In this Broadcast we hear from Simon Fry about how we can get involved in reaching the unreached people groups of the world. Simon leads ChristChurch in Hailsham, and has been involved in helping to reach the unreached for Jesus since 1998. In 2008, Simon set up a charity called Life Bridging Works to help reach the unreached in East Africa. He is currently working in South Sudan with the Toposa tribe where they are seeing many turn to Jesus for the first time in the history of this tribe. He is also involved in another people group in the Horn of Africa where God is establishing groups of believers despite much opposition and persecution. Simon is married to his childhood sweetheart Anna and they have 4 children.
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Background and Overview of Involvement
- Got the call to work overseas as an 11 year old hearing a missionary from Egypt sharing.
- Got involved with a work in Uganda in late teens through a link with his church leader.
- Through Wycliffe Bible Translators a relationship with an unreached people group in South Sudan was started.
- Visited this believer (James), who was one of only 5 known believers. God gave them a clear sign to work with him and his tribe the Taposa.
- Over the years God has moved in that tribe.
- In 2005 James finished translating the bible
- 2007 planted a church, and James has now setup a school to help educate the kids.
- 2013 Civil war broke out in Southern Sudan.
- In the last two years they have seen 5000 people saved, and 15 churches planted.
- A 12 year old lad got saved, and has now turned bible stories and verses into songs that others are singing.
- Horn of Africa is a new involved since 2013. God has taken it from a group of isolated believers to a movement spreading into other surrounding nations.
Why Am I Involved?
- We serve a sovereign God, who is over all things.
- When talking about going to the nations, it starts back in the beginning. Genesis 1 - Man was told to be fruitful, multiple and rule over and subdue the earth.
- Abraham and his descendants are called to be a kingdom of priests to the nations.
- When the time had fully come Jesus came so that we could be fully restored in our relationship with God.
- Matthew 28:18-20 - All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
- The great commission is a recommissioning of Gods original plan
- Revelation 7 - you get a sneaky peak at the end of the book. We know that before the throne of God there are people from every tribe, tongue and people group worshipping.
- Matthew 24:14 - Gospel of the kingdom will go out to all nations (ethnic groups), and then the end will come.
- The end cannot come until the gospel has gone out to all nations.
- A Wycliffe statistic from 2011 predicts that at the current rate of translation by 2036 every known language will have a portion of scripture in their language.
- In our generation we can see this part of the great commission fulfilled.
We Have a Part to Play. It's an Amazing Privilege!
- Eph 2:8-10 - God has good works for you to do. He wants to involve us in his eternal purposes.
- God is delighted as we try to share our faith with people. We make mistakes as we learn and try new things. That’s ok as God wants to use you!
- Eph 3 - it’s through the church that the wisdom of God is being displayed. God’s preferred way of working is through you!
- 2 Peter 3:7-12 God in his sovereignty has set a date when Jesus returns. We not only wait for it, but have a part to play in quickening His return.
1. How do you encourage people in your church to get involved in mission?
- Through our regular preaching, the shaping of the programme and even restricting the programme so that people have time outside of the church.
- Overseas wise we try to take teams with us.
- We also encourage people to give to these areas as well pray.
- Within Catalyst and Newfrontiers there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with.
2. How do you encourage yourself in this in the long term?
- It shapes your prayer life, especially when going into a country that has unrest.
- Regularly pray for the nation you are involved in and also other nations.
- Listen to and read many different news stations as it broadens understanding of the situation.
3. Marriage and partnership on mission
- God had gone before me on that as he had spoke to her already.
- My wife often gets the tougher end of the deal.
- People love to pray for you when you are away, but don’t pray for the family, and that’s when they need it the most.
4. How would you help someone explore getting involved with unreached people groups?
- If it is a church member they should talk to a church leader, and go to some events that are run about reaching the unreached.
- Also get experience even if it is not with the particular group or nation you have on your heart.
5. Miracles and unreached people groups. What can we learn from them and can we bring it into our contexts?
- Often God uses visions and dreams to help prepare the people for what is ahead.
- It should encourage us for how we can work in our contexts and also to pray for more.
- God loves to use us!
6. What does it look like for us to practically get involved with unreached people groups?
- It maybe helping, supporting and releasing those who are already doing the work.
- It may be to also go yourself.
- I’d advised going on a short term mission trip to test the waters.
- You could go to Wycliffe Bible Translators direct.
- A challenge to the church in general is that on average 87% of church funds go on themselves, 12% go on mission that is established in their locality, and less than 1% goes on reaching the unreached.
7. What's your view of getting the balance right in translating the Bible in an oral culture and preaching the gospel, raising leaders and planting churches.
- People will ultimately need the word of God, though the key to the breakthrough in the Taposa people was the showing of the Jesus film.
- We need to both share the gospel and translate Scripture.
- Once people are saved they need discipleship.
9. What do you know now that you would have loved to have known a number of years ago?
- Surprised at how hard it is.
- The necessity of perseverance.