As Christians, we are called to share the hope of Christ and make disciples of all nations. Yet over 40% of the world’s population is still considered unreached for Christ. There are 4,281 unreached people groups (UPGs) in the world today – communities of people with so few indigenous Christians that they are unable to evangelize within their own community.
Unreached People groups can be found everywhere – in both remote and heavily populated areas, in non-literate and literate societies, in developed and developing countries, as minorities in a country or as the majority population of the country.
TWR Canada recently began working with UPGs in China and Japan. China alone is home to 20% of the world’s population and there are 419 unreached people groups. Japan’s literacy rate is 99% but 97.8% of the population is considered unreached. TWR Canada is working to reach the unreached in these and other areas.China
TWR is reaching the unreached in China through the Son-lift project. The name of Jesus is lifted up through media and he is proclaimed as Lord through shortwave radio, the internet and media players. Through Son-lift TWR is reaching over 100 UPGs speaking 15 different languages – one quarter of China’s UPGs! Between 2016 and 2018, nearly 3,500 media players will be distributed in four languages including Mandarin, Yue, Hakka and Mongolian. These four languages represent 40 UPGs. Each player is loaded with 60 episodes of dramatized Bible stories produced by mother-tongue translators, an audio Bible and 100 worship songs. “I don’t want to distribute the media players just to get the job done. I want to treasure these gifts that brothers and sisters in Christ have given with love.” – A distribution team memberAn elderly gentleman who was paralyzed on one side of his body was unable to stand. Having to constantly rely on his family to care for him caused him to have suicidal thoughts. A distribution team visited with him, sharing the gospel as they taught him how to use the media player they left him. They talked about the possibility of eternal life and the man listened intently. When the team visited him another afternoon, the man professed belief in the Lord and said he would press on. Japan
Japan has often been referred to as a graveyard for missionaries because attempts to see Christianity flourish in the country have repeatedly failed. TWR Canada has aired a program called Power of the Gospel
in the Kumamoto Prefecture since 2016 when the area was hit by an earthquake. The TWR Director for Northeast Asia noted at the time that the earthquake seemed to shake up the spiritual landscape of the people. Radio stations are more open than ever before to airing programs that meet the emotional needs of their listeners. Power of the Gospel
is a locally produced program presented by local pastors who speak bold Christ-centered messages. More than 15 pastors have come together to produce this and other programs as well as to partner with TWR for listener engagement in their communities. “We are just sowing, sowing, sowing because many of the Japanese have not even heard the name of Jesus
.” In the past Christian programs were not strictly forbidden but they were certainly unwelcome in Japan. This is no longer the case and there are now 14 local FM stations airing TWR programs that are proclaiming the gospel. Other UPG Projects
TWR Canada is also reaching the unreached in Sri Lanka
. Through translation, production, airtime and on-the-ground engagement in partnership with national workers, churches and TWR partners, we are using media to reach UPGs around the world.