Last night I had the opportunity to attend a report from some men and women who recently visited Central America on a mission reconnaissance trip. They came back with pictures, stories, and recommendations. Through the years, I have travelled to Central and South and witnessed firsthand the socio-economic conditions of those countries. Many things we take for granted in the United States are luxuries or even unheard of by most families in these countries. I came to this meeting thinking I knew what I was going to see and hear. I was only partially correct.
The conditions of this country were what I expected. Mostly concrete block houses, or wooden structures, with dirt floors and open holes (some barred) for windows. Some dwellings or church buildings had electricity most did not. Some church building were nothing more than a “tractor shed” and one children’s classroom was only thatched roof. Many families survive on less than $75/month and in one community families scavenge the community garbage dump for things to sell in town and even for food. Cattle and horses use the main highways and cars, motorcycles, and buses have to share the same roads. All of this is typical for developing and underdeveloped countries.
Yet, as much as this was what I was expecting, my eyes were opened. Maybe re-opened. Maybe this was a reminder. What I heard and learned from this report was how spiritually focused these people are. One congregation in particular, one which met under a small metal roof with no walls opened my eyes to a weakness of being a Christian in the United States. Their devotion convicts us of spiritual complacency at the very least. These Christians meet for worship or Bible study on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (and sometimes on Saturday). Here in the Bible Belt, Christians struggle to attend once a week – some once a month. However these Christians gather multiple times a week to spend time in fellowship, the apostles teaching, and in prayer (Acts 2:42).
What can we do?
- Choose to take advantage of the opportunities we have to gather with other Christians in formal and informal settings.
- Turn off the screens and other distractions and spend more time with God.
- Cut back on our activities that pull us away from fellowship, study, and worship.
What do you suggest?