Thursday, July 8, 2010

Working with unreached people in Asia

For the past four years Jenni and I have been praying for a work among an unreached people group (UPG) and the Lord answered those prayers this past month. After many months of prayer, training and planning a team of 10 set out for East Asia (Feel free to email me for the specific country if you don’t know, but for security reasons we just use East Asia). The “Catamount” are an unreached people group living in remote mountain villages. There are just over 100,000 registered in the minority group and there are currently only around 80 known believers. The “Catamount” have combined Buddhism, ancestor worship and animism into their primary form of worship. As part of a strategy of “Meeting needs and Sharing Christ” our team took on several project in the villages.

Water project
The local school had a water cistern that had a sagging top with no access to the water and a drain that was 12 inches above the bottom not allowing the cistern to be cleaned out which led to stale and stagnant water. Our team worked to remove the old top, pour concrete for a new top and filled in the bottom with a foot of concrete to allow for proper drainage. This opportunity led to sharing with a lead teacher and a couple students but also spread news of goodwill to every home.
Greenhouse project
Due to the high elevation of the village, during the winter time vegetables are hard to grow. The use of a greenhouse allows for families to produce fresh food to supplement their regular diet of pig fat or to sell the products at market for income. The team built two greenhouses. One was built for a crippled man and another for an elderly woman and her daughter. Both raised the profile of our meeting the needs in the village and provided opportunities to share with the new owners and their families.
Eye Glasses
Two teams took reading glasses and went home to home asking if there was any one who needed glasses. If so, they would give them the appropriate strength of reading glasses, then stay in the home to visit. Many times even if no one needed glasses they were still invited into the home. This approach also made for a very natural follow up visit about their previous conversations and glasses.
One of our contacts on the field was a Journeyman who had been working in this village for the past three years. She said that she had never seen this village so open. In the past, once a conversation moved to the things of God they either got up and left or changed the topic. Through prayer and our awesome Savior who desires this UPG to be reached, 95 people heard the story of Jesus Christ. 24 times our team returned to homes to follow up of those gospel presentations and go deeper.

Since I’ve been home the Lord has reminded me of Romans 10:13-15,17
For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!""...So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. "
Please join us in praying for the “Catamount” people and maybe the Lord is calling you to Go and tell.