It is a common objection when aid is sent to other countries that we should be looking after our own first.
Certainly, the Lord has placed us in nations and communities – villages, towns, cities, counties, states – to which we owe an obligation.
But as Christians we must understand who, ultimately, “our own” really are.
The Apostle Paul instructs us, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10, emphasis added).
The Bible is clear that we are to do good to our neighbour (Mark 12:31), which is anybody at all that we come across, regardless of their faith or belief.
Yet it is equally clear that we have a particular responsibility to look after our own – and that “our own” are other Christians, God’s believing children, our brothers and sisters in Christ, those of “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10, ESV), regardless of where in the world they are to be found.
If the question then is asked why we should help Christians in far-off places, it is because they are our own family.
This is why the mission of Barnabas Aid is to channel aid from Christians, through Christians, exclusively to Christians (though its benefits may not be exclusive to them).
We exist to help and to serve our own – “the family of believers”.