First Fruits in a Mountain Town

Gospel hope for the hill tribes of Southeast Asia



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July 8, 2019


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Check out this article, First Fruits in a Mountain Town: Groups of foreign and local believers focused on church planting are working together and seeing the gospel start to go places it hasn’t gone before.


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One of Asia’s poorest and least developed countries is home to more than 100 people groups, groups further divided by variations in culture and dialect. The gospel does not easily cross such barriers. In addition, the church there was weakened when, decades ago, two-thirds of the Christians and most of the trained pastors left after facing government pressure.

But things are starting to change. Poverty and isolation are lessening. The church, though still persecuted, is now growing. And groups of foreign and local believers focused on church planting are working together and seeing the gospel start to go places it hasn’t gone before.

At the same time, Pioneers staff in the U.S. are investing in focused prayer for a number of unreached and unengaged groups around the world, many in quite hard-to-reach places like this one. We’re encouraged to hear what God is doing in a young man from one of the people groups we’re praying for.

Jay hears the Gospel

“Jay” is in his twenties. For the last six years he has lived in a provincial capital in the mountains of this Southeast Asian country.

A few years ago, he was working at a local restaurant frequented by a team of foreign Christians who would occasionally bring their families to the restaurant for a meal. Jay began observing the lives of these believers. He saw how they lived and interacted. It was different. And attractive. One day, he approached them and expressed interest in working for them.

The Christian group decided to hire Jay to teach the local language to their children. Jay proved to be a great instructor. So, before long, he was working full-time at a language center. During the months he worked there, he began showing more interest in learning about Christ and the gospel. He attended a voluntary weekly Bible study open to all the staff. He also met local believers from the majority ethnic group. Like Jay, they grew up knowing only the local religion. They told him how Christ had come into their lives to save and change them.

Jay decides to follow Jesus

A few months ago, Jay decided to become a Christian. Recently, he shared with his family that he is now a follower of Jesus and is planning on being baptized. They responded to this news surprisingly well… in fact, they are open to hearing more about the gospel of Jesus.

Jay is one of the first in his people group to become a believer.
  • Pray for Jay to grow in his new faith as He sees God working in and around him.
  • Intercede for local and foreign believers coming alongside Jay to teach him and pray with him.
  • Ask God to give Jay the boldness to share the good news so that more will hear and respond.

"Thanks for your prayers,” say our friends in Southeast Asia. “The Holy Spirit’s preparation and work in Jay’s heart is very evident.”

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Pray for Pioneers teams as they seek to cast their nets widely and wait expectantly for the Holy Spirit to do what only He can do. Sign up for our weekly prayer email.

Check out what it takes to plant a church in Indonesia.

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