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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mission Impossible? Reaching the Unreached in India / Kerusomen Gospel Ministries

460,000 Villages in India Have No Known Christian Presence

With all our technology, wealth and passion for the lost, there are still millions of people who don't know a single Christian who can share with them the Good News of Jesus.

But all of our freedom and easy access to information makes it hard for us to imagine that millions of people born in India, will live their lives and die, never knowing anything about Jesus. Not because they don't care.  But because they don't have a choice. Nobody ever told them. They have minimal, if any, Christians or Christian resources in their villages. These 1.3 billion Indians will never hear about Jesus, even if they want to. Unless something changes.


But What About Global Missions?

Won't they reach these people? Take a peek at the must-see video above. As you watch, keep in mind this sobering fact: 22,500 people in India will die today, most of them never... 

knowing Christ. These are the unreached. Unlike your lost co-worker at work the office, they don't have a colleague, friend, or family member to share the Gospel with them. Worse, they don't have a missionary or church planter on the way. Someone once said: "the only thing worse than being lost, is being lost when no one is looking for you." Given what we've learned in the video, there's a question that begs to be answered:

Are We OK With This? 

I trust you answered "No!" It's truly heartbreaking to think of anyone, much less billions, going through life without hearing about Jesus.  Yet, it feels impossible to wrap our minds around the staggering mission task ahead. Thankfully, we can renew our minds with these truths that give us hope:

God knows each one of these people intimately.  (Psalm 139:13-18)
He has not forgotten them.  (Isaiah 49:15-16)
His eternal kingdom will include people from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 7:9)
We are His plan to reach them. (Matthew 28:6-20)

Still, it's pretty clear we are not reaching, and probably never will, every tribe, tongue, and nation from the outside. That leaves one option: to reach the unreached by partnering with native church planters inside India.

Take the Next Step in the Great Commission Today

To date, Kerusomen Gospel Ministries has planted churches reaching 55 people groups in India. Because we focus on training and equipping locals, who then disciple others to do the same, God has done much with our little.  We have seen the $22,000 invested in our church planting partnership over the last 18 months reap a harvest of 220 new believers. The global average is 9 for every $100,000 spent according to the traditional church effort.[1] The total cost of Christian outreach averages $330,000 for each and every newly baptized person.[2]

Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Fuller Seminary Professor describes our mission task this way:
“While most middle-class families would not hesitate to spend four hundred dollars a month on a car payment, two or three hundred dollars on credit card purchases, and another two or three hundred on cell phone, cable television and internet access, they do not comprehend that they could fully support seven Indian missionaries or trainers of trainers with those same dollars. The opportunity and challenge for the western church is to invest in the equipping of leaders in India, Africa, and the poorest nations of Asia. The opportunity is vast, and the needs are critical. The Lord is waiting for the rich to partner with the poor to make disciples of the nations."
Obedience to Christ and love for our neighbor demand a response to the Great Commission, keeping in mind 2 Cor. 5:9 - Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

  • Today, indigenous missionaries do 90% of pioneer mission work with 10% of the mission funding. 
  • Meanwhile, foreign missionaries do 10% of pioneer mission work with 90% of the funding.
      The Results speak volumes:
  • In 1900, 50% of the world was considered unreached.
  • In 2019, 50% of the world is still unreached.
The Lord may be moving your heart towards sharing the financial burden of one or more of Kerusomen's pastor partners in India. We encourage you to read more about our native pastor partners and their training. They are investing their lives in this cause. Check it out and see what resonates with your heart.

Other Ways You Can Help Those Who Have Never Heard

1. Pray. What does that look like?  How can you make it personal? First, choose a specific unreached people group in India and get to know a little about their culture and needs.  Many of their profiles, like the one below, can be found on the Joshuaproject.net website.

The Adi Andhra are a Scheduled caste which means they are disadvantaged and victims of past discrimination. As of 2001 only about 60% of them could read and write at basic level.  Today most are landless rural farm workers although some work as street sweepers, night watchmen and in the leather trade. Some women work as domestics. Their main language is Telagu and they live in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Their lives are hard even by Indian standards. Often they are without electricity, access to clean water, indoor plumbing and modern medical care.  They work in the fields from sunup to sunset with little hope for a better life. Their children work the fields also to help support the family.  A few are Buddhist, Sikhs, and Christians (0.89%) but the majority are Hindus. Pray for the Adi Andhra to hear the life-changing Gospel in a way they can understand. Pray for God to soften their hearts to the truth of the Gospel and the love of Jesus. Pray for God's provision of church planters to reach them.  Pray for their physical needs such as clean water and healthy food. Pray that they receive new business and educational opportunities so they can break out of their life of poverty and hardship.

Second, pray scripture over their lives. For example:  May the Adi Andhra walk in the light of the Lord. May they come to know Jesus as the light of the world, not walking in the darkness, but having the light of life. ISAIAH 2:5; JOHN 8:12  Finally, set a specific length of time (30 days) to pray for this people group or when you feel God has released you.  Then choose another people group and repeat the process.

2. Advocate. A great place to start is in your Small Group. Many Christians don't know about the plight of the unreached. Share what you've learned. Use Social Media. Check out the International Day for the Unreached. They provide easy to use Facebook and other social media tools for you to champion the cause. Special Events.  Suggest a garage sale or a walk-a-thon at your church where you can raise funds and more importantly raise awareness.

3. Serve. Do you feel God nudging you to serve in the mission field to the unreached?  If you want to get a taste of serving in the cause of the unreached, we are going to India in December. You will get to visit, encourage, and work with the KGM churches there.  You can be an ambassador to those who have never heard. Call Tom Caprio to learn more.

A Parting Prayer

The Great Commission is not an option to consider, it is a command to be obeyed. Let our obedience then begin with prayer.

Father, thank you for letting us be a part of what you are doing in bringing every tribe, tongue, people and nation to the throne of the Lamb. We thank you that Revelation 5 and Revelation 7 are indeed the great missionary promise.  In that day, in your kingdom, there are going to be people represented from every tribe.  Lord, you have promised us in your Word that is going to happen. So, the issue is really quite simple, will we be a part of what You are passionate for, or will we sit on the sidelines and watch? Lord, we don't want to be sitting on the sidelines. We want to be right in the middle of what you are doing. May we bring great honor and glory to King Jesus by fulfilling and being obedient to His final marching orders to His Church. This we ask for our good, but ultimately, for your great glory. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen [3]
    


[1] Video titled The Forgotten People, published by Beyond.org, https://vimeo.com/266768656,
[2]  World Evangelization Research Center. An AD 2001 Reality Check. http://gem-werc.org/gd/findings.htm.  
[3]  This message titled Little Global Hearts: How to Give Kids a Vision for the World from Danny Akin was delivered at The Gospel Coalition’s 2019 National  Pre-Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The two-day pre-conference was titled Evangelizing the Next Generation: Gospel Guidance for Parents,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVwdiKZr9Fk

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