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Thursday, August 28, 2014

UPG's in Clarkston: The Southeast Asian List (Part 4/4)


This is a draft list based on the database created by the Joshua Project, of ethnicities in the Clarkston community who have no significant Christian witness available to them (in their homeland).  More to the point, as the Joshua Project defines it:  "Unreached Groups lack enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people."



A number of the world's approximately 7,000 Unreached People Groups have found their way to Clarkston through the years.  One of the driving questions we continually ask at GFM is, "What are you doing to engage the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ?"  Answering that question begins with knowing the baseline it presumes.  This list was created by local ministry partners at Friends of Refugees and Encompass World Partners as an initial attempt to identify that baseline.  They carefully sifted through some 7,000 data points to record this valuable information!


As best as we can tell, some 90+ UPG's can be found in Clarkston.  Hear me say, this list is NOT exhaustive, academic, completed or fully accurate, but the researchers did their best to collate refugee resettlement arrival data with 7 years of anecdotal and personal experiences, along with some specific web searches regarding several ethnicities' history of flight from war and conflict.



You may find it surprising which groups are classified as UPG's, especially since, in our very special town, many of them serve as leaders in local fellowships or even pastors and missionaries.  You are correct, we too were surprised, but remember that this is GLOBAL data and Clarkston happens to be quite unique in many aspects!



*******

Below is part 3 of 4 of the list according to Affinity Blocs:
CLICK HERE for part 1 - Eurasia
CLICK HERE for part 2 - African and Arab
CLICK HERE for part 3 - South Asia


UPG's in Clarkston:  Southeast Asian Peoples

Southeast Asia
(SE Asian & Malay)




  • Arakanese
  • Bama Burmese
  • Myen Burmese
  • Kachin / Singhpo
  • Pa-O Karen Black
  • Karen Yintale
  • Khmer
  • Malay Muslims
  • Manipuri Ponna Burmese
  • Mon Talain Burmese
  • Mru Mro Burmese
  • Nyaw Yo Thai
  • Palaung Shwe
  • Palaung Pale De'ang Burmese
  • Phun Hpon Burmese
  • Phun Thai
  • Rakhine Arakanese Burmese
  • Riang-Lang Burmese
  • Rohingya Burmese Muslims
  • Shan Burmese
  • Tai Laing Burmese
  • Tai Lue Burmese
  • Tai Nua Shan Burmese
  • Taungyo Dawe Burmese
  • Tavoyan Dawai Burmese

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UPG's in Clarkston: The South Asian List (Part 3/4)


This is a draft list based on the database created by the Joshua Project, of ethnicities in the Clarkston community who have no significant Christian witness available to them (in their homeland).  More to the point, as the Joshua Project defines it:  "Unreached Groups lack enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people."



A number of the world's approximately 7,000 Unreached People Groups have found their way to Clarkston through the years.  One of the driving questions we continually ask at GFM is, "What are you doing to engage the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ?"  Answering that question begins with knowing the baseline it presumes.  This list was created by local ministry partners at Friends of Refugees and Encompass World Partners as an initial attempt to identify that baseline.  They carefully sifted through some 7,000 data points to record this valuable information!


As best as we can tell, some 90+ UPG's can be found in Clarkston.  Hear me say, this list is NOT exhaustive, academic, completed or fully accurate, but the researchers did their best to collate refugee resettlement arrival data with 7 years of anecdotal and personal experiences, along with some specific web searches regarding several ethnicities' history of flight from war and conflict.



You may find it surprising which groups are classified as UPG's, especially since, in our very special town, many of them serve as leaders in local fellowships or even pastors and missionaries.  You are correct, we too were surprised, but remember that this is GLOBAL data and Clarkston happens to be quite unique in many aspects!



