Jeff Hartensveld is the AGWM Regional Director for Asia Pacific. Previously, Jeff served with his wife Liz and three daughters as missionaries to Indonesia for 23 years, and later for five years in Springfield, Missouri as the AGWM Director of Mobilization. Jeff also authored ‘Apostolic Spark: Igniting the Church for the Final Harvest’ in 2017.
We are praying and believing God for big things in the Asia Pacific Region as we kick off our new theme: “Reaching the Never Reached.” Those who have been around me know I talk a lot about the never reached. As a matter of fact, we have a whole Key Ministry Area (KMA) dedicated to the never reached.
I believe we are uniquely positioned in Asia and the Pacific to bring the gospel to peoples and places which, since the time of Christ’s command for us to go, have yet to hear the good news that Jesus died on the Cross for their sins. The early trajectory of the gospel was from Jerusalem to the Middle East to what is now Greece and Turkey. It then went to North Africa, Europe, North and South America, and many other places in the world. Yet centuries have passed, and many in our region are still waiting to hear the gospel for the first time—not just in their lifetime, but in the whole history of their people group. This should concern all of us. The reason we are on this mission isn’t just to do ministry but to complete the Great Commission. Reaching the never reached is our responsibility together.
Recently we had a Never Reached People Groups KMA meeting in Bangkok, where we committed ourselves to the following four objectives:
1. Prayer and Fasting. The first Friday of every month, we will fast and pray specifically for the never reached.
2. Portion. Our region has 1115 never reached people groups, and we commit to not trying to reach them all at once and in turn reach none. We commit to a serious, intentional effort to reach a few dozen.
3. Paradigm. We commit to never go alone but to always have a host (national) person with us as we visit, make apostolic journeys to, or live among the never reached.
4. Placement. We commit to do everything in our power within the next five years to see a community of indigenous believers raised up in each of these groups.
Reaching the never reached is not exclusive to those who are part of that KMA; it’s who we are and what we do as a region. Currently, we are working specifically with 26 never reached groups in eight countries.
Vanuatu: Middle Bush tribes
Thailand: southern Thai Muslims, Isaan Thai, ethnic Thai Buddhists, southern Burmese, and ethnic Chinese Thai.
Vietnam: Tay (northern Vietnam) and Khmer (southern Vietnam)
Indonesia: Pasemah, Kangean, Bakumpai, Sula, Dampelas, Banjar, Java Pesisir Lor, and Tugutil
Laos: Lao Phuan and Lao Pong
Philippines: Tausug, Maranao, Magindano, Iranun, Kalagan, Badjao
We believe the words of Jesus, when he said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14 ESV) Therefore we can no longer delay in carrying the gift of the gospel to the furthest places of the Earth. We will stop at nothing to plant the church where no believer has ever stepped foot, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to reach the Never Reached of Asia Pacific.
They have waited long enough.