When we were in Senegal a couple of months ago we met a young African man called Patrick. He was from Liberia and could speak English. When he told us his name, I said: ‘Patrick is a great name, in fact, it’s the name of the man who brought the gospel to Ireland.’
He asked me when that was; so I did a rough calculation and said: ‘probably around one thousand, five hundred years ago. He just stared at me, without saying a word. Then he looked away.
I have no idea what he was thinking, but I began to squirm as I realised how long it has taken evangelical missionaries to bring the gospel to the many people groups in West Africa.
There are still at least 2500 people groups around the world who have no access to the gospel in their own language. God’s word is an anthology of missionary commands, endeavour and activity, and yet so many have yet to hear.
New Tribes Mission has a clear strategy that guides the work we do all the way from deciding where to begin a ministry to the point of seeing a maturing church established.
- We do extensive assessments of people groups in Africa; in South America; in Asia; and even in regions of the northern hemisphere, to determine where the most needy people are located.
- We believe it is most effective to bring the gospel to people in the language that they speak in their own homes, so our missionaries spend years in culture and language study in order to present the good news in a clear and understandable way.
- We translate the word of God into the language of the people.
- We teach people how to read and write their own language.
- And then we present the Bible is a systematic way, from the beginning, so that people can receive a clear picture of who God is; how man has rebelled against God; and how God has provided a way of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Redeemer.
In recent years the Lord has graciously been using New Tribes Mission to bring the message of the gospel to a new tribe every 45 days. These are exciting times, but there are also many obstacles and challenges.
Would you pray that God would continue to raise up many more missionaries to bring the gospel to those who have never heard?