Still on the list
We were in South Sulawesi discussing unreached people when a local worker brought up a group in West Sulawesi. We looked them up. “Still on the list,” we acknowledged.
In fact, three of every 10 people groups remain on that unreached people groups (UPG) list.
We have been to South and Central Sulawesi in search of unreached people groups the past two years. “To make sure about the unreached people group that mission organizations mentioned,” Indonesia member Budi said. “Are they really unreached and no workers or not?”
We discovered workers and ministries in those places – and happily moved on. Our purpose is to GO where others cannot or will not.
Budi has learned that Climbing For Christ’s mission is “to be (a) pioneer” and successfully carry out specific work “to the unique and difficult unreached peoples at the highest (places).”
The next stop in Indonesia is West Sulawesi. Virtually all the people in the group we are seeking are Muslims. But traditional animistic beliefs are still strong in daily life. Dukun (or shamans/healers/occultists) are sought for purposes that include treating illness and exorcising evil spirits.
The UPG we are looking for lives in an area that is described as “mountainous and rich in raw materials such as minerals, sand, rattan and ebony wood.” It is familiar-sounding territory.
Sadly, not many are willing to GO there.
Only six non-Indonesian members have participated in the eight Evangelic Expeditions to date. Five of those six were personally invited. Just one person felt called to the world’s largest Muslim country and said, “Here am I. Send me!”
When a local pastor met us in 2019, he said he was so happy we had come to visit the high places. “Not so many people want to go to the difficult places,” he said, frowning.
A worker on Sulawesi agreed, saying: “It is so hard now to find workers.”
In a special issue of our magazine The Climbing Way, focused on Unreached People (Vol. 47, July 2019), Climbing For Christ spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley urged readers to “Commit to the Commission.” He wrote:
“How are there still so many who have had virtually no exposure to the Gospel message (more than one-third of the world, according to the Joshua Project)?
“I think one answer, sadly, is that although the North American church today may be more able to reach the world than ever before, it seems much less willing. We are less willing to sacrifice; less focused on the needs outside the walls of the church building (even beyond our own selves, perhaps); less awakened to the immense need and urgency of the unfinished task before us. Though in many cases there may remain much activity in ‘missions,’ there seems to be less of a priority on the most important thing – actually proclaiming the clear and complete Gospel message to a lost and dying world.”
Because of this, there remain far too many UPGs that are still on the list.
2020 MISSION: Climbing For Christ will return to Indonesia and another remote corner of Sulawesi, the world’s 11th-largest island (fourth biggest in Indonesia behind Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua). This trip will occur in April. It will be Climbing For Christ’s ninth Evangelic Expedition to Indonesia since 2007.
Email info@ClimbingForChrist.org for details and a mission application. Applicants must be members of Climbing For Christ. CLICK HERE to join.