Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:19-20
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
So do we help Grace or Hope? As you might expect this is a no-brainer for us. Anyone who follows Sixty Feet or has read our blog knows we don’t think in terms of here or there. We follow God wherever He leads and we serve whomever He puts in our path as best we can. So we humbly serve Grace and we humbly serve Hope that Christ may be exalted, the Gospel proclaimed and the Kingdom of God expanded.
Does it make sense to everyone? Not necessarily, but we find some comfort in the fact that this may be uneasy for some people. Isn’t something wrong if our lives make sense to everyone?
Nonetheless the question of “Why go abroad when there is so much need here at home?” is important. The truth is we hope examples such as Grace and Hope are self-explanatory (meaning they highlight a real disparity of needs domestically and internationally). But they only point to physical need. What is left out is the spiritual. Which is why the question is so important. It allows us to share the Gospel. If others look at what we do and only think of the physical then something has gone tragically wrong in our witness. The Gospel is our motivation.
When Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples, he did not say stay close to home (Jerusalem). He commanded us to go to difficult places (Samaria) and unknown places (the end of the earth). So we do. Not everyone gets it, but that’s ok. Not everyone gets the Gospel either.
For those who focus more on the physical, here are some statistics that may impact you a little:
Nearly 25,000 people died today from hunger
Over 1 billion people are malnourished (most of whom are in Asia)
4.8 million have died from water related diseases this year
Nearly 1.5 billion people have no access to safe drinking water
10.5 million children under the age of 5 have died this year (almost 1/6th of all deaths)
Nearly 2 million people have died from HIV/AIDS this year
Nearly 1 million people have died from malaria this year
And nearly 2.5 billion people have not heard the Gospel
The stories of Grace and Hope highlight the reality that this is not an academic or theoretical issue. We can debate the merits of serving locally or internationally but at some point we got to get in the game (wherever that may be). Right now, real men, women and children are suffering and dying without Christ. As we step out in faith we have the honor and the privilege to participate in God’s plan of redemption and watch Him work.
That is glorious and that is why we serve Grace and Hope!