A friend that I had not seen in years asked me a while back what I was doing now. As I began to explain my work with Hope Springs International in Africa, and before I could finish he interrupted with this response. “Yeah, I know all about those rice Christians.” His years in Vietnam had colored his view of mission work in developing nations. He saw hungry masses responding to preachers offering food and determined this was really all they were interested in. I am sure there was an element of truth in his observation, but to judge all work among developing nations this way was not only unfair, it was personally disheartening.
I just received a report from Pierre Rimorbe, Evangelist in Dono-Manga, Chad. He reported that 12 more people had put Christ on in baptism; hardly a picture of masses coming for the loaves and fishes. It takes time to reach people who have been steeped in Animism and superstition all of their lives.
When we came to Dono-Manga in 2009 the local preachers were called “blood suckers”. What little religion they had seen had been interpreted as people out to get what little they had. What a vastly different story is being told today as clean water is flowing everywhere and the Jordan Health Center is treating hundreds. The report continued,
“The churches in the region continue to grow both in faith and in numbers. Members are happy and proud that the Jordan Health Center is associated with their new found faith. A thanksgiving service is being organized to celebrate the recovery of Pierre and others who are now enjoying better health.”
When the love of Christ is demonstrated, with no strings attached, hearts are opened to hear the message of a God who loves them more than they could ever know. Our work with local churches simple provides a context for the Gospel when it is preached. That is what Jesus did.
Rice Christians? Hardly!
We invite you to join us in bringing “Lasting Change”…one village at a time. Want to learn more, donate, or ask a question? You can do it all right here: www.hopespringsint.com.