Editor’s note: This is the fifth post in a 10-part series that highlights information found in IMB’s Annual Statistical Report. The report is based on 2020 research data. A full copy of the report is available at imb.org/asr.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD — EAST ASIAN PEOPLES
Some local believers partnered with a volunteer team from the U.S. to look for new villages of an Unreached People Group (UPG). They looked for hours without success. Unsure of where to go next, they stopped and prayed. As they traveled down a dirt road, they saw a young woman wearing a bright yellow shirt from the volunteer team’s state. They stopped to talk with her and learned she was form the people group they were seeking. Not only that, her husband was the village leader and invited them into the village where they spent the rest of the day making new friends and sharing the gospel.
Using storytelling to teach the Bible to grandmothers who are new believers has been a very effective way of nurturing East Asian Christians. The grandmothers bring their friends with them, eat snacks, learn the Bible using stories and participate in small groups that incorporate worship and dance. Because the meetings are tailored to the grandmothers through fun games, facial massages and hours of listening to stories, the grandmothers always look forward to the weekly meetings.
Exit to Partnership
Baptists have worked in this East Asian country for over 70 years. This year an agency was formed in partnership with the IMB and adopted as the official sending agency of one Baptist convention. This agency has a vision to facilitate a global movement of ethnic East Asians taking the gospel to the nations. Some of these missionaries have already completed their training and now serve in the field.
All data, except for active field personnel and unreached people group counts, reflects information from the 2020 Data-Year Annual Statistical Report (IMB).