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Annual Day to Focus on 2 Billion+ Unreached People Worldwide

June 2, 2017

Annual Day to Focus on 2 Billion+ Unreached People Worldwide

June 2, 2017
(June 2, 2017 - by Harold Goerzen)  An estimated 2 billion individuals around the world are “without any knowledge of the Savior,” according to Joshua Project, a research initiative that tracks the number of Christians in ethnic groups worldwide. Additional sources put this number as high as 2.7 billion.

IDU logoIn an effort to build awareness of those who have never heard the gospel message, Reach Beyond is part of a seven-member alliance that is sponsoring the second annual International Day for the Unreached (IDU) on Pentecost Sunday, June 4.

“So many people advocate for countless causes, and most of them are good,” said Wayne Pederson, a former president of the mission who is chairing this year’s effort. “But the fact is, over 2 billion people still haven’t ever heard the message of Jesus and over 70,000 people die each day without ever having that opportunity.”

“It gives me a great burden and sense of urgency,” Pederson added. “It’s all about moving people from concern to action.”

One of the differences of this year’s effort is a Facebook live event, noted Jon Fugler, the ministry’s vice president of advancement who conceived of IDU three years ago. “It’s being held in response to the many people who asked us last year for one nationwide event held on the actual Day for the Unreached.”

Singer Phil Stacey and author/speaker Becky Harling share their passion for the unreached.The ministry is working in conjunction with Bibles For The World, Operation Mobilization, Partners International, Global Mapping International, World Mission and Missio Nexus to sponsor this annual day and hold the hour-long live event starting at 7 p.m. EDT (

The special broadcast will feature a challenge by best-selling author and missions leader David Platt. President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) and a former pastor, he has written widely acclaimed books such as Radical, Follow Me and Counter Culture. The event will also feature a concert by contemporary Christian recording artist and “American Idol” finalist Phil Stacey along with messages from alliance spokesmen.

Reach Beyond President Steve Harling pointed to Revelation 7:9 which states that there will be representatives of “every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

“God is on the move,” he said. “We can be a part of what He is doing today. Catch the cause and ride the wave with us. We bring that message to every people group on the planet. I believe we will see this fulfilled in our lifetime.”

Becky Harling challenges families to learn more about unreached people groups around the world.Harling’s wife, Becky, a well-known author and speaker, suggested several ways in which believers can do their part to making Christ known.

“Begin by asking God to develop a heart for those who have never heard,” she said. “Thousands of intercessors are needed. Perhaps consider taking some prayer walks.”

She also urged believers to check out the IDU website ( and to “give so others can go. Dare to consider going yourself and visiting an unreached area. Take your whole family. Help people know the good news that Jesus wants a relationship with them.”

“You could spread out the atlas on the floor with your children and pray for different nations,” Becky Harling continued. “Maybe God is bringing unreached people [whom you could befriend] right next door to you.”

Phil Stacey, a former "American Idol" finalist, shares his heart for missions via music.Fugler, who serves on IDU’s leadership team, agrees, believing that the event is “developing into a movement which is what it should be—not just a day. It’s something that believers should act on as a way of life. Pray for the unreached. Adopt an unreached people group. Go to an unreached people group. Give to the Great Commission. Ignite other believers in your church. We need to be thinking and acting on sharing Jesus with those who have never heard.”

He added that a number of Christian radio stations are taking part in the special day, “airing promotional spots, getting the word out through their social media and interviewing many of the leaders. Any time a station gives valuable airtime, it means it is a priority for them. And that’s what is happening across the country.”

While Fugler said he’s glad to see IDU has “come so far so fast, there is a long way to go. My dream is that millions of believers would catch the vision and do help spread the good news to those with no access to the gospel.”

“I would encourage every person reading this story to ask, ‘What one thing can I do this week to help bring Jesus to the unreached around the world?’” Fugler concluded.

Sources: Reach Beyond, Joshua Project