Security plays a bigger role in ministry approach

By August 17, 2007

International (MNN) — International Aid is wrestling with security and ministry in light of missionary kidnappings.

Humanitarian aid workers used to be afforded some protection, but I-A's Myles Fish says, in light of the Afghanistan Taliban kidnappings, that's obviously changed.

It forced them to consider two questions as they look at new projects. "The first question that one has to ask is, 'How much risk am I willing to expose our missionaries or our employees to?' The other question that you have to balance that with is, 'How safe does it have to be in order for us to respond to what we believe the Lord wants us to do?'" 

Through ongoing health programs and projects, I-A helps people who have no access to healthcare. The work of faith organizations and missionaries around the world are examples of faith in action.

I-A works partners in a ministry of compassion, respecting individual cultural differences, while also promoting open communication and personal growth. Many missionaries are now trained to work in potentially hostile environments by teaching culture and language rather than preaching.

Fish says the danger won't change their mission. "I think in a conflict zone, the need to be sharing the Gospel escalates. It's not an option just to leave, because the hope of Jesus Christ is even more needed in a conflict zone than in times of peace. It is something people have to be aware of. We're having to factor this into the ministry now that we never have before."

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