WILLS POINT, TX – A strange thing happens when we consider the cost of something. If not with our lips, our minds ask the question, “How much does this cost?” When I reflect on that, I realize that this question is inevitably self-centric. The question is inextricably connected to “How much am I willing to spend?” There “I” am, exactly in the middle of that sentence. It’s really all about me.
That’s pretty much what happened when the rich young ruler approached Jesus about what he must do to enter the kingdom of heaven. In effect, he was asking Jesus, “How much will it cost me to enter your kingdom?” He put himself right into the middle of the sentence (at least, the way I paraphrased it). Jesus did not put a cost on it, because it was a price the young man could not pay. It was a price only Jesus Himself could pay.
Rather, Jesus told him to stop thinking about himself and the wealth he held so dear.
In effect, Jesus responded by indicating that the task of reaching the uttermost parts of the earth with His message would cost the young man everything he had just to get started.
As I was reading a list of the many items Gospel for Asia and its partners provide for desperately needy people in Asia, I began to ask, “How much does a sewing machine cost?” and “How much does a BioSand water filter cost?” The answers are $85 and $30, respectively.
Suddenly, I realized that I was asking the wrong question. I was still considering what they would cost me.
The question that we ought to ask is “How much do they need?”
Is the problem that not only are we self-centric but we also don’t actually believe our God will really supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory?
A blanket may cost $12, but the need is much greater. It is to provide blankets for hundreds of thousands of people for whom that blanket will become one of their most valued possessions.
A mosquito net may cost only $10, and a net may have little or no value to us. But there are hundreds of thousands for whom a mosquito net is their No. 1 defense against life-threatening vector-borne diseases like malaria or Dengue fever.
I decided to try to learn what the forgotten people of Asia need, so I looked at Gospel for Asia’s 2018 Year in Review for some insight.
I discovered that it is almost beyond the scope of my imagination. The monumental task of providing what is needed becomes somewhat overwhelming when we measure some of what Gospel for Asia and its partners have done in 2018 alone, which is significant.
I chose several items and itemized the number of those items distributed in 2018, and then noted these numbers in light of the scope of meeting the total need.
|Mosquito Nets||$10||360,000||219 million malaria cases in 2017 alone|
|BioSand Water Filters||$30||11,451||2 billion people drink contaminated water worldwide|
|Outdoor Toilets||$160||6,431||A child dies every 2.5 minutes due to open defecation|
|Jesus Wells||$1400||4,712||785 million people lack basic, clean drinking water|
Although these represent only a small sampling of the work that is being done through GFA, it shows how significant the need that is still being unmet worldwide.
This is not a plea for a donation. Rather, it is an insight into the work that Gospel for Asia, our field partners, and multiplied other faith-based organizations are accomplishing in helping people who are considered most in need – the least of the least.
To make a final point: each year, as we minister to more people in need with the love of Christ, more than 637,000 people in Asia alone enter eternity every single week. Many of these precious souls have never heard of the Good News nor experienced God’s love in tangible ways.
Don’t think of what it costs for a mosquito net or a Jesus Well. Pray for a better understanding of the current needs and the eternal ones.
To read more news on Gospel for Asia on Missions Box, go here.