*******

Below is part 3 of 4 of the list according to Affinity Blocs:
CLICK HERE for part 1 - Eurasian
CLICK HERE for part 2 - African and Arab


UPG's in Clarkston:  South Asian Peoples

South Asia
(South Asian & Tibetan-Himalyan)



  • Bhotia
  • Brahman Nepali
  • Acharya Brahman
  • Saraswat Brahman
  • Tamil Brahman
  • Upreti Brahman
  • Chali Bhutanese
  • Chhetri Nepali
  • Darjee Nepali
  • Dzonghka
  • Gangai Nepali
  • Gujarati
  • Hakka
  • *Jat Dalalm
  • *Jat Dhariwal
  • Javanese Sri Lankan
  • Kalwar Hindus
  • Kalwar Muslims
  • Kamar Nepali / Bhojpuri
  • Kashmiri Muslims
  • Khatwa
  • *Koli Nepali Hindus
  • Lap Lakha Bhutanese
  • Lepcha Bhutanese
  • Lhop Doya Bhutanese
  • Limbu Nepali
  • Magar Nepali
  • Nyenpa Bhutanese Buddhists
  • Pawaria Bhojpuri Nepali Muslims
  • Punjabi Burmese
  • Rajput Nepali Hindus
  • Rajput Nepali Muslims
  • Sherpa Bhutanese Buddhists
  • Sunuwar Nepali
  • Tamang Nepali Buddhists
  • Tamil Sri Lankan Hindus
  • Timil Sri Lankan Muslims
  • Tibetan-Central Buddhists
  • Urdu Muslims
  • Yadav Pakistani Muslims


Sunday, August 24, 2014

UPG's in Clarkston: The African and Arab List (Part 2/4)


This is a draft list based on the database created by the Joshua Project, of ethnicities in the Clarkston community who have no significant Christian witness available to them (in their homeland).  More to the point, as the Joshua Project defines it:  "Unreached Groups lack enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people."



A number of the world's approximately 7,000 Unreached People Groups have found their way to Clarkston through the years.  One of the driving questions we continually ask at GFM is, "What are you doing to engage the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ?"  Answering that question begins with knowing the baseline it presumes.  This list was created by local ministry partners at Friends of Refugees and Encompass World Partners as an initial attempt to identify that baseline.  They carefully sifted through some 7,000 data points to record this valuable information!


As best as we can tell, some 90+ UPG's can be found in Clarkston.  Hear me say, this list is NOT exhaustive, academic, completed or fully accurate, but the researchers did their best to collate refugee resettlement arrival data with 7 years of anecdotal and personal experiences, along with some specific web searches regarding several ethnicities' history of flight from war and conflict.



You may find it surprising which groups are classified as UPG's, especially since, in our very special town, many of them serve as leaders in local fellowships or even pastors and missionaries.  You are correct, we too were surprised, but remember that this is GLOBAL data and Clarkston happens to be quite unique in many aspects!



*******

Below is part 2 of 4 of the list according to Affinity Blocs:
CLICK HERE for part 1 - Eurasian


UPG's in Clarkston:  African and Arab Peoples

Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa
(Arab World, Horn of Africa & Sub-Saharan)

North Africa / Middle East
  • Arab Sudanese
  • Arab Tunisian
  • Barawan
  • Fur Sudanese
  • Kurd
  • Mandaean Iraqi (Sabean)
  • Masalit
  • Najdi Bedouin Iraqi
  • Oromo Jimma
  • Somali
  • *Swahili Bantu
  • Toposa Sudanese
  • Toposa Ethiopian
  • Tigre Eritrean Muslims
  • Wali Sudanese Muslims
  • Yazidi Kurds
Sub-Sahara Africa




Saturday, August 23, 2014

UPG's in Clarkston: The Eurasian List (Part 1/4)


This is a draft list based on the database created by the Joshua Project, of ethnicities in the Clarkston community who have no significant Christian witness available to them (in their homeland).  More to the point, as the Joshua Project defines it:  "Unreached Groups lack enough followers of Christ and resources to evangelize their own people."



