The Real Heroes of Social Justice

I’ve been home now for a little over a day and have been thinking about how to wrap up my thoughts on this trip. There’s so much that I could write about. More experiences with children and families, why writing letters actually does make a difference… But the thing I keep coming back to is social justice.

Social justice is a weird animal.

Why? Because there is always a question of “who is the hero?”

Photo by Yuri Fortin, Compassion Honduras

There are a number of answers one could give; more often than not, though, the answer will be (overtly or covertly) a way of saying, “We are!”

It’s a real challenge for every organization.

Who is the hero of social justice organizations? The program? The supporters? The fundraising model?


Want to know something that’s really, really freeing?

NGOs are not the heroes in the lives of kids like these. Neither are the programs, the supporters or the funding model.

So, who is then?

A few nights ago we had dinner with the country management team of Compassion Honduras. And they gave us the answer:

The Church.

The Church is God’s chosen instrument to proclaim the gospel in this world, serving as an outpost for the Kingdom of God.

In North America, it’s easy to slag off on the Church and say that whatever it’s doing isn’t enough (or anything at all). And you know what? Sure, it’s easy to take shots at the Church here. We’ve got a lot of silly things that we do, but here’s the thing:

The Church is the hero in these communities that we’ve visited.

It’s why you won’t see Compassion’s name all over the place at any of the projects here.  You don’t see independent Compassion projects.

There’s only the Church.

“It’s not Compassion at work in the community; it’s the Church,” said Compassion Honduras’ country director while we ate dinner on Tuesday night. It’s the Church feeding, educating, and caring for children. It’s the Church sharing the gospel and discipling boys and girls.

I’m grateful to God that Compassion’s get this in Honduras and in all of our field countries. I’m glad that we know God has ordained the Church to make His name great among the nations.

It’s something I hope we never lose sight of.

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