Int’l (MNN) – Over two billion people have never heard about Jesus. They are dying every day without the knowledge that God came to Earth to ransom their souls. That’s what missionaries to unreached people want to change.
In a time where travel is relatively easy and information travels across borders without physical couriers, it’s staggering to think that so many remain out of reach of the Gospel. Andrew Scott with Operation Mobilization (OM) says usually it is because those people are the hardest to reach.
Reaching the Unreached: A Dangerous Task
There may be geographical or linguistic barriers, but often the more pressing barrier is physical danger. According to the Alliance for the Unreached 90% of unreached people live in Gospel-resistant groups.
In the last year alone almost 3000 Christians were killed for their faith. The number is staggering. Yet God’s Word continues to spread.
Scott says, “This is the history of the church, that when we go in as Jesus followers there will come persecution. So I believe that we, as the people of God, need to be ready for that. I think it’s going to involve higher levels of risk. And that’s challenging in a risk averse world, certainly in the Western world. But it’s part of the reality in many of these places where people are putting their lives on the line and taking high risks to share the Gospel.”
Not Just a Possibility but an Expectation
Christian workers hope to not only share the Gospel but care for people in new places. They may offer medical expertise, further education or other services. The goal for OM and other organizations is to care for the whole person, but that doesn’t mean when they share Jesus, they won’t face persecution.
In fact, Scott says it is the opposite. Christians should expect persecution.
“These folks, many of them, of course, deep down, they want to be safe, and they want to be well. They want to live, but what they’re praying for – and therefore I think we should stand with them and pray – is that their lives will be salt and light in these communities. And that through their life, regardless of what happens to them, that that Jesus will be lifted up, and that people will come to know Him through their life and through their testimony.”
Pray for and Support the Church
As you celebrate the birth of Christ today pray for persecuted missionaries and the persecuted Church. The Gospel cannot be stopped, but there are many who stand in its way.
Scott encourages the Church to pray for endurance for missionaries to the unreached. Pray that God would strengthen His people as they continue to be lights for Christ in the face of persecution.
“[Pray] that people in these regions will see something in their lives and hear something in their words that that show them an alternative way. That as hope-filled, joy-filled, peace-filled [people, Christians] point them to someone who is their Savior, who loves them.
“And that [witness] very often is most brilliantly reflected through the life and testimony of a Jesus follower, rather than through the words. So let’s pray for the witness of their life.”
Learn more about OM here.
Header image courtesy of OM.