You cannot hear me for the volume of noise surrounding you. People are pulling at you from every direction. “Help us with this!” “Listen to that!” “Buy more!” “Sell more!” They have amplifiers and flashing colors. I am lost in the noise.
My voice is not heard.
I am without Christ and without hope. There is no opportunity of eternal life for me. Not in my lifetime. I have no way to hear. No one is planning to come tell me about Jesus.
Like mine, there are 1680* language groups of people, or tribes, plus dialects, who will not hear about Jesus until Christians intentionally train, equip, support and send someone to tell them. (UUPG peoplegroups.org) Some of them have been begging for a missionary for decades. No one came. No one will come. Unless…
Giving us hope and eternal life will require learning our unwritten language and mysterious culture. It will take perseverance and hard work. We will be suspicious of your motives and you will need to earn our trust so that we can hear you above our own noise. We do have our own beliefs, you know. How do we know what you will tell us is true? Will you give us God’s talk or your own? How will we be able to learn of God ourselves?
For each of our tribes who know nothing of Jesus, who do not have any portion of the Bible in our languages, there are 238,167* evangelical Christians who could, if they would, work together to bring hope of eternal life to one language group of people like mine.
But they cannot hear us in the noise. They will have to ask themselves: “Is the value of my life greater than the value of declaring Jesus where He is not known?” Nearly all will say, “Yes!”
Maybe some will decide that telling us about Jesus is worth more.
Teaching us of Jesus may cost them their lives. Aren’t we remote people dangerous? Certainly, it must cost them their wealth, their worldly future, and their health.
The competition for a missionary is fierce. How can we get someone to come tell our village about God?
A man threatened to cut off his finger in grief if a missionary would not come tell his people about God. Even now nobody knows enough of His language to tell him of those abstract things like heaven, forgiveness, holiness, judgment, mercy, peace, faith, hope, grace, love, and eternal life.
Other villages have sent stacks of requests by letter. “We try and try but you don’t listen… Why not us? … We have a huge desire for a missionary to come and live in our village and jungle.” “In all other places of the ground we have heard that they have the talk of God but us ones of Isahu are still standing without, we have nothing. I have heard of others hearing this talk in other villages but this talk is not in Isahu yet. So please send some to learn our language and teach us this talk so we can know it too.”
Not long ago, four more tribes (Kominimung, Batsimba, Igana, Bakundi) asked for a missionary saying, “We see that you are teaching the Iski to read and write their language. We know that you will be giving them God’s talk in their language. We are just like them. We don’t have God’s talk, and we have no one to help us. We want this to happen in our villages too. Will you send missionaries to us? We want missionaries to help our people.”
Are you too busy to hear me? Are you too busy shouting above the noise of others to hear our voices?
We are not able to compete with the noise. Will some of your people hear a still small voice? Will they come speak to us?
We are listening.
We are ready to hear.
Who will tell us?
Acts 1:8 “…witnesses … unto the uttermost part of the earth”
Luke 10:2 “… pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
Notes: Numbers vary depending on who is counting, their criteria, the source of their numbers, and their definitions of the words describing who they are counting. No matter the number, every indicator shows a great need to take the Good News where Christ is not known. (The author recognizes that God alone enlightens hearts to bring understanding unto salvation and bringing in the harvest. Also, that He uses human instruments to proclaim His message so that people can respond by believing and acting.)
* Updated 20221024 (400,121,00/1680*=238,167):
- UUPG – Unreached Unengaged People Groups – IMB – peoplegroups.org
(Stats & Notes Updated 20210107)
Randy and Diana, Good evening, I just stumbled upon this blog post. Wow… so challenging to my American self-absorbed mindset. Thank you… and please show this to many people… it is so motivational. Do I have permission to read this in front of a church if I use your name?
Prayers that you stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Randy and Diana Smyth says
We are praying that many will hear the voices of the unreached tribes and that the written Word of God which will be enough to move us all into action. Thank you for your response and please do help us be heard above the noise!
Pursuing Laborers for the Unreached Harvest
New Tribes Mission
NE Representative – Mobilization & Aviation
Blog – ntm.org/randy_smyth
Endeavor – send100.org