The Skinny End


If you came upon ten men carrying a pole, and nine of them were carrying the skinny, light end and one was burdened with the fat, heavy end, to which end of the pole would you rush to help?

That illustration was one that motivated Barb and I to pursue missions, a pursuit which God has not yet seen fit to fulfill. The reality is that 90% of Christian workers are working among the the 10% of the world’s population where Christianity is already established. Only 10% of Christian workers are laboring in fields where 90% of the non-Christians are. To rush to the fat, underserved end seems to make sense.

Paradoxuganda, as missionary doctors, make this point graphically and poignantly in this post. I encourage you reading the whole.

“Why not send the doctors and nurses and malaria medicines and hospital equipment and public health research and educational outreach to the epicenters of disease? Well, the maps for health workers are actually the INVERSE of the maps for disease. Uganda ranks 129 of 135 countries with data for physician coverage, with 0.08 doctors per 1000 population, and only 39% of births attended by skilled personnel. I hope that medical schools and mission agencies spend time reviewing data like this . . . .”

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2 thoughts on “The Skinny End

  1. Rebekah

    Unfortunately, you have to work your entire medical career to go and pay off your med school loans (or at least half of it), so it will have to take a committment from the training end of the medical community if they want to send doctors. They would have to give an education for free, and those that want to give away free medical care aren’t always the kind of students that end up getting the free tuition…(at least as I’ve always understood it…)…

  2. Randy Greenwald

    Good point. Things are always more complicated than first appearances seem. But that does not mean the data should not move those who have access to the distribution of resources for missions and aid.It is clearly not everyone who can really live and work in the conditions that such missions demand. But… for those who are willing and able, we should do everything possible to encourage them to do so.

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