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Missions 101

Impact Video

Nov. 18, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio
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The World as 100 People

Nov. 17, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio
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Second-Hand Clothing Undermines Africa's Economy

Nov. 16, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Anthony Bradley at the Acton Institute Blog writes:

The second-hand clothing industry in parts of Africa is big business. In fact, many charities receive substantial revenue from the sale of this clothes. Why buy a t-shirt for 10 dollars when you can buy one for 32 cents? These trends should come as no surprise to Americans because consignment shops and thrift stores are plentiful. However, the difference is that in many parts of Africa second-hand clothing is the primary means of buying clothes and is, therefore, inadvertently stifling the growth of local African economies. Sadly, charities are playing a role in killing this growth.

Read the rest of the article here.

If you are interested in more articles, Philemon Yong has written a post on hurting the church in Romania.

Here are some interesting statistics from chapter 1 of Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)

  • Africa has recieved $1 trillion in benevolent aid in the last 50 year and per-capita income is now lower, life expectancy has stagnated and adult literacy is lower.
  • 85% of aid money flowing to African countries never reaches the targeted areas of need.
  • U.S. missions teams who rushed to Honduras to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Mitch spent on average $30K per home - homes locals could have built for $3K each.
  • The money spent by one campus ministry to cover the costs of their Central American mission trip to repaint an orphanage would have been enough to hire two local painters and two new full-time teachers and purchase new uniforms for every student in the school.
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You Are Called to Suffer

Nov. 13, 2015By: Philemon YongAuthor Bio

It is common to hear some Christians say that suffering is not something that should happen to God-fearing people. In some contexts, it is argued that suffering is a sign that God is not happy with you. Those experiencing any form of suffering are told that if only they trust God, he will take it away. Is this practical?

We all know that suffering is part of the human life, as long as Jesus tarries. The question is not whether we are to suffer, but how we should suffer. A most practical way to face and persevere in suffering without cursing God, as Job’s wife asked him to do, is to have right beliefs. It is best to embrace what Scripture says to us about suffering, and to affirm it when suffering does come. The starting point for this practice is first of all to accept the fact that as followers of Christ, we are called not to a suffering-free life but rather to expect it. What is the evidence for this? 

  1. Suffering along with faith is God’s gift to us (Phil. 1:29).
  2. According to Peter, suffering is what we have been called to (1 Peter 2:20-21).
  3. Suffering provides us with an opportunity to make a defense for what we have believed (1 Peter 3:14-15).
  4. Suffering dishonor for the sake of Christ’s name is worth rejoicing over (Acts 5:41).
  5. True children of God will suffer, and we must suffer with Christ in order to enjoy eternity with him (Rom. 8:17).
  6. Suffering purifies our faith and prepares us for glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7; Rom. 5:3).
  7. We are destined for affliction, and those who hear the gospel must also hear that they must expect affliction (1 Thess. 3:3-4).
  8. Our suffering testifies to God’s power (2 Cor. 12:8-10).
  9. We are not better than Jesus, who suffered for us not because of any sin on his part. If he was persecuted, how much more his followers (John 15:20)?
  10. We have the example of Jesus to follow in suffering (1 Peter 2:21-23).
  11. Our sufferings become a means of comfort for fellow believers (2 Cor. 1: 3-7).
  12. Suffering causes us to rely not on ourselves but on God who delivers us (2 Cor. 1:8-11).

The next time someone says to you that suffering is not your portion or that God does not want his children to suffer, tell them to get behind you for they are not speaking in accordance with the truth of Scripture. Those who shun suffering in the name of spirituality may find in the end that they have no place in the kingdom of God. It is indeed through much suffering and affliction that we will enter the kingdom of heaven.

You are I are called to suffer and to honor God in our suffering. We will suffer well (for the glory of God) only when we focus not on our present temporary afflictions but on the reality of our future glory (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Rom. 8:18).

May God grant us to suffer well like Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). 

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Using Your Poor Kid to Teach My Rich Kid a Lesson

Nov. 12, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Jamie Wright writes:


If a short-term mission has any value at all, it is undeniably found in its ability to educate the participant. It will stretch your kid's physical and spiritual boundaries by making them truly uncomfortable. It will teach them about a new culture. It will force them to engage with the world in a new way. It will make them appreciate the hot shower, cushy mattress, and abundantly full fridge they enjoy at home. This new found appreciation will last for at least one week. Sometimes more.
As we send throngs of suburban teenagers on short-term missions every year to “learn a lesson”, we have a responsibility to ask ourselves; What are the poor kids learning from all of this?


You can read the whole article here.

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