One of the most important things I learned from the various times I’ve spent out of my home country - particularly in India, Mexico, and Haiti - was that the importance of any funding we brought with us paled in comparison to our presence. I know this because, no matter where I’ve been - no exception in any country, church, or ministry - one phrase has been universal upon leaving:
“please don’t forget us.”
In light of this past week … in light of Paris, of Beirut, of Iran, of Japan, of Mexico, of Palestine, of Syria … let’s not forget that donating money isn’t really the solution. We Americans think that our money is what shows people we care, and that’s admirable, but in the rest of the world - and really, here too, even if we’ve a hard time showing it - money is of secondary importance to relationship.
I know we can get numb to the constant news of rockets finding their way into Palestine, or how easy can become to scroll past another story of drug violence in latin america, or to a car bomb in Lebanon. Places like South Sudan and Pakistan and Rwanda barely even make it on the journalistic map anymore unless it’s REALLY big. I know that sometimes it takes a tragedy in a place like Paris - a tragedy that’s everyday news in other parts of the world - to wake us up to the reality of the brokenness around us. It’s a cost that shouldn’t have to be paid for us to notice the injustice and oppression and violence in our world, a cost that shouldn’t be needed for us to desire peace or to pray for justice and mercy.
But at least now we’re paying attention.
Make it count. Pray. Love. Go.