The Tragic Divide: Unreached People Groups

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was describing “the great digital divide,” the divide between those who have access to computers, the internet, and other technology, and those who do not. He explained how this is of great consequence because access to the internet and computers is becoming necessary for educational growth and achievement. He pointed out how kids in really poor communities here in the U.S. have to travel—sometimes for miles—to their public library and wait for an open computer just to get on the internet, while kids in middle class or upper class neighborhoods often have several computers, tablets, etc. in one house. To him this is a justice issue, a moral issue of equity and access.   

While I certainly sympathize with those caught in this digital divide, my mind went to an even more tragic divide—the divide between those who have access to the gospel and a community of believers, and those who do not. During my family’s missionary service in Cambodia, a nation classified as unreached, I remember seeing young Cambodian village children, two or three to a bike, pedaling for miles to get to one of our churches every Sunday morning. I would ask myself, “Why do they keep coming?” Many of them were not yet professing believers. I can’t help but think that what was so attractive to them was a community of grace, love, and affection. Our missionaries pour their lives into the children, disciple them, and show them the love of Christ.

What is tragic is that there are thousands of other villages and people groups who don’t have access even to one believing Christian, let alone a believing community.

On my way to the MTW office each day I see churches everywhere—sometimes two on the same block. What a contrast! In countries where less than 2 percent of the population is evangelical Christian, it is not uncommon for people to be born, live, and die without ever hearing the gospel message or experiencing life in gospel community.

To me this is the most important justice issue we face as believers. It is a moral issue of equity and access. How is the Lord calling you to engage?

Lloyd Kim in Central Asia Middle East South Asia Southeast Asia West Africa Reflection on Oct 13, 2016

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Pray for unreached people around the world who have little to no access to the gospel. 

Pray for Muslims who are investigating the truths of Christ in the Bible to come to the conclusion that He is God.

Pray for our medical clinics going into the most unreached areas of the world, providing quality medical care alongside the gospel. 

Pray that we would become more proficient at ministering to oral learners—those in cultures that learn best through the spoken word and storytelling.

Pray for missionaries to remain faithful in the mundane and not get caught up in striving to perform for the praise of others. 

Please pray. The West African nation of Gambia is witnessing its largest anti-government protests in more than 15 years. Local partners are asking for prayer. Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh has declared a state of emergency, days before he was supposed to cede power after losing elections last month.

The Church in South Asia is expanding at an unprecedented pace. Pray for church leaders to effectively disciple this rapidly growing community of believers.

Pray for our ministries in Africa, where many have come to expect broken systems and corruption. Pray that God would intervene and change hearts that would change communities.

Pray for Business As Mission efforts, particularly in parts of the world that is hard to reach with the gospel. Pray for courageous Christian entrepreneurs to live as gospel lighthouses. 

Pray for missionaries who are doing valuable work yet have trouble raising support because their work or field is deemed less exciting or less important than other mission work by some in the church.