Good morning family. I was speaking with a friend this morning and as usual when we talk, we talk for a while and about a lot of things. We spoke on missions and unreached people groups. It was during this that I found myself explaining what an unreached people group. After the call I realized that being a missionary and a pastor I think in “missionary and pastor” language and not everyone does. This is important because we want accuracy in our communication in all things, but especially with the Gospel. Accuracy also allows us to understand better what is expected of us and helps us to learn. I am going to use this post as a bit of a primer on terminology, not exclusively missions, but mostly. Some of these definitions came from Joshua Project (https://joshuaproject.net/), which is a great resource. I hope it is helpful.
People Group: A large group of people that have a common language, heritage, descent, ethnicity, etc. This is not a country. Uganda is a country and not a people group. The Aringa or the Karamojong are separate people groups, but they are both Ugandan. We often think in terms of countries when talk about reaching the nations but it is more accurate to says we want to reach all the people groups. So when you hear preaching about reaching the nations or hear something about God bringing the gentiles, think in terms of people groups.
Unreached People Group(UPG): An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance. These people may have some Christian witness in their people group, but not enough of one for the church to grow there. The Aringa people we are going to be working with in Uganda are an example of an unreached people group.
Unengaged People Group: An unengaged unreached people group (UUPG) has no known active church planting underway. Essentially this is a people group that there is no long term attempt being made, for various reason, to reach. These are sometimes called frontier people. The Dubasiyian people of Northern Sudan are an example of an UUPG. These are the hardest of hard to reach many time because of where they are. Many are in closed countries, where missionaries are not allowed. Some are in just really hard to get to places, think jungles, deserts, mountains, islands where you would have little to no contact with the outside world.
3.34 Billion people who are considered unreached. 7400 people groups. If you look at the red dots on the unreached and frontier unreached maps, you will see why the need is to go out of the US. One of the most common things I hear is: “there is work to do here or there are lost people here”. That is true, yet the Gospel is here. There are churches here. There are mature believers who can make believers here, in fact most of them are here. In the unreached places they have none of these. There is work to do here and there are enough believers to do it. Sadly, I think many times, not all, people use this as an excuse to not go or not to send. They are afraid of giving up material things(land, homes, possessions,etc.), they don’t want to leave family, security, comfort, or they are afraid of the unknown. They don’t want their children or grandchildren or parents to go because they don’t want to be separated or they are afraid for them. As valid as some of these concerns are, they do not supersede the command to make disciple known.
Penn Jillette, who is an atheist, said, “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?” Jillette asked. “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.” (Source). This hopefully hits you as hard as it hits me. The fact is the work that Christ has called us to, needs more people to take it to the hard places. If you cannot go, and I mean you have a valid reason you could present to the Lord, then send. We need senders as badly as we need goers.
I hope this post has been helpful and challenging to you. Pray for courage to be obedient. Pray for missions. Pray for these people who do not know the grace of our Lord Jesus. Pray and ask God to send you or to help you send. Pray for us, the Langworthys, and the Lees. Pray for the Aringa. Pray that we would be at 100% in both our monthly and outbound support requirements.
www.abwe.org/prycesofafrica Help us reach our goals so we can go to Uganda and work with the Aringa.
17% monthly. Every $100 month that is committed gives us a percent more. You can commit to give now and start at a later date, but you will need to let me know now so ABWE can count that towards our support.
43% Outbound. Every $1000 that is committed gives us a percent more.