There is so much wonderful Kingdom work to do in America, so why should Christians leave “their own” to go into foreign missions?
William Carey, 18th century missionary to India, answers that question nicely. He says:
That there are thousands in our own land as far from God as possible, I readily grant, and that this ought to excite us to ten-fold diligence in our work, and in attempts to spread divine knowledge amongst them is a certain fact; but that it ought to supersede all attempts to spread the gospel in foreign parts seems to want proof.
Our own countrymen have the means of grace, and may attend on the word preached if they chuse it. They have the means of knowing the truth, and faithful ministers are placed in almost every part of the land, whose spheres of action might be much extended if their congregations were but more hearty and active in the cause:
but with them the case is widely different, who have no Bible, no written language, (which many of them have not) no ministers, no good civil government, nor any of those advantages which we have. Pity therefore, humanity, and much more Christianity, call loudly for every possible exertion to introduce the gospel amongst them.
Carey’s conclusion is that those in his (and by implication our) nation have greater means available to them. People in the U.S. have truth that can bring them to God. Such as: Bibles, Christian friends and neighbors, churches, online sermons, etc. However, many people groups simply do not have these means. Many will live and die without hearing the Gospel, without knowing one Christian, and without hearing one portion of Scripture in their language. This is simply a tragedy and this is why we go and why we ask the Lord to send out more laborers into his harvest.