Tuesday, March 11, 2014

But Why Kenya?

I have been posed a question on several occasions that I am sure is a pretty common wondering when I tell people I am going on a mission trip alllllllll the way to Kenya. It goes something like, "Why Kenya? Why not just help out in Atlanta?" or an iteration of that.

This sentiment is not a knock on Kenya itself, but rather the idea of going outside our local borders when there are people in need just right down the street. I mean, I could be going to another state and might get the same question. I've thought long and hard about my thoughts to this question and I'm ready to (publicly) answer for anyone curious or left scratching his or her head.

First, I totally agree that there is a lot of need right here in Atlanta. One of the reasons I'm proud to be a member my church is that we're dedicated to serving the local community and our church offers lots of opportunities for its members to give and get involved both locally and globally. Buckhead Church - and all the churches in the North Point Community system - really do it right.

But secondly, I truly believe that the entire world is our mission field. So, while I support local mission and service opportunities, I've been given the chance to go outside the proverbial walls of Atlanta and make a difference where it's not as easy for locals to do so.

Plus, I think we all take for granted how easy we have it here. Sure, there are churches in Kenya to offer aid in some areas, but they don't have the same resources that we have in the U.S. It's a lot easier for us to have a food or clothing drive, go clean up a park or volunteer at a local shelter than it is for so many other nations in the world to even do half of that, Kenya of course included.

There's a stat Andy Stanley has used in a few sermons I've heard, most recently in his Be Rich series:
The Sundays he has said this, I am politely reminded that I have more than enough and probably definitely shouldn't have complained about having nothing to wear earlier that same morning or how tired I was after voluntarily waking up at 8am to get in my personal car and drive to church after eating a nice breakfast and having a warm shower.

Here's the thing. I have been blessed with the opportunity to do something bigger (thanks to so many generous friends and family members who have given to my trip). At the end of the day, it is because He has given to me that I desire to give to others - no matter where they are. It's really as simple as that.

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