Posts Tagged ‘unreached peoples’
Posted on January 8th, 2015 by Jonathan
It may seem like we’re splitting hairs to differentiate between “lost” and “unreached,” but we aren’t.
In a previous post, we discussed unreached peoples, who they are, and what it practically means to be unreached. The definition we gave for unreached was: “people groups among whom there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to engage the people group with church planting.” In describing what it would mean to be in an unreached people group (UPG), David Platt illuminates the one factor that makes a UPG different than merely being lost:
You don’t have access to the gospel. And this is key; this is why we don’t say, Well, I don’t know why we talk about unreached people around the world when there are unreached people who work at my office. Not true. Those people aren’t unreached. Why? Because they have access to the gospel. You are their access to the gospel!
The people who don’t know Christ at your office are lost. For the salvation of their souls, they must respond to the gospel with repentance and faith. But because you are in their life (and, presumably, so are other Christians), they are not unreached.
While an individual can’t be more or less lost (you either know Jesus or you don’t), an individual can have more or less access to the gospel. For this reason, we talk about UPGs a lot.
We should always be sensitive to the lost, having eternity in our eyes and the good news on our lips. But when there are over 6,500 UPGSs comprised of at least 2 billion individual people… it’s safe to say that the unreached deserve our urgent attention.
Posted on November 13th, 2014 by Jonathan
Below are some of the people who have taken the challenge to miss a meal #ForTheMission this month. Instead of eating a meal, they’ve chosen to donate the money they would have spent on it to the spread of the gospel among the nations. If you would like to do the same, you can text “4mission” to 80888 to give $10 or donate online at www.imb.org/meal. Then be sure to post a picture of your empty plate with the hashtag #ForTheMission to help spread the word!
Posted on September 25th, 2014 by Jonathan
To acquaint (or re-acquaint) yourself with David Platt’s teaching on missions, here is a collection of videos in which he talks about different aspects of it. While these videos do not offer a comprehensive theology of missions, we hope they will compel you to go to God in his Word and to the lost in the world.
Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by David Burnette
Pastor and author J.D. Payne has just released a free ebook titled Unreached Peoples, Least Reached Places. You might just be shocked to learn about the number of unreached peoples and least reached places right here in America.
Here’s J.D.’s description of this new resource taken from his own blog, “Missiologically Thinking“:
It’s brief, about fifty pages. That is intentional. You can read it quickly.
The pastors with The Church at Brook Hills are always asking how we can best equip our faith family for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-12). Part of shepherding others to reach the nations requires painting a picture of the realities of lostness. Therefore, I wrote this short ebook for our people.
Unreached Peoples, Least Reached Places is written to cast a vision of reality in the United States, and to offer some practical steps to move us along in disciple making and church multiplication. We know much about lostness in other parts of the world; we know little about it in our backyard.
One of the convictions that we hold as a faith family is to give away many of our resources for Kingdom advancement. With this in mind, I am releasing this book to you. I pray that it will be a blessing to you and your ministry.
Download your copy.
If you do, tell others to get a copy. Spread the word, far and wide.
Take it. Give it away.
Use it for leading your church to the nations in this nation and beyond.
J. D. serves as the pastor for church multiplication with The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. Before moving to Birmingham, he served for ten years with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and as an Associate Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism in the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he directed the Center for North American Missions and Church Planting.
Posted on December 10th, 2013 by David Burnette
D.A. Carson talks about the relationship between Christ’s return and unreached peoples. You can register for CROSS here.
Posted on May 8th, 2013 by Jonathan
Kunbi of India
Religion: Hinduism (99.86%)
Persecution Rank: 31
About: The Kunbi (alternate names of Reddi and Desai) are a prominent community of Karnataka. They can also be found in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa and Maharashtra. However, traditionally the Reddy belong to the fourth of the Hindu Varnas, Sudra. One section of the Reddy is called Kapu which means guardian.
The majority of the Kunbi communities are non-vegetarian, and all the communities take rice as their staple cereal. Jowar, wheat, bajra, and ragi are the other cereals for them.
The Kunbi community have social divisions such as clans, lineage, subcastes and sects. These social divisions regulate marital alliances.
The traditional occupation of most of the Reddy groups is settled cultivation, followed by animal husbandry and labour. Both men and women smoke a homemade cheroot (chutta) which results a high incidence of mouth and throat cancer.
They are Hindu by faith and worship many deities. Their main festivals are Ugadi, Akshade, and Dussehra. They play bhajans and kirtans.
They speak the Kannada and Telugu languages. Alternate names: Kapu, Akutota, Desai, Dommari, Guruda, Illela, Kuruva, Musugu, Nadi Taram, Panta, Sajjana, Renati, etc.
- Pray for the ultimate salvation of the Kunbi people.
- Pray that God would send Christian laborers to work among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
- Pray for the small number of Kunbi Christians to reach out to their own people.
