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How TWR Invests in Unreached People

By TWR Staff
Americas, Asia, Europe, Global, Brazil, Cyprus, North Korea, Suriname, Turkey, Guam, S America

Introducing Jesus to people groups who don’t yet know him is a core purpose of TWR, our chief content officer says.

“It is the highest priority for us at TWR,” Jon Fugler said in an interview. “We are reaching the Muslim world, where there are many unreached people groups. We are investing a lot of resources in this.”

Sunday, June 5, is International Day For the Unreached, calling attention to the 1 in 3 people on the planet who have never heard of Jesus. It was established by the Alliance for the Unreached, a movement Fugler founded seven years ago when he was serving with Reach Beyond. Its campaign goes by the name “A Third of Us.”

Reaching the unreached has been foundational for TWR from the start.

“Jesus said, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,’” TWR founder Paul Freed wrote. “That we might ‘go’ and ‘preach’ is the hard-core purpose of every program beamed from Trans World Radio ‘into all the world.’”

Joshua Project, which was created to quantify the world’s unreached population, counts 17,432 people groups worldwide. It considers 7,416 of those unreached, meaning they do not have enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people. 

God is using TWR and mass media to help reach these groups. Here are three examples:

  • Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus. TWR launched Bridge of Hope Online in March as an outreach to Turkish-speaking women in Northern Cyprus. God seems to be providing specific opportunities for trauma counseling and anti-trafficking, said Caleb Petersen,* TWR European coordinator for Muslim men. Joshua Project estimates only 0.5% of Turkish Cypriots are Christian.
  • Koreans in North Korea. TWR ministers in the “closed” country of North Korea through shortwave broadcasts from the island of Guam. A work launched in 2020 was a remote follow-up ministry to North Korean refugees at refugee camps in Russia. TWR passes an internet-enabled device to the refugee through which s/he can keep in touch with TWR and hear our Korean-language programs.
  • The “Naked Ones” in Brazil. The Trio and Wayana tribes of Suriname were unreached until a team of missionaries arrived in the 1960s. Now 80% to 90% are evangelized, according to Tom Schoen, who was one of the missionary kids then and serves with TWR today. These tribes now are witnessing to other tribes with similar languages in Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana. Among them are the “Naked Ones,” a Brazilian tribe given the nickname by the Trio and Wayana evangelists. Schoen and TWR’s Steve Shantz are working to obtain the necessary licenses in Suriname to broadcast the gospel in the languages the Trio and Wayana speak. The missionaries from those tribes will give radio receivers to the people they meet. “The Wayana and Trio have expressed on numerous occasions their excitement about the radio ministry, not only for themselves but because it represents a wonderful new tool for them to take the gospel to these unreached people groups,” Schoen said.

* A pseudonym, used for security reasons.

Photo: The Christian population of Northern Cyprus is tiny, but a new TWR radio program is bringing the gospel to Turkish speakers on the island.(Amanda Slater/Creative Commons 2.0)

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