Unreached People: The Tausug of the Philippines

In the dimness, young Qadira’s eyes widen with fear as she listens to what seems like her husband’s last breaths. Last month Fareed had come home injured, accompanied by ten other men from their village. Their people, the Tausug, have felt the pain from decades of repression by various rulers and Fareed had joined the fight to defend their ways. But now he lies still after weeks of fighting a fever; his breathing is barely … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: The Laccadive Mappila of South Asia

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad.” (Psalm 97:1, NAS) The shallow water gently laps against the wooden hull of the brightly painted boats moored in the island’s small harbor. Jasser listens to the lapping while he sits in his step-father’s boat cleaning the nets. The drips of salt water from the Arabian Sea glisten on his arms and legs as he works the sea weeds and other debris … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: Applying Our Prayers Along the Frontiers

The 136 million Shaikh in Bangladesh, 19 million Zhuang in China, two million Afar in Ethiopia, and 12,000 Kogi in Colombia are among 4,000+ ethno-linguistic-cultural populations that comprise the Unreached People Groups (UPG’s) of the world today. Some can be found within one country, others are scattered in communities that cross the borders of nation-states, and some are spread around the globe. Since the Tower of Babel, people groups have come and gone: some were … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: The Buryat of Russia

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isa 55:11) Siberia’s largest aboriginal people group are the Buryats, numbering over half a million people. This group inhabit parts of China and Mongolia but the vast majority live in the lowlands near the Russia-Mongolia border in the Republic of Buryatia, … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: The Badi of Nepal

“Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For You will judge the peoples with uprightness And guide the nations on the earth.” (Psalm 67:3-4) Among Nepal’s population of over 30 million resides an unreached people group called the Badi. Badi means, “one who plays musical instruments.” For centuries the Badi’s livelihood came through the patronage of rulers and wealthy high … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: The Afar of East Africa

“All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” (Ps 86:9) Inhabiting one of the most barren, rugged, and unproductive geographical regions of the globe are the proud people called the Afar. The Afar number over 2.1 million, speak one language (Afar) and live in the countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Living where simmering deserts, vast salt flats and active volcanoes make up … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: The Sea Gypsies of the Philippines

Located near the coasts of the Philippines are the Sea Gypsies, a maritime people typically living a semi-nomadic life aboard their beloved boats. By tradition these peoples travel by boat from one island to the next fishing and trading marine commodities such as sea cucumbers, dried fish, pearls and pearl oyster shells. Many of these people confess to follow a majority religion in the region but also hold the belief that special places and objects … [Continue Reading]

Unreached People: Shepherd People of South Asia

Words used to describe the South Asian Shepherd People include tough, rugged, hardy, low status and outcasts. The seasonal migration or “transhumance” of this people and their livestock involves movement between their fixed summer highland pastures and lower winter pastures. During the course of their annual migration, they pass by many shrines of their religious holy men and the graves of those who died and were buried somewhere along the route. Homage is paid to … [Continue Reading]