Another response from Africa - From John Lumbe
John Lumbe was born in Zambia in an evangelical family of 7. John accepted the Lord when he was nine, and at 18 got involved in youth ministry, initially with Youth With A Mission. In 1993 he moved to South Africa for theological training. John is founder and director of Youth Network Southern Africa, a ministry which focuses on holistic youth development, leadership development for under-resourced pastors in the black townships. He is currently helping plant a church in the Southern suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa.
This is an interesting conversation. There are two things I would like to highlight.
Firstly: MISSIONS of disparities. The reality is, on the mission field, equality is only in spirituality and not resources. It is one thing to be spiritual and be certain of the call, but it is another thing to be resourced to carry out the call. The concept of supporting missions among under resourced communities is still under-developed among locals themselves. Locals do not see those sent out as missionaries but those who come in from the western world as missionaries. Those who come from outside largely do not see local missionaries as such as well. The lack of recognition is from both sides but it weighs more on the local missionary. This is what prompts this disparity.
Secondly, giving and supporting global ministry needs to be balanced and transparent. Those who seek help need to function and account for resources with the fear of God, applying integrity all the way. Those who seek to help need the same level of integrity. They need to move forward in knowing that they are working with reliable local leaders who can be entrusted like the Jerusalem church to administer resources. The locals need to be given the freedom to inform the helpers where and how help is needed. To work as co-laborers in expanding the kingdom is the pattern that is needed. Imposing, controlling, dominance, judging, marginalizing and being prejudiced do not serve the purpose of serving Gods global vision. So does greed, dishonesty, manipulation, theft among locals serve Gods interests. We all need to be accountable to each other.
Lastly, help becomes meaningful when relationships come first before resources. We can not be so driven with the desire for statistics as opposed to building healthy, godly relationships. As we give, let us be thoughtful of those who administer the resources to meet their essential basic needs in order to avert unwarranted temptations for people to get by. We are one in Christ yet resourced differently. Those who have material, they can enable those who do not. Those who receive must exhibit gratitude and be honorable in dispensing the resources.