Chuck Rapp continues with his story…
Day 3 – What is an unreached people group … and why should we care?
The story of the Antakarana people group is pretty amazing. In the early 1840s, during the Merina invasion, the Antakarana hid in caves and cliffs on the Madagascar mainland for more than a year. They were dying because the conditions in the caves were so deplorable. The king of the Antakarana decided to take a group of fighting men with him west toward the coast to find a refuge. He made a “deal” with Allah that if his people should survive they would all become devoted followers of Islam. The people sailed in dugout canoes and traveled to what is now Nosy Mitsio.
Today the Antakarana honor the vow their king made and are Muslim, but this is cultural only. Very few can actually explain much of what it means to be Muslim. People consult witch doctors and fortune tellers for help, and they do so very frequently. They worship their ancestors and use animal sacrifice to communicate with the ancestors through spirit possession. There is absolutely NO Christian influence. There is no available Scripture or any other form of the Gospel, i.e. literature, recordings, films. They are considered an UNREACHED people group. More on this here.
And, just what is an unreached people group? According to the Joshua Project, “An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance.”
The Mayles and their team are the “outside assistance” to “make Jesus famous” amongst these people. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! (Isaiah 52:7, NLT)
Why should we care about unreached peoples? Glad you asked!
John, the Revelator provides some insight to this question. After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9, NLT, emphasis added)
Heaven will not be complete until there are representatives from every people group!!