International Day for the Unreached

International (MNN) – The opportunities and ways we share the Gospel are constantly growing and changing. Take the refugee crisis, for instance. The UN Refugee Agency estimates as of last year that one in 122 humans in the world is either a refugee, internally displaced, or someone looking for asylum.

We’ve reached an all-time high of people who’ve been forced from their homes due to situations like the violence in Syria.

Refugees and IDPS are people looking for hope. Many of them have lost everything, even family. Some groups venturing into other countries for safety come from closed countries or areas hostile to Christians—and so they’ve never been able to hear the Gospel before.

And they’re not the only ones who haven’t heard.

Two-billion unreached

It’s groups like these that make the International Day for the Unreached such an important day. This Pentecost Sunday, churches and mission organizations around the world are drawing attention to the needs of the unreached.

Tim Born of Wycliffe Bible Translators says, “The International Day for the Unreached is a nation-wide initiative across the Church Body of Christ to stand up and do something for the sake of the two-billion unreached people still waiting to hear the Gospel.”

Image from Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Many organizations have joined hands in this effort to revive a focus for the unreached in the Church of the United States. Each mission group has different ways people can partner with them to reach the unreached.

For Wycliffe Bible Translators, it is a designated fund to raise the support necessary to continue Bible translation in languages that do not have it.

“In an effort to reach an unreached people group, they need access to the Gospel in their language. So Wycliffe has partnered up in creating an unreached fund for people groups throughout the world in some of the toughest places,” Born says.

With over two billion people in the world who are considered unreached, there is often insufficient local resources and movement to get the Gospel to these communities, and often little to no Christian influence in their area.

When drawing our attention to the giving fund, Born says, “The reason why I highlight that is not just for the sake of giving but the reality of our giving as the church across the US. Right now less than 1% of all missions giving goes to the unreached—the very last and least of these remaining to hear the Gospel.”

This Sunday, you and your church could reverse that ratio by giving to the unreached fund.

Awareness on International Day for the Unreached

Aside from that, Wycliffe offers other ways to get involved with the International Day for the Unreached.

A whole church can get involved. On the website for the International Day for the Unreached, churches can find resources to direct their congregation’s focus to the needs of the unreached. Anyone can encourage their church to sign up.

You can also sign up to pray for the Bible-less. Wycliffe will send you emails about different unreached groups that you can pray for specifically as the Bible is translated into their language (click here). Or, you can go to the International Day for the Unreached website for more prayer opportunities.

If you’re in the area of Wycliffe headquarters, consider going to their Day for the Unreached event, May 14. More information on that can be found here.

Should you really care?

It may seem like a silly question to ask. But if you say yes, the next questions are: Do you care? How are you showing it?

"An Oksapmin girl reading a New Testament in her own language in Papua New Guinea!" (Photo and caption courtesy of Wycliffe Bible Translators via Facebook).

Born reminds us of one fundamental reason why we should care, aside from the fact that God has called us to share our faith.

“We, too, were unreached,” Born says, “We didn’t have any connection to the Gospel. Now, if you identify with that, take it one step further and realize, these are people groups that don’t even have access to the Gospel in their language, even just access to the Gospel period.”

If they don’t have access, they can’t respond. “Unless an outside resource gets involved, that’s not going to change,” Born says, explaining that the Church has a responsibility to be involved in this.

Why on Pentecost Sunday?

On The International Day for the Unreached website, it says, “The first Pentecost marked the beginning of the gospel going to the farthest corners of the earth. Imagine a revived movement of believers reaching the hardest corners of the earth for Christ until all have heard the only message that can give lasting hope.”

Image courtesy of Wycliffe Bible Translators via Facebook.

Born says every day we’re bridging a gap between Acts 2, the Pentecost, and Revelation 7, “Where every single nation, tribe, and tongue is worshipping Jesus Christ around the throne.”

“We’re standing in between that gap and seeing this bridge continue to happen, language by language, people group by people group getting access to the Gospel and experiencing life transformation.”

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