Taking the Gospel to the Unreached People Groups of West Africa
By Richard Greene, President of the Keystone Project
I am writing this letter to you from Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire. It is a great joy to be here in Africa, with our African friends, leaders, partners, disciples and churches. A couple of years ago we had two pastors from Côte D’Ivoire who attended one of our trainings in Keystone, South Dakota. They were impacted by this training and began to share it with others and returned this past March-April to attend a month-long training with 60 of their fellow pastors. There was such a dynamic and radical transformation in their lives that they asked us to come here and do a training with selected West African leaders.
We just concluded a five-day vision-casting training with 170 African leaders! We saw great enthusiasm and motivation among them. During the next six weeks, we look forward to doing follow up with these inspired pastors and leaders. The goal is to see the formation of mission teams strategizing to reach unreached people groups from West Africa. In fact, we selected one unreached people group — the Wassulu people, among whom there is not a single Christian. We asked, “Who will give their lives to reach this people group?” Nine Christian leaders came forward and said, “I will give my life to reach this people group.”
All of this is possible because of your prayers, support and encouragement. Our prayers are being answered and lives are being changed! Thank you, and may God bless you.
The Harvest is Plentiful, but the Workers are Few
by David Saldivar, Director of Operations
I had the opportunity to spend a day with our Houston Mission’s Team on my way back from our West Africa Training in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Our City Teams Director, L.J. Evers, and the Houston Leader, Joe Hutchinson, took me on a trip through Sharpstown, located in the Southwest district of the City of Houston. Sharpstown is the place where China Town is located, and the master-planned community that houses more than 50,000 refugees from 50 different nations.
Previous to this short trip to Houston, my exposure to our mission teams activities was through reports and meetings. This recent visit was something else. It transformed the way I view missionary work within the United States. If we have an authentic sense of missionary prophetic awareness, we can see God’s sovereign plan in bringing the nations to the United States of America so we can reach them with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Sadly, there is little to no awareness of this immense missionary opportunity.
Our team has been working for many years in the area. While interacting with them, I could sense profound ownership of God’s vision for these nations. That vision is expressed through their sacrificial love and willingness to follow Jesus by living among the refugees, in not the best of living conditions, I might add. I had the privilege to meet disciples who were reached through our city missionaries. They would not have come to Salvation if our missionaries had not responded to the call of the Great Commission. My experience reminded me of Jesus’s model of how He engaged the lost:
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NASB).
First, we see Jesus walking through the city. The phrase, “walking through”, in the original text conveys the message of walking while reflecting on those things that are being observed. It is as if Jesus was prayer-walking in the cities and villages. As if He was seeing the weight of the curse upon the people, their inability to see God’s will for them, and the hopelessness of so many. This is the reason why the Word continues with: “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.”
Second, we see Jesus teaching and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom. Our missionaries follow this model. They share the Gospel with many people once they have served them and built trust. After people start to respond, they teach them the values of the Kingdom while taking them on the mission.
Third, we see Jesus lifting the curse through healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Lifting the curse is perhaps one of the most neglected responsibilities of the church. We do charity well, but God called us to do acts of justice… which transform and establish God’s model.
Finally, we see Jesus teaching his disciples to pray for the multiplication of missionaries (apostolic leaders) that will answer the call of the Great Commission.
The need is immense! “Beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest”! Amen! Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
ABOUT THE KEYSTONE PROJECT
The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.