10/40 Window (MNN) — 50 years ago when a missionary spoke of bringing the Gospel to a new frontier, most people imagined jungles and equatorial dangers. In 2011, those frontiers have changed.
The unreached frontiers of the world that have yet to be touched by the Gospel now remain mainly in what's known as the 10/40 Window (pictured above, right).
Over the last several years, Wycliffe Associates has developed partners across this hard-to-reach area in preparation for one mission: bringing God's Word to the "New Frontiers."
"[We are] working along with literally dozens of partners from around the world who share the vision of getting God's Word into these arenas–to use creative strategies, to use whatever possible ways we can," says Bruce Smith with Wycliffe Associates.
The New Frontiers project is already in motion and working on Scripture translation in many areas that frequently make news headlines. For security reasons, we can't list specific countries, but in one country, Christians make up a mere .02 percent of the population. Unsurprisingly, they are getting desperate for God's Word.
"We've now got relationships with emerging churches, emerging groups in this region of the world. And those are the ones whose appetite and whose thirst for God's Word is really driving the urgency for this," says Smith. "They're living in persecution kind of situations; they're anxious for good news. It's the kind of place where the darkness is so thick that the light makes a huge difference."
Scripture translation has already been used as an evangelical tool in these arenas as well. Smith tells the story of one translator strategizing with his work:
"One of my friends is working on Bible translation in an area that's frequently in the news. The people there have basically been brought up and have been conditioned to be anti-Christian. So one of his choices for Scripture translation early on was actually in Acts, telling the story of Saul's conversion. Of course when he started telling that story, they all thought Saul was a great hero because he was anti-Christian, just like they were. Talking about his conversion experience and how he subsequently became a leader for God–in terms of bringing truth and bringing good news to people–has really caught their imagination and helped them realize that they are not beyond the reach of God's love."
The magnitude of the importance of this project cannot be overestimated. Wycliffe Associates believes these New Frontiers to be so vital in kingdom building, that they are dedicating over half a million dollars a year — $60,000 per month to be exact — to translation in these areas. This is a significant budget, and help will be needed. Prayerfully consider helping Wycliffe Associates in this endeavor.
Besides giving, there are two other ways you can help. First of all, pray. When you see countries in this 10/40 Window on the news, use it as a reminder to pray for believers and missionaries there. Pray that the Gospel will move forward, unhindered.
Secondly, there is still room for you to go. It may seem risky, but Smith reminds us, "As long as we're doing what God wants us to do, it's as safe as it can possibly be. Somebody's got to be willing to cross these frontiers, pioneering in the mission world today, and be willing to be salt and light in these arenas."