'A vast opportunity'

It's hard to believe how many people groups still need to hear the gospel and read God's Word in their own language.

Missionary David Searcy and his co-workers recently rode 725 kilometers by motorcycle to visit a number of Kantuk villages. They were conducting a People Group Assessment (PGA) to gather more information about the Kantuk people to help determine their current language status and whether there is a need for a translation of God’s Word into their heart language.

In the process, they interviewed and visited with many Kantuk people and learned that they are a huge people group.

They found one large group of the tribe that had been evangelised prior to World War II. This group was thrilled to have David and his friends hold a service in their little church building. Sadly, the believers there had never had a translation of God’s Word in their own language and when asked, they responded overwhelmingly that they would love to have a Kantuk Bible.

“There are still many unreached Kantuk villages,” David writes. “If the believers there had the Scriptures and were taught how to teach God’s Word chronologically in their own language, they could share with their own people and certainly see more reached for Christ.”

Syncretism is the largest belief system in that area of the Asia Pacific region. Syncretism, David explains, is the combination of animism with all its taboos, appeasing of spirits and blood sacrifices infused with some kind—or kinds—of organised religious teaching. This results in daily life realities of manipulation, fear and hopelessness.

“We have a vast opportunity here to reach unreached people groups,” David continues. “The most difficult barriers we need to conquer are not mountains and rivers. … They are instead cultural and linguistic. … The devil wants to keep them all in darkness, even if it’s the darkness of religion. We must teach in the heart language. And it is not easy or quickly done. It may take a lifetime.”

David and his wife, Teresa, have invested 40 years in loving people, studying languages and sharing the gospel of Christ with people who would never have heard.

Many more people groups, like the Kantuk tribe, desperately need to hear of the redemption and hope that Jesus offers them. Multitudes of people, believers and unbelievers alike, are begging for God’s Word in their own heart language.

“Go therefore,” Jesus said, “and make disciples of all the nations …” Matthew 28:19