A short-term American team's journey to unreached regions

A short-term American team’s journey to unreached regions

A short-term American team’s journey to unreached regions

1024 576 Within Reach Global

Every Within Reach Global excursion to China’s rural countryside is a unique glimpse of the unreached world, a panoramic reminder that the Great Commission task is not yet finished. The global Church is busy with multiple ministries and missional outreach—most of which are wonderful examples of the heart of God. But sadly, in our busyness, we have little prioritized the unreached world in the 10/40 Window.

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Our heart, our passion is to finish the Great Commission task by going to the unreached world. Pray and go with us! withinreachglobal.org

Posted by Within Reach Global on Monday, July 10, 2017

 

Bags packed, vehicles loaded with 20 Americans from The Rock of Roseville church, we began our journey from megacity toward the bucolic landscapes of Southwest China.

Outside the window, the milieu shifted: expansive rice fields, precipitous mountains, then cavernous valleys bejeweled with occasional packed mud homes and ramshackle residences. These hills are home to numerous unreached people groups.

One week prior, the view that our short-term team witnessed was altogether different: long stretches of smooth Western highway, vehicles magically driving in their proper lanes, here and there a Walmart, Starbucks, In-N-Out Burger.

Now, criss-crossing the mountain ranges, up we ascended, higher, higher into the plains and plateaus that the global Church, in large part, has long overlooked and even forgotten.

One of our three vehicles cannot make the uphill journey. We alight, walk the rest of the way, lightening the load for the gutless-wonder-of-a-van.

Brandon from The Rock of Roseville team shares why suffering and persecution are promises of Jesus, fanning the evangelistic flame of global missions. withinreachglobal.org

Posted by Within Reach Global on Sunday, July 16, 2017

 

“The Bible talks about going out into the world and preaching the Gospel. That doesn’t always mean comfort. In fact, the Gospel often spreads quicker amidst discomfort and where there is hardship. That’s the culture that Christianity blossomed in.” — Brandon

The unreached are unreached for a reason. They dwell on silent mountaintops where trickling streams tucked between craggy ranges flow along lofty elevations. The sporadic clucking of chickens and clanking of rice pots in these village settings startle birds overhead; a pig squeals, a water buffalo stirs beneath stilted hut.

It’s remarkable how the advent of the Kingdom of God is much less subtle than we might have expected—quiet at first, a fiery flicker, like kindling, a spark that will soon become a blazing flame among those who have never heard of Jesus before.

“Do you know who Jesus is?” I ask. A blank stare is the only response, often followed by, “Jesus? Is that some kind of soap?”

They do not know. The Gospel, still a fantasy in these parts is shrouded in secrecy—an unthinkable travesty. And how can they find out about the heart of God unless we go? That is why we’re here today.

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” — Romans 10:14-15

The terrible injustice of unreached people groups

It was Morgan's first time in an unreached village and she came to understand the terrible injustice that people in the 21st-century have still never heard the name of Jesus before. withinreachglobal.org

Posted by Within Reach Global on Monday, July 17, 2017

 

“The reality of unreached people groups is such an injustice. The Church should be sending people to these villages. We should be going. We should care more. My heart really opened up and realized that it is a huge deal that people still don’t know who Jesus is.” — Morgan

All day, we lounge (uncomfortably) on six-inch stools, breaking sunflower seeds with our molars, chatting, listening to the village chatter. We lend a hand to the locals and slaughter a goat, some chickens, slice and debone fish. We sense the Spirit of God hovering over these mountains. The advent of God’s Kingdom is nigh. A scaly dragon, long keeper of these hills, shifts restlessly, knowing his time is short. For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

In our going, hearts slowly awaken to the reality of God’s grace and glory. The going is slow—reluctant, we think, perhaps even sedated according to our monochromatic manner of time. But where seed is sown, a harvest is sure to come; the harvest is in the seed.

Unreached peoples are just normal people. But it is heartbreaking that gospel might never reach them.

Posted by Within Reach Global on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

“Unreached peoples are no different than Americans; they’re just normal people. This realization demystifies missions. We find that they are not an obscure, nameless, faceless conglomeration of individuals. But it is heartbreaking that the Gospel may never reach them.” — Faith

At Within Reach Global, we long to see salvation spring up among those who have never heard the Gospel message before. We desire to see new disciples, churches planted, local leaders emerge, revival fire fall. This happens as we lay down our own frivolous and myopic desires, die to self, and take the Kingdom news to regions still waiting at the other end of our obedience.

Smoke billows from the fire pit, cloaking the decrepit living space in soot and darkness. But suddenly a light breaks forth as we stretch out our hands, praying for the locals, empowering the two lone indigenous missionaries to thousands across these sprawling mountain ranges. Tears of joy fall, Christian love arising in a most unassuming spot.

A twelve-year-old girl starts crying. Little did we imagine the impact our seemingly menial presence had upon her little heart. One-by-one, the girls from The Rock of Roseville team hug her. I cup this little sister’s face in my big brother hands. “No matter where you go, no matter what you do,” I begin, “Jesus loves you with all His heart! You are God’s princess! You are precious! You are valuable.”

Instances like these are not as mysterious as they might seem. To demystify global missions, think on this: We, the body of Christ, carry around the all-surpassing power of the Kingdom in cracked and leaky jars of clay. And thank God for the fractures in our weak selves! How else might the glorious power of God flow out to those who are waiting to understand the love of God?

He ain't no super-Christian and he ain't crazy neither! Bob's just breaking missionary stereotypes. withinreachglobal.org

Posted by Within Reach Global on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 

These unreached regions—these places and peoples who have long been overlooked and under-prioritized—the time has come for them to find out about our Savior Jesus! If Revelation 7:9 is to come to pass—every nation and tribe and people and language standing before the throne of God—do we not have a part to play in partnering with God to make this a reality?

John Piper is fond of saying, “Go, send, or disobey.” I, too, find no other alternative to the command of Jesus.

So choose your response today. Countless lives hinge upon your decision to join God’s epic redemptive plan in the nations.

 

To hear more incredible stories of travels among the unreached, buy The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary by David Joannes!

AUTHOR

David Joannes

David is the founder of Within Reach Global, Inc. He is a Missional Starter and an Artistic Creative. He is an observer. He is passionate about assembling the many moving parts of life and art to depict unique global stories. David has a heart to be an articulate voice, composing stories of justice and social concern, especially among the poor. Visit David's website at davidjoannes.com

All stories by: David Joannes