MIssionary Work in Uganda
It is unacceptable for missionaries to use their resources to get polices passed into law in some African countries that they could never get passed in their own country. As is currently evident in the actions of American Evangelicals in Uganda and the kill-the-Gays bill. Missionary work” is often associated with the preaching of “the gospel”. But missionaries also offer services in the form of education, literacy, social justice, healthcare and economic developments. However, missionaries are cautioned to be aware of social justice issues and the dangers of cultural imperialism or economic exploitation disguised as religious conversion. Apparently, some American evangelicals missed the class on exploitation disguised as missionary work.
The evangelical, mission in Uganda seems to be geared towards creating an environment of persecution and hate against gays and lesbians. Their mission of persecution is a social injustice. Missionaries should not get involved in the local politics in the country they are serving, if their desired outcome is the persecution of its people. Most important it is wrong for missionaries to push their own personal agendas using political and cultural issues.
My concern with this issue of missionary groups and their efforts, pushed me to learn more about what other missionary groups are doing within the region, specifically Uganda. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not only focuses on spreading “their gospel”. They offer Humanitarian Services in the form of relief and developmental projects in countries all over the world, without regard to the nationality or religion of the recipients. Their missionary efforts include partnering with health organization and ministries of health around the world.
Through their partnership they offer five ongoing global projects. The neonatal resuscitation project, wheelchair initiative project, clean water projects, measles vaccinations project and the vision treatment project. They have successfully worked with Ugandans offering their services, according to the needs of each specific village. The goal of the Church is to focus on the long term needs of each community. The missionary’s purpose is to teach the people to become self-reliant by teaching them skills, and providing resources for a self sustained life.
Which group do you think is doing “missionary work”?
After learning about the work of the Church of Latter Day Saints and their Humanitarian projects, I think this should be the real focus and activity for mission groups. They provide resources that are needed and instrumental in the lives of the people they seek to empower. Their mission work is organized to focus on the real needs of the people in whatever region they are serving.
Therefore, as individuals seeking to do missionary work or donating to specific missionaries, let us do our homework, as to who is really doing missionary work. Are we seeking to join missionaries that are genuinely working to empower the individuals they profess to help or are we empowering messengers of hate and negativity? In our quest to help others donate to organizations that provide resources that are life sustaining. When we speak about missionary projects that we are supporting let it be organizations that actually provide real “missionary” services.