When I was young, I consumed missionary biographies like candy. These people seemed so daring, brave, other-worldly. Pressing to the ends of the earth with a message more valuable than their very lives. I read of men and women who lived for years with unreached people groups, simply to learn the language so the Bible could be translated. But I never hoped I’d actually meet some of these people living at the ends of the earth. Or find myself present on the very day the Good News was delivered for the first time in the language of a specific people group.

But on this day, we drive into a closed, high wall courtyard. After the gate closes, so our arrival remains secret, we disembark from the van and step into the dwelling. Women crowd around us, leaving their work at counters and cooking devices, greeting us with a warmth that needs no translation. They motion for us to move into a side room. There, a yellow and maroon mat spread on the floor, maps and strategic plans posted on the walls, and a man and his wife waiting to welcome us, coalesce into a story.

About a decade earlier, the man moved to another country for Bible training and met a woman who shared his passion to reach people who haven’t yet heard the Gospel. After marrying, they returned to their home country to live among two tribal groups, one with .14% Evangelical Christian and the other .01%. Earning income through a motorcycle repair business and operation of a shop, they began to tell others about Jesus. Later in our visit, the woman, with unbridled laughter, tells us she talks about her faith in the market whenever she wants and doesn’t worry about backlash. The couple radiates peace, freedom, joy, and light.

They, and a small gathering of those who have come to know Jesus through their ministry, gather with us on the mat for lunch. As we enjoy plates heaped with food we don’t recognize, new church members, wearing the signature hair style of their tribe, share stories of redemption from drug abuse, fear, and despair. Tentative hope shines in their eyes, swelling to match the confident gleam in the watching gazes of the evangelist and his wife.

Then the leader of our group delivers a radio to the church and explains how to use it. For the first time, these unreached people groups will hear the Gospel in their own languages.

Then we sing together. It’s like listening to morning rain, sitting on a balcony. Invisible at first, a slow trickle, like a fountain being turned on, and soon cascading into a rush. Although we cannot understand one another’s words, we recognize our brothers and sisters. As we worship the same Lord, the Light leaps from heart to heart, like the Holy Spirit dancing.

And I know without a doubt that the Gospel will continue to spread here, as it is in other parts of this country where believers care for the orphaned and widow, feed the hungry, and serve their communities. Like a stream running into a river into an ocean. The dam now crumbling into unquenchable Love.

2 thoughts on “Unquenchable

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