WHERE ARE THE MISSIONARIES?
by Rolley Haggard
Most evangelicals, consciously or unconsciously, gauge the spiritual health of a given church or ministry at least to some extent by its emphasis on missions, which is to say, on reaching the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And rightly so. As Oswald J. Smith judiciously opined, “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” Compassionate justice for all is a fundamental Christian instinct and the natural companion to evangelistic zeal.
Yet there is a people group—the largest by far on the planet—that is altogether neglected by virtually every church and mission-sending agency in the world. So large is it that in 2008 alone, almost 44 million people in this worldwide demographic slipped into eternity without hearing about Christ.
One would expect there to be a reasonable explanation to account for this anomaly: extreme geographical isolation, for example. But the sad fact is, there isn't. The vast majority of these people aren't way off in the inaccessible mountains of Himalaya or the steaming jungles of South Asia or the remote islands of the Seven Seas. They're in our own cities and neighborhoods, very often in our own churches and homes. Yet for all intents and purposes they might as well be on Neptune.
Who are these unreached people? They are the victims of abortion, pre-born children whose lives are ended violently before they have a chance to hear about Jesus.