If Not Us, Then Who? Why We Serve at the End of the Road

There are places in the world where the road ends and help stops.

These places are desolate, isolated, and dangerous. The problems there—both natural and man-made—have gone on for too long to make the headlines. They are places where humanitarian aid has fallen short.

In these places, there are children who drink dirty water and are always sick. Their families don’t have enough food to eat so they are malnourished. Their governments overlook their needs and the powerful exploit their desperation. And most of the world doesn’t even know they exist.

God has called World Concern to serve the families who live in these places. Why is that? Because no one else is! We’re not interested in duplicating someone else’s work. We want to go where the need is most urgent and extreme.

Mayen Village

a woman carries a jar of water on her head next to a small pond

One of these places is Mayen Village in South Sudan. The people in Mayen lived in fear of militia and independent terrorist groups plundering their village and taking everything they had. The failed government of South Sudan didn’t protect them and there was no infrastructure to provide the basics of daily life—water, sanitation, education, medical services. Families were trapped in a cycle of sickness and poverty. They lived day to day, barely surviving.

Mayen is exactly the type of place God has called us to serve.

We met with village leaders and listened to what they needed. Together we made a plan and worked to achieve their goals. We provided expertise and materials, and they dug a well. Once they had clean, disease-free water, they planted crops and we taught them how to increase their yield.

children gather water in a yellow bucket from a village well

They wanted their children to be educated and to become literate, so we helped them achieve those goals. And they wanted a church, so they built one. Then we gave them audio Bibles in their own language, and many of them have become followers of Christ.

Deng, former witch doctor and now Christ follower in Mayen, said, “World Concern came to the end of the dirt road. Then they began flattening the bush and grass, making the road longer, to reach the people who need help.”

Deng had a good business going as one of the village witch doctors. The people lived in fear so they went to him and he made sacrifices to keep them safe. He also cursed their enemies.

But one day a miracle happened that saved Deng’s life, and he saw the power of the true and living God. He went to the village pastor and heard the gospel, and he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Now he teaches the Bible to anyone who will listen.

a man stands in front of a classroom to write on a board

Deng might have never heard the gospel if we had stopped where the road ended. Mayen Village might have never experienced change. Sure, God could have used others. But we were the ones who said “Yes! We will go,” and He used us.

The work was hard, and sometimes messy, but so worthwhile. By working together with the members of Mayen Village to meet their greatest needs, we saw families and an entire community transformed.

Five years later, Mayen Village has a well where families draw clean, disease-free water—breaking the cycle of sickness and poverty that filthy water brings. The community uses modern farming methods and has a communal garden that provides healthy vegetables and grains for everyone. And a thriving church teaches the Word of God to men, women, and children who have been set free from fear and idolatry by the love of Christ.

The chief of Mayen summed it up by saying, “We were down but now we are climbing up.”

How World Concern Serves Alongside a Village

four men lead a donkey to plow a field

The “end of the road” is many places in our world. It is a congested urban slum in Dhaka, Port-au-Prince, or Nairobi. A remote cluster of huts in South Sudan only accessible on foot. A mountain village in Myanmar cut off from the world when monsoons hit. A refugee camp for families fleeing conflict, famine, and terror. A hillside home in Nepal reduced to rubble after a devastating earthquake.

Our mission is to go, wherever that “end of the road” may be, and to work with the people and communities we find there. We sit with them, listen to them, grieve with them, labor with them, and transform with them.

We go because Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” When we serve people, we are serving Christ.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” John 1:14. Just as Jesus became one of us, we are called to be incarnational in our ministry. Jesus dwelt, and still dwells, among us, his beloved creation. He is present with us in suffering, trials, and transformation.

We are called to do the same—to be present with those we serve in brokenness, to live beside them, and to lend them a hand to rise above their circumstances. We are Christ’s hands, mouthpieces, feet, and heart in a broken world.

When we go to the hardest places at the end of the road we do not bring Jesus with us—we meet him there. God’s work is not contingent on our action or inaction. Rather, He invites us to join in His work of reaching those who have yet to learn about His love.

That’s why we go … and will keep going … to the end of the road and beyond.

Learn more about the World Concern difference by visiting One Village Transformed.

Published by

Elizabeth Griffin

Elizabeth Griffin is the Senior Writer for World Concern.