A number of the world's approximately 7,000 Unreached People Groups have found their way to Clarkston through the years.  One of the driving questions we continually ask at GFM is, "What are you doing to engage the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ?"  Answering that question begins with knowing the baseline it presumes.  This list was created by local ministry partners at Friends of Refugees and Encompass World Partners as an initial attempt to identify that baseline.  They carefully sifted through some 7,000 data points to record this valuable information!


As best as we can tell, some 90+ UPG's can be found in Clarkston.  Hear me say, this list is NOT exhaustive, academic, completed or fully accurate, but the researchers did their best to collate refugee resettlement arrival data with 7 years of anecdotal and personal experiences, along with some specific web searches regarding several ethnicities' history of flight from war and conflict.



You may find it surprising which groups are classified as UPG's, especially since, in our very special town, many of them serve as leaders in local fellowships or even pastors and missionaries.  You are correct, we too were surprised, but remember that this is GLOBAL data and Clarkston happens to be quite unique in many aspects!



*******

Below is part 1 of 4 of the list according to Affinity Blocs:


UPG's in Clarkston:  European and Central Asian Peoples

Europe & Central Asia
(Eurasian, Iranian-Median and Turkic peoples)

  • Azerbaijani
  • Bosniak
  • Fars Iranians
  • Hazara
  • Kazakh Muslims
  • Pashtun Muslims
  • Persian Iranian Muslims
  • Tajik Muslims
  • Turk Bosnian Muslims
  • Turk Meskhetian Muslims





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teenagers as People of Peace in Refugee Communities (Notes from Refugee Highway Partnership Roundtable)


These notes are from my table talk at the 2014 Refugee Highway Partnership North America Roundtable in Phoenix, AZ:

*******

Characteristics of a Person of Peace (Luke 10:3-9; Matthew 10:11-14)

  • Welcomes the Messenger - protection; provision
  • Receives the Message - perhaps not at first
  • Extends their Influence - "oikos"; reputation; relationships
    • Luke 8:15
    • Mary & Martha - Luke 10:38-42
    • Other NT Examples - Samaritan; Demoniac; Zacchaeus; Cornelius; Lydia; Philippian Jailer


Characteristics of Refugee Teenagers as Persons of Peace

  • Welcome; Receive; Extend
  • Interpreters
    • Bilingual - translates for the gospel worker
    • Bicultural - helps family/community, as well as worker, figure out respective cultures
  • Navigators
    • Learn - gently teaches family/community in practicalities, norms, etc.
    • Lead - assists family/community in critical decision making (from their natural social position/family role
  • Gatekeepers
    • Information - passes on/withholds information to family/community as needed
    • Influence - submissively opens family/community to gospel influence


Challenges (potential/probable)

  • Various levels of fidelity to first generation
    • Conforming and Committed
    • Rebellious and Recalcitrant
  • Age and birth order considerations
    • Oldest
    • Favored
  • Gender considerations
    • Male influence
    • Female influence
  • Other considerations - top three factors, in order, in measuring influence with family/community (according to our case study)
    1. Wage earners (this trumps them all)
    2. Age (the older the more influence)
    3. Respectful (submissive not subversive)


Case Study - Karenni Teens in Clarkston, GA

  • In the past 4-5 months, our workers have seen at least 9 Karenni households baptized as followers of Jesus.
  • The first followers of Jesus in each of these homes were teenagers, but now include younger and older brothers and sisters, parents, and grandparents.
  • The families were reached by an American, English-speaking worker through the interpretation (in all cases) and even direct influence (in some cases) of the believing teens.
  • Common factors include:
    • Lots of time spent with whole family previous to their response to gospel (4 years)
    • Careful in observation of cultural dynamics/taboos (not being alone with opposite gender; getting permission from parents; being on time; etc.)
    • Faithful in providing practical acts of service for teens and families
    • Extensive discipleship of believing teens who were faithful to share the gospel with and teach younger siblings, as well as peers
    • Combination of bold gospel proclamation and demonstration of love/power through service (including deliverance/healing) - How households came to faith in Jesus:
      • Gospel Only                      - 1
      • Service Only                     - 0
      • Both Gospel and Service - 8


