James Spruill told a brief story last night at Charlottesville First Church of the Nazarene about one time bringing a team to Haiti which was going to build and minister to the Haitians. He does this several times a year, bringing food, shelter, hope and the love of Jesus to the people there. He’s been doing it for over 30 years.
When he got there, he calculated the money it took for everyone to come, project money, etc., and he said to one of the Haitians, “20 people spending $500 each on airline tickets, plus project money… that’s over $10,000 per trip… several times a year… for many years… Wouldn’t it just be better if we sent all that money over here to you to use as you wished?”
The man replied, in essence, “Oh no, pastor! Then you wouldn’t be bringing Jesus with you!”
That’s another good reason why we, as Jesus-followers, shouldn’t always just give money to missions or projects on the other side of the world or the other side of town. We should jump in, get involved, roll up our sleeves, and bring the hope and love of Christ with us as we serve, many times alongside the folks we are ministering to.