involved in certain cross-cultural missionary (albeit a small minority compared to their overseas counterparts) endeavors here in America. I am guessing that “ABWE guy” stereotyped the Grand Rapids area as a bunch of blonde haired dutch people with money and resources and had no idea that Godwin Heights where Crosswinds is located happens to be the most ethnically diverse community in the whole state of Michigan. I would guess that his superiors at ABWE would be quite steamed that he represented ABWE in such an ignorant and narrow-minded manner. However, my experience with ABWE has been that it is such a huge Baptist missions agency that you have a variety of views concerning what constitutes mission(s). Sorry Becky that you had to endure this type of truncated worldview of mission.

  6. poopemerges December 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Joel: I have been trying to get a response from ABWE on this…I emailed the man in question and his superiors. I think they owe an apology.

  7. Julie January 5, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    FYI:Just to update you. Your blog mentioned I was married to Tony Jones. I am not. Nor, would I publicly defend him or his character ever gain.

    I actually think Ken Silva is correct in exposing Doug and Tony’s whacked theology as “dangerous.”

    He is divorced now, and publicly dating his girlfriend, an “emergent groupie” whom he acquired prematurely, and while legally married.

    Julie Jones

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