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By Anna

he Buda Reformed Church looking pretty affluent in Budapest, Hungary

he Buda Reformed Church looking pretty affluent in Budapest, Hungary

As a cross-cultural missions minor at Bethel University, I have yet to read one book or one essay about ministering to the affluent society. When it comes to missions in Budapest, one has to recognize that this city loved God for hundreds of years, but has recently rejected any idea of God because it felt like he rejected them (WWII and Soviet occupation).

The most I’ve ever learned about living among an affluent people has been from Solomon’s Porch. If I had to guess as to why I can’t find any books about this or know many missionaries in affluent countries it would be because 1. Money = greed 2. Ministry to the poor is tangible and easier—short-term mission teams can come in, help and leave with no extended commitment 3. It takes more thought, intellect and longer commitment than most people are willing (How do we reach the deepest needs of a person’s heart when the person feel no real needs?)

My parents always taught me that no matter where you were in the world you were on a “mission field” to borrow the Evangelistic Christian term, and to this day I believe it. But I was confused by what I had been learning in my minor. Shouldn’t I dedicate my life to the poor? My interpretation of “The Rich Young Ruler” in Matthew 19 was always literal. Sell everything you have and give it to those in need. Last year I heard an interpretation that makes just as much if not more sense: the story is not about money, but about what keeps us from God. How is an affluent society going to listen to one who judges and points the finger at their affluence?

No matter how little or how much we have, material distracts. I have a lot no matter how little I have.