God Has Blessed America!
by K.P. Yohannon - Gospel for Asia
North Americans don’t know what an unbelievable privilege it is to be born or to live in the United States or Canada. I could write volumes about the abundance of education, food, health care and housing in the West. There’s nothing a person needs here that isn’t inexpensive and plentiful. Even homeless street people in the United States live infinitely better than many in poor nations.
While much of the Asian world works from dawn to dusk for a few handfuls of rice, many Americans are more concerned with how to lose weight! While many people in the world can’t read or write, Americans worry about choosing the "right" school for their children. While much of the world barely has two changes of clothes, many Americans are concerned primarily with the latest fashion and color.
I don’t really need to develop this point. Most North Americans are already vaguely aware of these material luxuries and privileges, although they rarely pause to thank God for them. But we seem to be less aware of the spiritual luxuries we enjoy. Let us concentrate on this area for a moment.
First of all, in the United States, we know about Jesus. Even if His beautiful name is used as a curse word or joke, virtually every American has at least heard the Christmas story. Most have heard the gospel repeatedly. How different this is from my native Asia.
For nearly six years, I wandered from village to village and street to street in North India. Everywhere I would ask the same question, "Have you heard of Jesus?"
I cannot tell you how many times we would hear the reply, "Sir, there is no Jesus Christ living here. Maybe he lives in the next village. Why don’t you try there?"
Millions of people in Asia have not once heard the gospel yet, have never seen a Bible, a tract or a Christian video. Hundreds of millions have never heard a Christian radio broadcast or even met a believer—let alone spoken with a trained missionary.
Hundreds of thousands of villages are without a Christian witness, and there are 11,000 unreached people groups in the world still without a church! Most of these are in Asia.
Many times, when I quote these gigantic numbers to audiences, I see eyes glaze over. These numbers have been heard so many times they have lost their impact. But remember, we’re talking about real people with lost souls. These are not monkeys jumping up and down, or fish in the sea, but people who are born and die, love and hate. They suffer loneliness, guilt and pain just as you and I do.
Compare this crying need overseas to the present situation in the United States alone:
More that one million Americans are ordained ministers, leaving one preacher for every 240 persons.
There are more than 360,921 churches, 6,100 Christian bookstores, 1,393 Christian radio stations, 259 Christian television stations and 1,068 producers of religious broadcasts. Also, we have countless Christian schools, colleges and seminaries.
More than ninety-five percent of the total church budget in the United States is spent at home to maintain programs rather than to reach out in missions. Of the five percent that goes overseas to missions, one percent is used to reach the unreached.
Only one out of every 171 North American missionaries serving overseas is concentrating on going to the unreached peoples.
The situation here at home is scandalous. A tiny slice of the world’s population, living in the U.S. and Canada, is getting stuffed with the gospel over and over while most of the world is still waiting for a first bite.
Our first reaction, I suppose, should be to fall on our knees and thank God for the privilege of living in a nation that is super-saturated with the gospel. But next, we need to ask ourselves seriously why God has given the United States these tremendous material and spiritual resources.