Discussion Questions

  • What are some simple ways to identify people of peace in your community?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the premise that teenagers can be people of peace in their communities?  Why or why not?
  • How might a refugee teenager, as an Interpreter, be a person of peace?  A Navigator?  A Gatekeeper?
  • How have you seen these challenges play out in your local context?  What other challenges exist for you?
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of working so heavily with teenagers?  What is the potential for future success/failure?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities for Fruitful Cross-Cultural Ministry (Notes from Refugee Highway Partnership Roundtable)


These notes are from my table talk at the 2014 Refugee Highway Partnership North America Roundtable in Phoenix, AZ:


*******

3 Universal Obstacles

  • Foundations
    • Mark 4:1-9
    • "When conditions are right, receptivity to the message will be high.  If receptivity is not high, then work on the conditions, not the message." -Mark Snowden & Avery Willis
    • Move from OUTSIDER to INSIDER in 3 difficult steps ...


1.  Obstacle #1:  Context (Location)


  • Focus on People (over programs/platforms)
  • Use the 4 P's to overcome this obstacle (from Alan Hirsch, "The Forgotten Ways")
    • Presence - Be Near; "Wherever you are, be all there." - Jim Elliott
    • Proximity - Be Available
    • Powerlessness - Be Humble
    • Proclamation - Be Upfront; 30 minute rule

2.  Obstacle #2:  Communication (Language)

  • Focus on Stories (over statements/propositions)
  • Try these 5 Keys to open this door (from Mark Snowden and Avery Willis, "Truth That Sticks")
    • Be Simple - Memorable and repeatable
    • Be Unexpected - Surprising
    • Be Concrete - Use everyday language; Give credence to context and culture
    • Be Credible - Integrity
    • Be Emotional - Heart; Not just Head; Heart will lead to Hands

3.  Obstacle #3:  Culture (Lens)

  • Focus on Worldview (3 primal, affective paradigms:  Innocence/Guilt, Power/Fear, Honor/Shame - most refugees are from P/F, H/S worldviews; 90% of UPG's are from H/S)
  • Look for these 3 Opportunities
    • Bridges - Common ground; Redemptive analogies; Points of agreement/similarity of stories
    • Barriers - To belief; Which must be addressed?  Ignored?  Timing?
    • Gaps - Introduction of new concepts
    • "...Applying the right stories to the right people and the right time."
    • *Finding a "Person of Peace" is a sacred shortcut in overcoming these obstacles! (See Luke 10)

3 Practical Opportunities

1.  Opportunity #1:  Homestays - Be a Learner

  • Learning language
  • Learning culture

2.  Opportunity #2:  Hospitality - Be a Trader

  • Giving and receiving honor ("saving face" and face to face)
  • A Muslim understanding of "neighbor" (Islam, in general, has about 5 basic rights it extends to a person, regardless of their faith background, as a neighbor - up to 40 doors on all sides)
    • Return his greetings and accept his invitations
    • Refrain from doing any harm to him
    • Bear, with patience, any harm he does to you
    • Serve him to meet his needs
    • Guard his honor

3.  Opportunity #3:  Harvesting - Be a Storyteller

  • Sharing "Good News"!
  • Be a "Person of Peace" - Loving your neighbor - the ultimate opportunity (Luke 10:25-37)
  • Hugh of St. Victor - “To my dear brother Ronolfe, from Hugh, a sinner.  Love never ends.  When I first heard this I knew it was true.  But now, dearest brother, I have the personal experience of fully knowing that love never ends.  For I was a foreigner.  I met you in a strange land.  But that land was not really strange for I found friends there.  I don’t know whether I first made friends or was made one, but I found love there and I loved it and I could not tire of it for it was sweet to me and I filled my heart with it and was sad that my heart could hold so little.  I could not take in all that there was but I took in as much as I could.  I filled up all the space I had but I could not fit in all I found so I accepted what I could and weighed down with this precious gift I didn’t feel any burden because my full heart sustained me.  And now having made a long journey I find my heart still warmed and none of the gift has been lost for love never ends.”

