April 2013 Update
In late 2003 The Elijah Challenge held Basic Training for the purpose of reaching the world’s largest unreached people group---a single tribe of over forty-four million adherents of the religion which predominates in the Middle East. This people group living in the 1040 Window was known to be very gospel-resistant when approached with traditional evangelistic methods.
In the Training we taught the servants of God how to heal the sick in the name of Jesus Christ to prove to the lost that He is the only way to the Father. At the ensuing evangelistic healing meeting, a number of these unreached people came to hear the gospel and to witness the many miraculous healings done in the name of Jesus Christ. Some of them were healed and they also testified. As a result, over one-half of these unreached people attending the meeting made the decision to follow Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Savior.
They were not asked to renounce their own religion (and culture) in a formal way and then to convert publicly to the organized religion called Christianity, known to their community as the “imperialist colonizers' religion.” (The country where this people group lives was occupied and exploited by Europeans for 350 years.) They remained outward adherents of their religion, but as born-again followers of Jesus Christ. They worshipped God and were discipled according to the teachings of the Bible not in a church building, but in homes.
In this way, two servants of God who were trained in the Seminar have now (2013 figure) reached 2,500 people in this "unreached" group for the Kingdom of God. Even religious and civic leaders of this people group are now becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. They are initially drawn by the manifestations of miraculous healing power that Jesus Christ gives to His disciples to be effective witnesses.
In November 2011 while meeting with one of the two servants of God on a mission trip to Southeast Asia, we heard that there were 1,500 followers of Isa Almasih from this "unreachable" people group, including prominent religious leaders.
New believers being prepared for water baptism
The Lord has done other miracles to open up this "unreachable" people group to His Kingdom. He has given them supernatural dreams and visions about Jesus Christ. He has demonstrated His clear favor upon those who believe. See the two photos below for an amazing testimony.
Above: The abundant harvest reaped on land belong
to one of the believers
Above: the field of the believer in foreground, the field of
the unbelieving neighbor in background
View from above: the fruitful field of the believer (lower left hand corner)
and the barren field of his unbelieving neighbor (upper right hand corner)
John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Luke 10:9 “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’”
Someday soon this “unreached” people group will be re-classified by missiologists as “reached.” No, they will not have been “christianized,” something Christ did not necessarily intend. Rather, they will have in their midst---their own community---a powerful body of believers that can potentially fulfill the Great Commission to them.
1 Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Other articles on this approach:
Jesus Christ or Christianity?
The Kingdom of God comes not from without, but from within
A new paradigm for fulfilling the Great Commission to the Unreachable
John & Anna Travis on Contextualization