“Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset.”
“... I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”
... only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it”
Parris is very clear. The missionary message, and the deeds inspired by it, get more mileage than relief funds, secular NGOs, the U.N., education, etc.
I have a Canadian friend who has long maintained that the best thing a Christian can do for Africa is to go there, even if only for a short time. Wayne leads teams of North Americans into Liberia, and Sierra Leone two and three times a year. The teams sometimes number 20 or 30 or more. The airfare for those teams could feed thousands of orphans, maybe build a school or two, or staff a small hospital for a year. When practical folks like myself point this out, Wayne objects vehemently. Our “ministry of presence” is simply invaluable, he contends, and Matthew Parris offers his own unique “Amen!”