By Scott Griswold
I would like to invite you to an online visit of hundreds of thousands of unreached people in America’s cities. Point your browser to peoplegroups.info. Dedicated Christians have pulled together amazing statistics so we can know which unreached people groups live where. Click the words “Metro Area List” then choose the city near you or one you are interested in. After reading the description you can see which ethnic groups are there. You can even click on them to learn about their religion and background.
For example, take Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas. Discover that every other person speaks another language besides English and 1 out of 4 is foreign-born. Meet 29,679 Urdu speakers from Pakistan and 11,350 Gujarati from India, just to name two groups that are almost 100% unreached Muslims and Hindus living right there in Texas.
Why should you explore this site? These precious people need somebody to help them know Jesus. They need you or someone to partner with a Christian of their own language who could start a church among them.
That is what happened for the Mizo in Indiana and the Zomi people in Michigan. We tell their stories elsewhere,* but here we have to at least share our excitement. Personnel from ASAP Ministries were able to visit these two groups as they organized, one into a company and the other into a church.
MIZO COMPANY BECOMES A CHURCH
For a few quick years, the Southside Seventh-day Adventist church in Indianapolis hosted the Mizo group, which consists of refugees and immigrants from Myanmar and India. But on May 7, cars filled the parking lot and church members and visitors packed out a newly-rented church. Why? The Mizo Company had organized into full Church status and it was being dedicated today!
The joyful singing of adult and children’s groups added so much to the celebration. The Indiana Conference president, Steven Poenitz, challenged them to press forward in their commitment and service.
This new church in a new language was the result of someone being willing to leave the comfort of church family and friends. Pastor Lalmuansanga Chawngthu and plumber Van Lova moved to Indianapolis from Maryland, recognizing the desperate need for a church among the Mizo people. They and their families have sacrificed much in their hard work to care for new arrivals and to share the gospel. As of the last report, there are 114 baptized members and 194 Sabbath school members. That’s almost double in attendance what they have on the books!
ZOMI GROUP BECOMES A COMPANY
On May 21, church leader, SB Ngai Chin and his wife Ann, together with church elders warmly welcomed ministers from the Michigan Conference and many visitors to the Grand Rapids Zomi Adventist Group. Ministerial director Royce Snyman and multiethnic ministries director Daniel Scarone officiated at this long-awaited special service. The pastor of the Wyoming Church, Dan Rachor and his wife Joanne had played an important part in nurturing the group. They enjoyed seeing this maturing group grow.
With smiles on their faces, the members (pictured) signed their name to the document giving their group official recognition as a company of the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The songs of praise expressed the joy in their hearts for the miraculous way the Lord has led in opening the way for them to worship in freedom far from the restrictions of Burma.
What about you? Are you willing to go somewhere and plant God’s church? It might be on the other side of your city, to reach that group of people who don’t know Jesus or who cannot travel across the city to an existing church. It might be in another part of North America, near some city where there is an unreached refugee or immigrant group that needs somebody to come close enough to them to get something started. It might be clear around the world. Would you ask God to lay some place, some group upon your heart to reach?