Discussion Questions

  • Which of the 4 P’s resonates most with you and why?  How have you seen this worked out in your location?
  • Which of the 5 Keys to communication have you tried and seen work for you?  How have they worked?  Which ones are you planning to try next?  How will you put them into practice?
  • What other barriers, bridges or gaps in worldviews have you observed with the people you are working?
  • What other universal obstacles exist in ministry with refugees?  How can these obstacles be turned into opportunities?
  • What other practices can be employed as a learner?  A trader?  A story-teller?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Update: Kingdom Ventures

Our family's work with Global Frontier Missions continues to grow in fruitfulness - glory to God!  Nathan is the Multiplication director for GFM - Atlanta.  His work with GFM is multi-faceted, but could be described with 3 words:  Connect - we are working to build a network of disciple makers and church planters throughout Atlanta; this includes individuals and churches.  Engage - we are also working among several Unreached People Groups locally, sharing the gospel of Jesus, making disciples and planting churches.  Advance - we are raising up, coaching and sending out teams into the 10/40 window.  Please continue to pray for our family as we serve in Clarkston, Atlanta, and across the globe.



Besides our ongoing work with GFM, Nathan is currently working on several other kingdom ventures.  Here's a little update on some of them:


  • Nathan is a part of a local team who have been given a grant through Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.  This will be a year-long venture.  Nathan's primary role will be to connect our team with local refugee pastors and Christian leaders.  You can read more about that here.

  • Nathan's dad, Bert, is co-host of a daily radio program ... Exploring the Word.  Soon, Bert will be hosting a new weekly program called Exploring Missions.  The program seeks to mobilize the listening audience to be active participants in God's mission in the world by connecting them with mission principles from God's Word and mission practices and practitioners who are making a difference in the world.  Nathan has been helping his dad with this program and will be co-hosting from time to time.  The first episode airs Sunday, July 20, at 1:00 pm Central on American Family Radio.

  • Another ongoing work that Nathan is involved in is with PeopleGroups.Info.  This is a demographic/mapping project from the IMB and NAMB.  Think of it as Joshua Project for North America.  Nathan will be working with others in trying to identify which people groups live in the Atlanta metro area.  Unfortunately, although we know a lot of information about people groups living on the other side of the world, we know very little about those in our own neighborhoods.  This venture is an attempt to change that for God's glory among the nations living among us!

  • In a couple of weeks Nathan and Grant (GFM's founder/director) will be flying to Phoenix for the Refugee Highway Partnership - North America Round Table.  While there, training and networking, Nathan will also be presenting a couple of workshops:  "Turning Obstacles into Opportunities for Fruitful Cross-Cultural Ministry" and "Teenagers as People of Peace in Refugee Communities".  Please pray for Nathan as he travels and shares - that God's people would be better equipped to serve as effective gospel workers.

  • Nathan has just begun working with a new homestay company.  In fact, he's the new Atlanta homestay director.  He'll be working with international students on 5 college campuses around the Atlanta metro.  Pray for this venture as there promises to be lots of opportunities to make a global impact and see God's kingdom advance!

As you can see, we are very busy.  We haven't yet mentioned about Rachel's administrative work with RTN-Atlanta, as well as her ESL class ... PLUS the new baby!  Andrew is 3 months old and growing.  We really appreciate your prayers.

Baby Andrew - 7lbs, 10oz at birth;
Now - 15lbs and growing!


Also, we invite you to consider supporting us financially - would you be willing to give $30, $60, $100 or any amount a month?

If interested in other ways of partnering with us in this gospel work, CLICK HERE.

Or HERE if you'd like to donate now.  Be sure to type "HARPER" in the comment box.  Thanks!