“When 40 percent of the world earns less than two dollars a day and Americans earn more than seventy dollars a day, can there ever be a point where majority world churches support themselves exclusively?” – David A. Livermore in “Serving with Eyes Wide Open”
So, I’ve been reading this book this summer, and actually really enjoying it, but the other day, this sentence really bothered me.
How do we define self sustainability? How do we define the ability to support yourself? Is $70 a day really the thing we’re aiming for? And if it is, is that what we SHOULD be aiming for? It hit me in Haiti, that here is a culture and a people who are happy with less. Does that make them less able to survive? Isn’t that arrogance on our part that our extravagance is the way to go and we should “help” other nations “less fortunate” than us to get to this “higher” and “better” level of living? I don’t think our way is necessarily the best way for everyone, in fact it definitely isn’t.
I really wish that we would enter a country not with the express purpose of teaching them a “better” way, but with the intent of a partnership in every sense of the word. A give AND take. A way for us to enter country so that we can live and learn from each other. Neither assuming one way is expressly the best. When we think of the church, we think of a concrete building with maybe a steeple, a cross somewhere on the building with pews and an alter. WHY?! That’s the way it is in North America, but it should not be anywhere else! Why should the people of Haiti not have their church in a building just like they’re living in? Who are we to say that they should do it like we do? And why would we?
I know that this isn’t a new thought, but it just kinda hit me how arrogant we are sometimes. I never realized quite how much until recently.
Prayer Requests: That God would get a hold of our hearts and soften them and create a deep love for the people all around the world in us, so that when we work with them, we convey His way and not ours.
Tomorrow’s the last day of the last team that I’ll be interacting with. Pray that God will move in their hearts and allow them to be changed deeply from the inside out. And pray for safety as they return home.