A Third of Us by Lisa Hall, TWR Women of Hope International Prayer Coordinator
This symbol – three tally marks, with the left one standing slightly apart – and the phrase A Third of Us are helping create awareness and mobilize believers to spread the gospel. They are drawing attention to the third of the world’s population that has little or no chance to hear who Jesus really is.
The alliance behind the A Third of Us movement comprises 43 mission-minded organizations whose goal is to get every follower of Christ engaged in making him known to unreached people groups. TWR is one of the founding organizations in this movement, and we at TWR Women of Hope enthusiastically support the effort to spread the gospel worldwide. Some of you may have joined us previously in participating in the annual International Day for the Unreached, which takes place each year on Pentecost Sunday.
So, who exactly are the unreached? When Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of all nations,” he used the word “ethne,” which we translate as “people group.” Nations typically are made up of many people groups – Nigeria, for example, has 540 distinct people groups. Of the 17,400 people groups in the world, about 7,400 are unreached.
An unreached people group is one in which there aren’t enough indigenous Christians and needed resources to evangelize the rest of the group without outside help. They need missionaries, for example, to come to the area, learn the language and culture, and then train and disciple leaders to evangelize the remainder of the people within the group. But it is important to note that, if we coordinate our efforts, unreached does not have to mean unreachable.
The majority of these 7,400 unreached people groups live in the 10/40 Window, which refers to countries situated between 10 degrees and 40 degrees north latitude and stretching across North Africa, the Middle East and many parts of Asia. Of the 50 largest unreached people groups, Islam predominates in 23; Hinduism in 18; Buddhism in six; ethnic religions in two; and no religion in one.
So, what can you do to make a difference?
Go to athirdofus.com, where you can:
- Sign up to receive the Action Guide and learn how to use the A Third of Us symbol to promote awareness of the unreached. You will also learn specific ways to take action to bring the gospel to them.
- Find out how to take part in International Day for the Unreached, on May 23, 2021, and become involved throughout the year in this mission.
- Pray! Within the Action Guide is a prayer section where you can sign up to receive the “Unreached of the Day” prayer focus.
Together, we can bring the life-giving truth of Jesus to the unreached.
* Statistics are provided by joshuaproject.net.