I know we find a lot to talk about these days in evangelical circles, and it is easy to get wrapped up in stories, controversies, and current events that will not be so current a few weeks from now. One of the things I’m grateful for each week is the opportunity to study about an unreached people group our church prays for each week. As part of the welcome and announcements, I share information with our church gathered about an unreached people group with little to no access of the gospel and call on us to remember them in prayer the following week.
This week, we are praying for the Aimaq, Jamshidi of Afghanistan. I would imagine that few if any of us have ever heard of this people group number 129,000 people. They are not 99.2% Muslim like many of the UPG’s in that region (with a scant number of Christians). They are 100% Muslim with no known followers of Jesus. Not only that, but there are no resources available to them in their language. No Bible, New Testament, or even the Gospel of John. No Jesus Film. No audio recordings. Nothing. According to the Joshua Project, they rank #2 in the world where the greatest persecution takes place of Christians. Not only is there no progress currently being made, any future attempt will likely lead to suffering, imprisonment, and death.
The Jamshidi are a nomadic people, highly tribal, isolated by the rugged geographical terrain and insulated by strong cultural boundaries. In order to even gain access to them, Christians must find a way to traverse the mountainous terrain and transplant themselves within their tribal identity. If, somehow, they are accepted into their nomadic lifestyle, they would then find opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, whom they have never heard, to what appears to be a militant Sunni Muslim people. There stands a significant chance they will die in the process.
Do the Jamshidi matter to the heart of God? I mean they are only 129,000 people of the nearly 7 billion people in the world. Absolutely, they do! In fact, I would venture to say they matter more to God than a lot of the things that consume our thoughts and affections. It’s a reality check to know that God’s redemptive purpose is to be worshipped among every nation, tongue, tribe, and people of the earth. There’s a lot of ways I could expend my time, interest, and energy in various discussions, debates, and controversies, but the greater issue has to do with what it will take to see many Jamshidi Aimaq’s treasuring Jesus Christ, if necessary, even to a martyr’s death?
In light of eternity, according to God’s global purposes in redemptive history, we find perspective and a reality check in the Jamshidi. May God help me, help us, to calibrate our lives accordingly so that our efforts are leveraged with maximum thrust to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to a needy world. God save many Jamshidi in our generation and use our please on their behalf as the means for sending out laborers into this harvest field!