I’ve found that there are a few stigmas that we have about the unreached world.
Say the word “unreached” and mental images of ugliness and debasement are generally evoked.
Either that or we subliminally gather these individuals and communities into a large group of nebulous humans. A sea of humanity. A massive conglomeration of bobbing and weaving heads without faces.
In our mind’s eye, they are barely human. Sometimes the “unreached” don’t feel real to us.
By unreached I am not simply referring to individuals who will darken the door of church this Sunday. I’m not talking about unsaved people or neighbors who live as though God were dead.
I’m talking about people—whole communities of people—without access to the Christian Gospel.
Stop for a moment. Can you picture that? There are no churches, no Christian bookstores, no Gospel radio broadcasts, no missionaries, and no believers among them. They simply have no idea who in the world this Jesus that we speak about actually is.
Unfathomable. The notion of it all makes me uncomfortable and angry.
But alas, we’ve learned to live with the reality. So we do church and small groups, and we’re busy with the things that we’re busy with. To be fair, most of the stuff we’re busy with is good old fashioned decent stuff. Well, at least some of it.
Truth be told, we simply don’t have that much spare time to consider the plight of the unreached world in the 10/40 Window.
Anyway, they’re far away. They live in dumps. It’s hard to get to them. And besides, someone else—maybe a church or para-church organization—will figure out what to do about them.
Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
But sadly, we haven’t gone far beyond our own zip codes. Meanwhile, millions are still waiting at the other end of our obedience.
We have misinterpreted information about who the unreached actually are. Let me remind you: they have names and faces. They are making plans for the weekend. They like to drink coffee and leafy green tea. They want justice and they have hopes for a better future. They are mothers and fathers and uncles and aunties and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters.
The unreached people groups of the 10/40 Window are real.
They live in urban megacities and street side shanties. Some are the poorest of the poor. Others have more money than you have ever seen in your entire life. They live in beautiful, bucolic countrysides, along the banks of curious rivers cascading toward ocean inlets.
Here’s what I encourage you to do: Remember them. Remember that God delights to use you to go where many can or will not. He wants to hear your prayers bubble forth; to beseech Him to draw people to Himself by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can do this. You have time. Not only that, you are called to do this.
You can sow financially into an organization that is focused on reaching the unreached. You can travel abroad on a short-term mission trip. You can be a part of God’s epic redemptive salvation plan of bringing every nation, tribe, people, and language to the throne of grace.
Unreached people groups don’t always live in ugly places. Sometimes their settings are quite serene. But life without the knowledge of a Savior is barely life at all.
Maybe it’s time we helped change that.