Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Speaking out against injustice

Our second son is a student in computer engineering. He came to visit during the past weekend. He also serves on the church council (and a few other committees) at the church where he worships. He shared something with me which made me angry and at the same time immensely proud of him.
The congregation where he worships has a great number of students attending and is considered to be something of a model church. A short while ago an orphanage, consisting of a number of smaller buildings, had a fire and one of the buildings which houses about twelve children was destroyed, fortunately without loss of life, as it seems that the house was not being used at the time. However, all the mattresses were lost.
The orphanage then approached the church and asked if they could assist them in getting new mattresses (or sponges, as we know them.) Now, we’re speaking probably of around R2000 ($250) for new sponges – not even an issue for a church of their size. Yet, as my son told me, the discussion went on for a long time and eventually it was approved that the church would donate their old sponges to the orphanage. At this point my son stood up and asked them if they could really do this with a clear conscience. The fact is, the church’s sponges were not being used, not because it wasn’t needed, but because they were so old and totally ruined, that nobody WANTS to use them anymore. And this scrap was going to be donated to an orphanage while they have more than enough money to give them twelve new mattresses.
I still don’t think that the church will buy new sponges. But I was so proud of my son standing up and speaking out against a decision that is totally wrong and unchristian (this before people twice his age or even older.)
To speak out against any form of injustice is not easy. Most of us (and I myself have done it more often than I want to admit) prefer to keep quiet when we have the choice to stand up against a group of people choosing for injustice. And then sometimes someone will stand up and become the conscience of the group to indicate to them that their decision cannot be justified in the eyes of God. These people will seldom be popular amongst humans. But then, God never called us to be popular. He called us to be witnesses of His love and his care and to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak.


Monday, June 8, 2009 - Posted by | Church, Leadership, Social issues, Theology


  1. Good for your son.

    He modeled the admonition given to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Those who failed to respond just stripped their spiritual treasury. Jesus also cautioned about being consumed with all kinds of greed. The church’s consistory is into bigger barns.

    Comment by Roger Perkins | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. Are the sponges about $20.00 each? Do you take US currency?

    Comment by Roger Perkins | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Reply

  3. Roger. Thanks. We do take $ but the problem is that the costs on both sides (USA & South Africa) are such that it becomes uneconomical to pay over small amounts. If you want to contribute, I would rather give you details on an American bank account which was created for the work in Swaziland and which the trustees in the USA pay over to us every three months or so. I know the pastor working at the orphanage personally and can then make sure that she receives this money. Let me know.

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thanks. Send the information. We contribute to a ministry in Uganda from time to time in a similar fashion.

    Comment by Roger Perkins | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Reply

  5. Thanks.

    You may send a check made out to Swaziland Relief Fund, LLC, to:
    C/o Dan Cooper
    200 S. Water St. #204
    Milwaukee, WI 53204

    Let me know the value of the check in $ and then I will make sure that a pro rate amount (after we received the full amount in Rands) be paid over to the orphanage. I’ll let you have the details of the pastor as well, then you can contact her.

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Reply

  6. Comment by Reuben James | Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Reply

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