Another event at church today: our 'May appeal' was for $ for an opthamological effort in Bangladesh.
I wonder about it...what I wonder is, why?
Really: is this our mission, or is our mission the proclamation of the gospel? Its a genuine question. Do we dribble our tiny amounts of money to such things, or do we dribble them instead to real Christian mission?
I'd much prefer our few dollars go to a fund to support ministry in a church that cannot self-sustain at the moment (rural or urban/suburban), or build an endowment fund for ministry training...or something like that.
If we need to help people with vision problems, lobby the government to use its overseas aid for such things, or found a public charity for it, but don't use these to crowd out gifts for mission.
I look at my work, which involved giving public money to NGO service organisations.
I was at a breakfast for my soccer club a few years ago and when my work came up, the organiser (the breakfast was a business fund raiser) drew me aside to say that they could help my work...I wondered how. Over the past few years I have administered the disbursement of billions of dollars. Get that? BILLIONS, and this guy wanted to flick a few thousand my way. No point.
Similarly with sight in Bangladesh: let's motivate the Australian aid program in this direction, not the scraps of money we can raise to use for mission!