- Pray that God would raise up strong local churches among the Kunbi.
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! – Psalm 117:1
Posted on January 21st, 2013 by Jonathan
Persecution Rank: 45
About: The Java Banyumasan live in the southwest part of the province of Central Java, specifically in the regencies of Cilacap, Kebumen, Purworejo, Purbalingga, Banjarnegara and Banyumas. The Java Banyumasan is one of the subgroups of the Java people groups, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Java peoples.
Most of the Java Banyumasan people make their living from farming, but compared to the other people groups of Indonesia, they are fairly advanced in this field. Besides having fertile land, they use the land well, even more so now that they have modern equipment. The industrial sector is also experiencing rapid growth. An example of this is the development of Cilacap as an industrial city. Besides heavy industry, small industries are also growing well. Woven bamboo and brown sugar products are a mainstay of small industry. In addition to fulfilling the needs of the Java Banyumasan themselves, these commodities are sold in other areas.
The Java Banyumasan people still need assistance to increase their agricultural production. They need more dams and a better irrigation system could help them harvest more than three times as much per year. The opening of more work opportunities could decrease migration of youth to Cilacap and other cities. Development of new industry is still needed outside the city of Cilacap.
The majority of the Java Banyumasan are Muslim. However, 80% of them are nominal Muslims (abangan). The other 20% are serious Muslims (santri) who strictly follow Islamic teachings and are faithful in worship. In addition, some Jawa Banyumasan also follow animistic beliefs. They believe there are spirits that come from the unseen world. For example, they believe in spirits such as bujungan (shrouded ghosts, shaped like a corpse in burial cloth); jangkrong (shaped like a human skull); and dhemit (spirits that live at shrines). Places that are often considered sacred include graves, mountains, caves and seas. Some of the Jawa Banyumasan still seek help from a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) if they are sick or bothered by spirits. They often hold ceremonial meals (selamatan) or ritual feasts (kenduri), which include use of mantras and offerings to spirits. The purpose is to protect their area from calamity.
- Thank God for the 1.9% evangelical Christians among Indonesia’s Java Banyumasan. Ask Him to give these brothers and sisters wisdom, boldness, and passion to proclaim Jesus.
- Pray that God equips, grows, and matures His church among the Java Banyumasan.
- Pray that the Lord sends laborers into the harvest among the Java Banymasan.
- Ultimately, ask the Lord to unblind the Java Banyumasan’s eyes, soften their hearts, convict them, and kindly draw them to repentance as they place their hope and trust in Christ alone – the one true God.
“Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!”
Posted on January 7th, 2013 by Jonathan
Language: Punjabi, Western
Persecution Rank: 32
About: Today, the Jats are located all over India and some surrounding countries. The largest concentration is in the Punjab Region, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They are immersed in several ethnic groups who retain an identity often based on occupation and heritage. They arrived in the sub-continent as invaders, yet did not establish ruling dynasties. They were presumably Indo-Iranian, but in the course of time, they mixed with other invaders and older Indian inhabitants. A popular occupation among them is farming. A small percentage are traders and laborers. They eat unleavened bread (roti) and curry, seasonal vegetables, ghee and milk. Girls are tattooed before marriage. Women are fond of jewelry and wear bangles made of ivory, lac (a resinous material), or clay, but never glass.
A man cannot take a wife from his own section. For a wedding, a square enclosure is made known as Chaonari and a fire sacrifice is performed. The couple walk seven times around the Chaonari with their right hand inward. Widow remarriage is allowed but cannot marry her younger brother-in-law or near relatives of her deceased husband. The dead are cremated except children under seven, who are buried.
When a man dies, his widow goes around his body seven times in the reverse direction of the one during marriage, indicating the undoing of marriage and breaks a few of her bangles. An important occasion for display among them is a ceremony which is done among wealthy families when the head of the family or his wife dies, or when a daughter is married. The person who does the ceremony is highly respected and his opinion is given weight in caste disputes. The Jats also have special ceremonies during the Dussera and Baisakhi festivals.
- Ask the Lord to graciously call people to go to India and share Christ with the Jats.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts towards the gospel.
- Ask God to raise up faithful prayer warriors and intercessors to pray for the Sikh Jats of India and the people reaching out to them.
- Ask the Lord to raise up a triumphant church among the Jat for the glory of His name!
“Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!”
Posted on December 17th, 2012 by Jonathan
Language: Punjabi, Western
Persecution Rank: 10
The Jat people are one of the most prosperous groups in India on a per-capita basis (Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat are the wealthiest of Indian states). Haryana has the largest number of rural crorepatis (similar to “millionaires”) in India, all of whom are Jats.
Traditionally, Jats have dominated as the political class in Haryana and Punjab. A number of Jat people belonging to the political classes have produced many political leaders, including the 6th Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.
