Mission agency starts from scratch with isolated tribe in China.

By June 9, 2006

China (MNN)–Mission Aviation Fellowship just released ‘Operation Access’, a report identifying the hardest places to reach with the Gospel.

The report identifies 364 isolated areas whose inhabitants are the hardest to reach for evangelistic work and social services.

According to their research, ten of the world’s 20 least-reached ethnic groups are either in Afghanistan or China.

It’s partly a manpower issue, and partly accessibility. The latter proved true for Mission To Unreached People’s John Shorey. He has been working with a people group in southwest China for the past five years.

“They did not have a missionary working among them since the 30s. Before we started working among them, they had no church and they had no written language, so, of course they didn’t have a Bible. Also no Bible recordings, like the JESUS films.”

Shorey and his family are pioneering, in the truest sense of the word. They’re in new areas, developing cultural and language appropriate Bible study and training materials.

Shorey says there’s a lot of progress in both ministry areas and in language. What might start out as a closed village suddenly opens up when he greets the villagers in their own tongue. It’s an investment in their way of life, and an approach that has proven to be succesful.

There are roughly two dozen believers now, but, there are still ministry challenges. “If they don’t worship their ancestors, then they’re not considered one of their people, and they could be outcasts.”

Other reports of persecution don’t cause them much pause. He adds, anything they face in the isolated areas is more cultural. “I think that would be an issue for new believers. I think another major request would be just that a church would be established among this people group.”

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