One of Cru’s global strategies around the world is a focus on church planting. Over the past several years we in the US have launched a global initiative focused on church planting among unreached people groups in a number of cities in East Asia. Below is an update from one of our key leaders who has been developing and giving leadership to this initiative.There are currently over 11,000 people groups in the world. It’s estimated that 6,700 are considered unreached with the gospel. 3,000 of these are completely unengaged with no church planting strategy and little-to-no available Christian resources. East Asia is home to over 280 Unreached People Groups (UPGs) with 130 of these being both Unreached and Unengaged. One of the most powerful movements of God in history is taking place in East Asia, and yet most of that growth has been among the majority people group and has left most of the minority ethnic groups untouched.
Our mission has been to facilitate church planting movements among these remaining UPGs in East Asia. We send long-term church planting teams to live among these precious people, learn their language and culture, and stay long enough to ensure healthy long-term growth. In this area, there are currently 28 adults from the US, Canada and East Asia (5 families with 10 children) in 5 cities engaging 5 different UPGs. There are also 4 more families and 5 singles in the process of being sent to work among these UPGs. We are beginning to initiate and explore partnering with the East Asian churches in the US to facilitate mission sending from these communities. We believe that those from East Asia will be some of the the primary players in this emerging era of missions in East Asia and the world.
One of our current teams is working among the “Hill Tribe” people. A young East Asian woman named “Mary” became a believer and was so moved by God’s love for her that she started reaching out to a village of lepers in the mountains. (That’s right – a village of lepers!) These precious people are totally cut off from society and Mary is risking her own health to touch them with Christ’s compassion. She started providing education for the children and blankets and clothes for them in the winter.
Our team has been helping Mary share the love of Christ with these people. On a recent trip our team shared the gospel with a group in the village. An old woman who is missing half of her foot from leprosy listened intently and begged them to tell the story again. She became our sister in Christ that day. She took our team back to her house where she had written on her wall (below) with chalk in her own language, “God. Jesus. Happy.”
Together with Mary our team will continue going back to the village to share more of God’s story with them and to begin to disciple these people in their new faith. We’re praying not only for the gospel to transform lives in this village, but to also transform the culture so that outcasts are welcomed, the poor and marginalized are cared for and the sick healed. Please join with us in praying that “God. Jesus. Happy” would be on every wall.