Stories from the Field

Three Ways God Changes the Story

The obstacles that prevent least-reached people from embracing the good news are real. They’re monumental and, from a human standpoint, insurmountable.

But God.

He steps in, changing the story to make the impossible possible. Here are three ways we often see Him transform the narrative so that least-reached people can know the eternal hope He offers.

God moves people so they can be introduced to the gospel.

Throughout history, God has moved people for His glory and their good. In the midst of hardship and even tragedy, He orchestrates circumstances and timelines. He redeems what man means for evil. And in doing so, He reveals Himself to those who’ve yet to learn of the good news of Christ.

When Hashem* left his home country to seek asylum in another land, he knew God only as a being who was far away and always angry, waiting for him to fail. But as a refugee, he met followers of Christ and learned that God is near and wanted a relationship with him. “I found a God who is love, a God who you can call ‘Father.’ He’s not far away! You can talk to Him face to face.”

During his nine years as a refugee, Hashem not only discovered the eternal hope found only in Christ, but grew into a leader at a local church. Though he was eventually able to resettle in Canada, God is drawing him back to the land where he lived as a refugee to minister among others who have been displaced.

Hashem had never met his loving Heavenly Father … But God moved him to a place where he could come to know a personal savior and be called to share Him with others.

God overcomes obstacles that prevent the spread of the gospel.

Over 950 people groups are without a single Christian worker seeking to reach them with the gospel.[i] Many of them are least-reached because of where they live: in communities where Christian workers aren’t welcome. But the majority of these groups can be reached by believers willing to serve God through marketplace ministry.

As university students, Leon and Tiffany sensed God’s call to serve Him across cultures. They pursued becoming “traditional missionaries” and considered serving through a business as mission initiative, but they didn’t see Him open doors for them to minister outside their homeland in the Far East. But God still had a plan to use this couple for His glory among the least-reached.

Unknown to them, God was already preparing Leon and Tiffany to serve Him in Germany. Leon had lived in the country as an exchange student, and Tiffany had studied German for several years, giving them a good foundation in the country’s language and culture. God had also prepared Leon with professional skills that would enable him and his family to live and work in community with a growing number of least-reached people.

When Leon was given the opportunity to transfer to Germany, the Lord opened the door wide for the couple to relocate and begin ministering among a rapidly growing refugee population. Leon’s job also gives him an identity in the community that’s easily understood as well as provides him and his family with income and a logical reason to be living as expats. He and Tiffany are able to build relationships with their neighbors, which, by God’s grace, will lead to opportunities to share the gospel with people who’ve never heard it.

Many of the over 3 billion least-reached people worldwide live in places where “missionaries” cannot go … But God is opening a wealth of opportunities to bring the gospel to them through marketplace ministry.

God reaps a harvest where the ground seems barren.

Christar workers sometimes serve faithfully for years or even decades without seeing fruit from their labor. But God still uses their efforts to draw least-reached people to Himself, and their faithfulness never goes unnoticed in His sight.

In 1991, ​Nathaniel and Trudy, Christar workers in Japan, studied the Bible with 10 local businessmen. But they didn’t see any of these men place their faith in Christ, even after keeping in touch with some of them for several decades.

When one of these men’s daughters, Mrs. Tanaka, fell into a deep depression, her mother suggested she seek Nathaniel and Trudy’s help. She eventually agreed to attend a Christmas outreach at a church that Christar workers, including Nathaniel and Trudy, had helped to plant. There, Mrs. Tanaka was drawn to the love she felt from followers of Christ, as well as moved by the guest speaker’s message. Before she left, she signed up for a Bible study, and she began attending weekly worship services.

In 2017, over a quarter century after Nathaniel and Trudy had started an “unsuccessful” Bible study, Mrs. Tanaka’s parents, including her father who had attended this study 26 years before, witnessed their daughter publicly profess her faith in Christ and be baptized.

And the story isn’t over. Now Nathaniel and Trudy are praying that Mrs. Tanaka’s parents will also be drawn to the love of followers of Christ and that God will open her husband’s heart as he sees how the gospel is transforming his wife. They’re trusting the Lord to change the narrative once again.

Nathaniel and Trudy saw no fruit for over 25 years … But God was still at work, changing the story in a way they never expected.

In these ways and countless others, we continually see God change the story so that least-reached people can come to know Him, worship Him and possess the eternal hope only He can provide. We say with Jeremiah, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

Will you participate with us in what the Lord is doing to bring this eternal hope to communities where few have heard the gospel?


How can I get involved?

Pray:

  • Praise God for intervening in the impossible for His glory and the good of mankind.
  • Ask the Lord to continue to make it possible for least-reached people to know and worship Him as He sends His followers to share the good news.
  • Pray for wisdom for Christar workers as they seek to participate in what God is doing to bring about transformation in least-reached communities.

Give:

By giving where it’s needed most, you participate with us in God’s transformative work in least-reached communities.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[i] issacharinitiative.org