International (MNN) — United Nations chief António Guterres called for a paradigm shift this week. Speaking to UN financiers on Monday, Guterres requested bold and creative solutions to recover from pandemic setbacks worldwide.
In a similar way, leaders of The Alliance for the Unreached need innovative answers to COVID-19 challenges. “It’s [become] more challenging for people who want to go out and reach their neighbors with the Gospel,” DOOR International’s Rob Myers says.
However, “more barriers tend to be on the missionary side than the receiving side,” he continues.
“In the midst of this pandemic, we’ve seen more people willing to hear about God. I think that’s made people a lot more open to the Gospel.”
Each Alliance member focuses on unreached people groups or people without any access to the hope of Christ. While the COVID-19 plague stirred questions of deeper meaning among these populations, it also put them at greater risk.
“The most vulnerable people tend to be the hardest hit in a crisis,” Myers notes.
One in three people worldwide has no access to the Gospel. Reaching them for Jesus requires group participation.
“We need all of us involved in order to reach the third of us who don’t yet have the Gospel,” Myers states.
Find your place in the story
Now that you know, ask God to reveal how He wants you to respond. Then, look for specific action points here.
“Unreached people groups” is an all-encompassing and slightly vague term. If you’re struggling to connect, consider the unreached in light of Christ’s commands in Mark 12 – to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Even if you don’t literally live next door to an unreached people group, they’re still created in God’s image, Myers says.
“How can we love our neighbor if they don’t have access to the Gospel and we’re not going out there and helping to provide it?”
Deaf people are one of the largest unreached communities globally; fewer than two percent of the world’s Deaf people have access to the Gospel in their heart sign language. As DOOR empowers Deaf believers to reach Deaf communities for Christ, hope begins to thrive. More about DOOR’s church planting work here.
Here’s the latest example from Asia*:
*Kiran and *Soneeya had no hope. A Deaf couple from Asia, they didn’t know God. The only Deaf people in their families, they were mistreated. Their families never let them forget that they were different. Not normal. Not hearing. Not a part of society.
Kiran and Soneeya became so beaten down and disheartened by the constant abuse from the people around them. They felt unvalued. They felt worthless. They felt unloved. They talked together and decided that life on this earth was no longer worth it. They were ready to end it all.
One of DOOR’s 2-by-2 missionaries, *Gopal, was visiting other Deaf people in the area where Kiran and Soneeya lived. He happened to meet them one day, and struck up a conversation. During that conversation, Kiran poured his heart out to Gopal, talking about how he no longer wished to live.
Gopal, along with his wife, started visiting Kiran and Soneeya, sharing about God’s love for them. They spent countless hours together, with Gopal and his wife sharing from the Word and counseling this young Deaf couple with no hope.
Kiran and Soneeya are now beginning to have hope. With the support and encouragement from Gopal and his wife, they are slowly learning how to not let this broken world get to them.
Please keep Kiran and Soneeya in your prayers. Pray that they might come to know Christ as their Savior, and that they may give their hearts to Him.
*Names and country withheld or changed for security purposes.
Header image courtesy of DOOR International.