435. Cheaper to pay nationals?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to pay a national missionary?

We need to be careful not to assess the mission task merely in economic terms. If you needed a heart transplant, would you look around for the cheapest doctor or the best surgeon? At the same time, nationals often have advantages over outsiders. They know the local language and lifestyle. They can blend into the crowd, especially in countries that don’t welcome foreigners. They don’t need visas or expensive trips to and from their homelands.

On the other hand, there are many situations where expatriate missionaries are needed. There are still places where there are either few or no believers and God calls someone from outside the country to do pioneering work among them. 

Missionaries from first world countries can often contribute technology and training. In some situations, they may be accepted where the nationals are not. Two students went to a sensitive country to do a survey on the people groups. Government offices gladly helped them with information when they would have turned away locals. In some countries, different language groups do not get along. An outsider who is not connected to either group may gain entrance.

To sum up, it’s not simply a case of a choice between a national or expatriate missionary, but who is best in a particular situation. And above all, we need to listen to the call of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment