Missionaries Are Rich

Many Americans have the impression that missionaries are poor.  There may be a bit of truth in this if we are compared only to our North American friends.  As missionaries in the developing world, however, we are frequently confronted with the real truth that no matter how much we have "given up" to go to Africa, we have so much more than most people in the world.  I remember being very sobered when I realized that the ball of mozzarella cheese that I bought for our Friday night pizza in Kenya cost more than most Kenyans make in a day.

Someone recently brought to our attention the "Global Rich List".  On this website, you can type in your annual income and it will tell you how you stack up with the rest of the world's 7 billion.  According to the Department of Health & Human Services, the 2011 poverty guideline for a family of 5 is $26,170, putting such a family in the top 9.39% richest in the world.  Put another way, some American poor are richer than 90% of the world.  This is just a small taste of how wealthy we are as Americans.

While cruising Facebook yesterday, I came across the picture below.  The "Black Friday" harried scrambling for more stuff is a stark contrast to the poverty seen around the world.    

I've always considered our lives as missionaries rich in many ways, but I have come to realize that we are rich financially as well.  We have all we need and a whole lot more.  During this season of Advent in which we anticipate the coming of Christ as a baby, let us remember the One who left the riches of heaven and chose to live the poor and humble life of a carpenter's son.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-20 (ESV)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thought provoking comment. Love, your Mom