10 Ways a “Rich” Missionary from the West Can Honor God in a Poorer Culture

  1. Live in a village with the people. Do not live in a gated community unless you live in a city where a majority of the population would live there as well. Do not live in a compound.
  2. Rent, buy, or build a house that is within the range of an industrious, working man. Have a home that is near enough to them that it will not be an embarrassment for the nationals to visit, and then have them in your home for Bible studies, visits, and meals.
  3. Set and live by a housing budget for remodeling, cleaning, and improvements that could be attainable by a member of that village who was industrious, frugal, and wise.
  4. Reduce your spendable monthly salary (the viewable portion, apart from retirement, etc.) to somewhere around $1,500 per month or some other culturally-informed amount.
  5. Forego most luxuries of the rich like paying for casual maintenance, eating out, expensive holiday presents, and updated entertainment gadgets. Or acquire God-honoring “luxuries” by saving a little for a long period.
  6. Actively look for good investments for benevolence giving. Those who are hurting because of acts of God are good candidates, but not only that group. Buy tools for poor tradesmen. Buy books for teachers.
  7. Look for ways in your particular cultural context to help the fatherless, widows, and abused.
  8. Treat the national women and children with the same respect you would treat your home church’s pastor’s wife and kids.
  9. Give generously at funerals. Especially the week after everyone has gone.
  10. Think of ways to give back to the community you live in so that a Christian’s presence will change the area after 20 years.

These ideas are not Bible, but they are applications that have helped my wife and teammates to live wisely. If you can improve the list, feel free to comment.

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About Seth

Planting churches with the Baptist Confession in one hand and Tolkien in the other.
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One Response to 10 Ways a “Rich” Missionary from the West Can Honor God in a Poorer Culture

  1. Andy Bonikowsky says:

    Very appropriate, Seth. Congratulations on starting the blog. AB

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