In 1931, the date of the last census of the British Raj before the abolition of caste, they were distributed throughout North India, mostly in the Punjab and Rajputana. Today, the largest population centre is located in the Punjab region, Haryana and Rajasthan; there are smaller distributions across the world, due to the large immigrant diaspora. In the immigrant diaspora major populations centers include the U.K., U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, Belgium and Australia. The Association of Jats of America (AJATA) is the main Jat people organization of North America. It serves as the main body, forum and lobby for Jat people issues in North America.
Jat people have a history of being brave and ready fighters. They are fiercely independent in character and value their self respect more than anything, which is why they offered heavy resistance against any foreign force that treated them unjustly. They are known for their pride, bravery and readiness to sacrifice their lives in battle for their people and kinsmen. In the government of their villages, they appear much more democratic. They have less reverence for hereditary right and a preference for elected headmen.
The Jat people are required to marry within their community. The joint family system was popular amongst the Jats, and large families use to share the same house and hearth. With the advancement of modern civilization, as people are becoming less dependent upon and less tolerant towards each other, the joint family system is going out of vogue. It was still prevalent in the less advanced areas in the 1930s. Jat marriage ceremonies are traditionally conducted in according with Vedic rituals. Widow marriage is not only permitted and practiced but is also a social obligation.
The census in 1931 in India recorded population on the basis of ethnicity. In 1925, the population of Jats was around nine million in South Asia and was made up of followers of three major religions: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. Today there is a small group of adherents to Christianity, especially Jats living in the in UK.
- Pray that God would send people to Pakistan to share the good news of Jesus with the Jats there.
- Pray that the Lord would begin to soften the Jats’ hearts and that they would abandon themselves in humility before the King of Kings.
- Pray that God would establish His church among the Jats and that they would spread the gospel.
- Pray that God would be glorified.
“Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!”
– Psalm 67
Posted on December 10th, 2012 by Jonathan
Persecution Rank: 32
Status: Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years.
About: The Jats are not a homogeneous ethnic group living in a particular area and speaking a single language. Rather, they are a people who live scattered around the world among several ethnic groups, yet retain their own identity. This distinction is often based on occupation and heritage. Conservative by nature, the Jats rarely marry people from other ethnic groups. Great pride is placed in their ancestry.
The Jats are primarily located in northwestern India and southern Pakistan, although there are also significant communities in Maldives, Russia, and Ukraine. However, their origin, history, and current dispersion are spread much wider. History proves that they reached Egypt with the Muslim conquerors, lived in Afghanistan before the Muslims, and invaded China with the Mongol army. They also proved to be a threat to Tamarlane in Persia and Uzbekistan.
Known for their military prowess, many Jats were recruited into the British-India army during World War I. Today, in India and Pakistan, the Jats are usually either farmers or nomadic herdsmen. Sometimes they are even forced to do both. Most of the Jats live in rural areas. Depending on whether they are settled farmers or nomadic herdsmen, they may live in permanent villages or temporary camps.
Most Jats are either Muslims, Hindus, or Sikhs. (Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that combines elements of Hinduism and Islam.) The Jats living in Pakistan, Russia, and Ukraine are primarily Muslim; while the great majority of the Jats in India are Hindu. The Muslim Jats are Sunnis of the Hanafi school, but are known to have a strong tradition of worshipping many local saints. The Hindu Jats adhere to the traditional practices, as well as a wide variety of additional beliefs and practices. Until recent times, the Sikh Jats seemed to be the least meticulous in their observance of Sikh traditions, leaning more towards Hinduism. Regardless of their religious affiliation, all Jats observe many ceremonies, especially rites of passage such as circumcision and initiation into adulthood.
The Jats who live in India and Pakistan need clean drinking water and proper health care facilities. Christian medical teams and humanitarian aid workers are needed to work among them and show them God’s love in practical ways.
Most of the Jat believers live in India. Sadly, this only represents a tiny proportion of the entire Jat population in that area. Missionaries, Christian broadcasts, and evangelistic literature are needed to effectively reach the Jats with the Light of the Gospel. Most importantly, they need people who will begin to intercede for them, tearing down the strongholds that are keeping them in spiritual bondage. Only then will their hearts be prepared to receive the Good News as it is presented to them.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth additional laborers into Pakistan, India, Russia, and Ukraine to work among the Jats.
- Pray that Christian doctors, nurses, and humanitarian aid workers will have opportunities to share the love of Jesus with the Jats.
- Ask God to save key Jat leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel to their own people.
- Pray that the Lord will begin to reveal Himself among the Jats, show them their broken state, soften their hearts, and open them to the gospel.
- Pray that churches and missions organizations will accept the challenge of adopting and reaching the Jats.
- Ask God to raise up teams of intercessors who will faithfully pray for the Jats.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth triumphant churches among the Jats for the glory of His name!
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