I recently had a conversation with a friend who was describing “the great digital divide,” the divide between those who have access to computers, the internet, and other technology, and those who do not. He explained how this is of great consequence because access to the internet and computers is becoming necessary for educational growth and achievement. He pointed out how kids in really poor communities here in the U.S. have to travel—sometimes for miles—to their public library and wait for an open computer just to get on the internet, while kids in middle class or upper class neighborhoods often have several computers, tablets, etc. in one house. To him this is a justice issue, a moral issue of equity and access.
While I certainly sympathize with those caught in this digital divide, my mind went to an even more tragic divide—the divide between those who have access to the gospel and a community of believers, and those who do not. During my family’s missionary service in Cambodia, a nation classified as unreached, I remember seeing young Cambodian village children, two or three to a bike, pedaling for miles to get to one of our churches every Sunday morning. I would ask myself, “Why do they keep coming?” Many of them were not yet professing believers. I can’t help but think that what was so attractive to them was a community of grace, love, and affection. Our missionaries pour their lives into the children, disciple them, and show them the love of Christ.
What is tragic is that there are thousands of other villages and people groups who don’t have access even to one believing Christian, let alone a believing community.
On my way to the MTW office each day I see churches everywhere—sometimes two on the same block. What a contrast! In countries where less than 2 percent of the population is evangelical Christian, it is not uncommon for people to be born, live, and die without ever hearing the gospel message or experiencing life in gospel community.
To me this is the most important justice issue we face as believers. It is a moral issue of equity and access. How is the Lord calling you to engage?