A Peek into a Nation of Unreached Peoples :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

A Peek into a Nation of Unreached Peoples

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When you think of going to a field of unreached peoples, how does your heart react? Many people halt, as if stumbling suddenly upon a dark, empty chasm. Some hesitate at the terrors of the unknown. Others falter at what is known but seemingly impossible. Scripture provides several examples of God using people such as we are who halt or hesitate (Moses, Gideon, Isaiah) and even those who refuse (Jonah). Let’s respond to this void with courage, faith, and abandon, as if it were Joshua and Caleb’s report of a great harvest, great difficulties, and a great commission from God to go into the land and claim His territory.

Let me introduce you to a country in the northwest corner of the dark continent that is a land of promise. A promised land? No, but full of promise. It is not flowing with milk and honey but is flanked by both Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts and blessed with scenery from snowy Atlas peaks to dry Saharan sands. Its beauty and cultural charm draw worldwide tourism, but the gospel worker understands that this beauty is only skin deep. The promise of this land lies not in its geography or its storybook cultural feel but in its spiritual harvest gleaming white and ready for reapers.

A Great Harvest

Allow me to be your tour guide through this ripe field of unreached people. Throughout the country you will hear “marhaba” as the word of welcome. As a society, hospitality is their true glory. When you visit, be prepared to be stuffed with the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted and be soaked with more sugary mint tea than is good for you. Many open doors to speak of Christ have come from opportunities for hospitality. A chance meeting in a store can lead quickly to an invitation to share Friday couscous, which is reciprocated with an American meal, a picnic, more meals, a naming ceremony, a wedding, a funeral, more tea, etc.

This is also a café culture. There must be more cafés per capita here than churches in the “Bible Belt” of America. Whether doing business, meeting friends, enjoying a solitary sip, meeting a secret Bible requester, or watching a soccer match, cafés are the place to meet.

Foreigners are generally welcomed, and Americans are especially loved. All these features translate to a gospel servant’s ears as “open doors,” a great harvest.

Great Difficulties

The above description of this beautiful land of promise is true, but from the vantage point of a ten-day visitor. The goal of tourism is for you to walk away only seeing the glories. However, a lengthy stay will eventually disclose what is behind the cultural façade.

Here revered character qualities include spying on your neighborhood, driving like a maniac, and weaselly, dishonest dealings. Lying is like breathing. This honor-shaming culture registers wrong only when it is disclosed, but then breaks out in public displays of rage.

Anti-proselytism laws are not a stop sign for gospel workers, but they do signal a decrease in the speed of ministry. Constant care must be taken to be “wise as serpents.” Converting someone from Islam to another religion means a two-year jail sentence for nationals and expulsion for foreigners. It is not unlawful for a national to be a Christian here, just very uncomfortable. Christians’ families disown them. Fear paralyzes the underground church.

The long-term worker must have a “tentmaking” platform on which to build residency. This requires extra time, patience, and finances. Is all that effort worth it? Christ’s agony, death, resurrection, and final commission answer a resounding “yes!” We must go, by grace, hurdling the great difficulties while focused on the great commission.

A Great Commission

With Christ’s great commission comes great promises: I am with you always; the Holy Spirit will empower you to be My witness; I will build My Church.

Every nation has its infamous character flaws. “Such were some of you…” But what glory to our Savior to see His grace transform a life, changing a person’s homeland habits into the conduct of a citizen of God’s kingdom! Titus knew Cretans to be “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (1:12), but what was the solution? “…reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith…But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (1:13; 2:1). With reproof and sound teaching we have the keys to character change.

Churches are in the process of being planted in this land of promise. Although setbacks come, it is a tremendous privilege and an exhilarating challenge to labor with Christ as He builds His Church. With God all things are possible!

Don’t be paralyzed by the “dark, empty chasm” of going to unreached peoples. I challenge you to peer over its edge by taking the five steps in this ten-minute challenge.

  1. Read: Carefully read Matthew 28:18-20.
  2. Pray: Stop for one minute and pray for God’s glory to be declared among the nations (Psalm 96:3) while including the four “alls” of the above verses as you pray.
  3. Search: Paste into your browser the following link for the 100 most populous unreached peoples in the world (https://joshuaproject.net/unreached/1).
  4. Answer: After familiarizing yourself with the significance of each column, answer the following:
    • What general area of the world has the most unreached peoples?
    • What is the correlation between the “Population” and “Workers Needed” columns?
    • How many workers do you know who are either preparing for or working in these places?
    • Does that simple search present a huge need?
  5. Pray: Ask the Lord to send forth more laborers into His harvest (Mt. 9:38). You may want to print out the prayer cards from this website to help you pray daily.

Will you consider Christ’s call for you to join in His work? Will you pray for laborers to unreached peoples and be willing to be the answer to your prayers?