The African Connection asked Richard Bearce*, a medical worker in northern Africa, ‘Why do you bother?’ This is what he said:
As I wander down the crowded alley of our 1,000 year old city, I pass by thousands of people. Old men sitting in their vegetable stands, women shopping for the next meal, and kids running throughout the street; each one unknowingly headed for a Christ-less eternity.
Ethiopian Afar traditional dance.
Islam, some consider the world’s fastest growing religion, is rapidly spreading through Africa; dominating the lives of millions in North Africa. Should we care? As I consider my life and my call, it is easy to ask “Why me? Why bother? Do they really listen or even care? Why risk my life or the lives of my kids?”
Can I ask you a question? If you discovered the cure for the most deadly disease of our day, let’s say AIDs, would you quietly sit back in your sterile home and only inoculate your family and close friends? That would be absurd, downright selfish. If it were me, I would quickly publish my findings and try to get the medicine to as many people as possible: share the good news.
There is equality in lostness but inequality in opportunity.
Why me? Why bother? I have perhaps the most amazing cure ever, the cure of death. Jesus Christ is the only way for life everlasting. Do I sit quietly? No. I must share the good news with everyone. If I truly believe that Jesus is the only way, how can I sit back and let my neighbors, my friends, Muslims, and Hindus, head down the road ending in destruction.
Sometimes people ask me, “But there are lost people at home. Why not help them?” My friend once put it well: There is equality in lostness but inequality in opportunity. Those who do not believe in Jesus are all lost, whether in our home counties or Africa. However, those living in some parts of the world have more opportunity to hear. They can turn on the radio, walk to the church on the corner, or search the internet. But there are areas in my country that have never had the opportunity to hear the name of Jesus in their own language. This is why we come. God has called us to be light in this dark world.
Is God working in your heart to consider a life overseas? Have you even asked him? The lost people of this world need to hear the good news of Jesus. Perhaps you need to ask the Lord if you are to be involved.
* Not his real name