Wealthy Christians in poor countries

One of the biggest issues for the believer who lives overseas is money. If you live in a wealthy country it's not all that big of a deal, but if you come from the western world and you leave the western world. Chances are that you've moved from a place with money to place without.

The dilemma you find yourself in is where will you live? (OPTION A) If you live a poorer part of town you may feel better about inviting over your local friends because your house will not be intimidating to them. However, you may quickly find it unbearable to live in a setting where everything breaks, the plumbing doesn't work well, the power is out regularly and your spouse wants to kill you (if your kids are old enough they may want you dead as well). Your capacity for longevity in that field may be directly reduced by your choice to live in less than comfortable circumstances... Yet many people take this route (in my opinion few of them make it in the long run).

The other (OPTION B) is you could buy or rent a nice house which would still cost a fraction of what it would cost you back home, you'll be saving money and your family will be comfortable. The issue will then arise in inviting your local friends over. Are they intimidated by your money? Are you able to bless them with your things? Or are you raising all kinds of questions that cant be answered and will only make your friends less comfortable with you?

The truth is, the vast majority of the people overseas simply choose to not come to a conclusion on this issue. It's just too hard.

I would argue that if the Lord calls you to the poor, or even the poorer, and you feel you (and your family) have the calling clear enough on their lives to take that step, then move into (A). Stay there and thrive.

Otherwise you're probably stuck with (B) for the sake of your family, your spouse etc... In an ever globalizing world, this is less difficult because the locals -- often no matter how poor they may be -- are acutely aware that because of where you come from you'll likely have money.

Apart from these views there is one other thing, often left unconsidered. Possessions, money, a big house, doesn't have to own you. I'll admit that I was 22 years old before I met someone who could live this appropriately.

The man was a very successful lawyer and lived in (what in my opinion) was a mansion. He invited me in and as I looked around he said "I know! Can you believe how the Lord has blessed us?" He showed me the back yard, his private pool, and then took me upstairs to show me his theater room. He had a massive projector showing Major League Baseball on one wall and six or seven leather lazy boy recliners stacked on risers throughout the room. It was spectacular. And he was blessed. And he knew it. And he wanted to share it. I never felt more comfortable in a wealthy home.

No matter where we are, what we do, there are those around us who are poorer, and those who are wealthier. Often the house you move out of to downsize, will be moved into by someone who is them-self downsizing.

If we remember who gives us the gifts, and we are willing to give them back. Then we can live where we feel called and how we want. We can bless our wives with good gifts, and our children with running water and regular baths and heat... But don't forget the locals...