I'm sure we ought to help people in poor countries who need health care and things like that, but is sending missionaries really the best way to help them? It seems to me that groups like the Red Cross or the United Nations can make a bigger impact because they have more resources. — P.K.
Hundreds of millions of people in our world live on the brink of death through starvation or disease or disaster, and we should be thankful for every organization that seeks to meet their needs.
This has been a special concern over the years for my family and me—as it should be for every Christian. The organization my son Franklin heads, Samaritan's Purse, now provides humanitarian and disaster relief in over 100 countries, saving thousands of lives every year. My father-in-law, the late Dr. L. Nelson Bell, spent 25 years as a missionary surgeon serving the poor of China. The Bible says that when Jesus met people in great need, "he had compassion on them and healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14).
Important as it is to meet the physical needs of those who are suffering, however, we must never forget that people have an even greater need: to be reconciled to God. This is why Christ commanded His disciples to "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15). That command has never been withdrawn.
Ask God to help you to see the world the way He does—with compassion and concern and hope. Then ask God to use you and your church to touch our world for Christ.