This past summer, we had the privilege of sending teams to three different cities in South Asia: one three-week team and two six week teams. Each team came alongside local missionaries to join them in their everyday work, and in the process spent time learning from and encouraging these long-term workers. Students primarily engaged in evangelism among the unreached peoples of their city, setting up follow-up meetings with anyone interested in learning more about the gospel, and discipleship of local believers. They also assisted in mapping new areas of the city and helping missionaries identify biblically sound, healthy church bodies to partner with. In the meantime, there were also plenty of opportunities to explore their city and engage local culture!
The geographic region of South Asia is made of up eight countries and has a total population of 1.75 billion people who can be categorized into 4,000 distinct people groups. Of this 1.75 billion people, 95% are considered unreached, meaning less than 2% evangelical Christian. Most of these people have little to no chance to hear and respond to the gospel. There are more than five times as many unreached people groups in South Asia as there are in any other region of the world. (Note: all statistics sourced from The Joshua Project).
From God’s original command to mankind to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28) to the picture in Revelation of people from every tribe, tongue, people, and language worshipping Jesus (Revelation 7:9-10), the Bible tells a unified story of God making His glory known among all nations and saving sinners from every ethnic people group. God does not need us to fulfill this great mission, but He desires to use us and calls each of us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
This knowledge of God’s heart for all people combined with the desperate need for more gospel laborers in South Asia is why we’ve chosen to strategically partner with missionary teams in these three South Asian cities. One of these teams is specifically focused on reaching Muslims in their city, while the other two teams work among the various people groups and religions in their areas.