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Check out this interactive map from the International Mission Board Global Research. Look closely. Mental note: where are the reds?

Legend
Green: more than 2% evangelical.
Yellow: less than 2% evangelical, church planting strategy currently in place.
Red: less than 2% evangelical, no current church planting strategy.

You’ll see that most of the red rests in an unseen box that missiologists like to call the 10/40 Window. It’s where the zeros are:

Zero written scripture.
Zero churches.
Zero disciples.
Zero missionaries.
Zero chance to hear the gospel.

This is also a good interactive map from peoplegroups.org.

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I’d rather be where the reds are, meaning, I am passionate about communities of people who have never yet had a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus.

It’s what I live for.
It’s what drives me.
It’s what irritates me.
It’s why I exist in this world.

So let’s put this is perspective.

Unreached people groups are made up of real people.

Like Ma Rui, a Bai ethnic tribal woman in Dali. She would always try to sell me ethnic jewelry of which I had no use. I would always tell her about Jesus, of which she had no use.

She was so stubborn that it took her 10 years before finally making a decision to follow Jesus.

And like Hong Yan, who has never celebrated Easter. No one’s ever told her about it. She simply has no access to the gospel.

They are only a couple out of millions who have no access to the gospel.

So back to the reds. They are not only dots and marks on maps. They represent real people who are waiting for a witness of the kingdom. And it’s to these people that I will be going with our team at Within Reach Global.

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Take some time to look over these maps. Learn the reality of the great imbalance of global missions. Make a decision to do something about the problem. Go where the reds are. Support ministry efforts that are reaching the unreached. Pray that God would send more workers into his ready harvest fields.

    

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Now imagine this:

What if there were only 7 churches in North America?

If the Christian Church was an apple-picking society, what kind of apple picker would you be?

 

Definitions:

  • People group – a group of people sharing a common ethnic identity and language.
  • Unreached People Group – a people group is unreached when less than two percent of its population is evangelical Christian.
  • Engaged People Group – a people group is engaged when a church planting strategy, consistent with Evangelical faith and practice, is under implementation. It is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer or is part of an advocacy strategy.
David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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