Occasionally people will talk about adoption - and the conversation will focus on the necessity of providing homes for orphans, and children in need. From there, it is common that passionate opinions are given about how we should focus our resources to the children here (where we live) instead of adopting from another country. Valid points are given on both sides of the argument; but what is most seen is that there is a need both here and there. But what about reaching people who don't know Christ and His Gospel?
Often, the missionary idea is only thought of in regard to foreign countries. But what about the need here? Yes, there is a need in other countries, but should we ignore the souls of America any less than we ignore the children who need homes in America? Shouldn't our heart cry for the eternity of those who haven't surrendered their lives to Jesus? We think of tribes who "haven't heard" - but what about those we aren't telling? Is the value of one soul more precious than the other?
This isn't to say that we don't have domestic missionaries, but what is the difference in their vocation? A foreign missionary will live for the one goal of bringing the Gospel to the people - a domestic missionary may plant churches. I understand these are blanket statements that aren't true of all missionaries (foreign and domestic) but they are typical.
And then there is the way that a foreign missionary lives. They will be in a culture but they are not part of that culture. They live with their needs met, but don't desire wealth.
Folks, we are all called to be missionaries - in the way we imagine the foreign missionary - and we are called to be missionaries in this way, even if we never go to a foreign country. We are in the world but not of the world, God will meet our needs and our desire should not be for wealth and success, but in leading people to Jesus. This is the purpose of our lives!