Birth of a Church Inside IDP Camp

Greetings from Myanmar. I hope you are doing well by the grace of God. Though we are passing through the most difficult time in our nation, because of the political and economic situation, our faithful God is at work among our people through His Word! We are just instruments for His Kingdom and righteousness.

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Spring 2024 Update

During one of my recent trips, I met the owner of a brick kiln in Pakistan. On the surface, he appeared to be a well respected, successful business leader in his community. Behind the scenes, he exhibited many of the cruelest expressions of humanity.

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Witch doctor turns to Christ — “I saw them burn up”

Pakistan (MNN) — When Unknown Nations gospel workers entered a slum in Pakistan, a prominent witch doctor thought he was ready for them.

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Pakistan’s 2024 general election came in the wake of violence

Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan’s general election reaches its climax today as people go to the polls for national as well as provincial leaders amid recent tensions. On Wednesday a pair of explosions near the offices of two election candidates in Baluchistan killed more than two dozen people and wounded dozens more.

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Testimonies From A Closed Country

We received these testimonies from inside a closed country in Asia. God recently opened doors for our indigenous leaders to begin working in this area, and we’ve been so encouraged by the fruit coming from their ministry. They’ve asked us to refrain from mentioning this country’s name in any written communication. Preaching openly about Jesus is grounds for harsh punishment.

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Stories of Impact

From Impossible Places

Spring 2024 Update

Spring 2024 Update

March 29, 2024 3:32 PM
March 29, 2024 3:32 PM

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During one of my recent trips, I met the owner of a brick kiln in Pakistan. On the surface, he appeared to be a well respected, successful business leader in his community. Behind the scenes, he exhibited many of the cruelest expressions of humanity.

Dear friend, 

During one of my recent trips, I met the owner of a brick kiln in Pakistan. On the surface, he appeared to be a well respected, successful business leader in his community. Behind the scenes, he exhibited many of the cruelest expressions of humanity.

This kiln owner would beat and sexually abuse the enslaved women for not meeting their daily 1,500 quota for making bricks. He chained men to trees for taking a drink of water at the wrong time of day. And perhaps the most heinous of all, taking children from their parents when they didn’t meet his demands and selling them into the horrors of sex trafficking for a few extra bucks! Can you imagine trying to survive in a scarier environment?

Unfortunately, this experience does not represent the exception, it is the norm for more than 5,000 brick kiln owners across Pakistan.

Yet, in a moment, everything changed for this man and his 2,000 slaves. 

Our team shared the gospel with this man and he fell under conviction of the Holy Spirit and surrendered all to Christ! The change was immediate and dramatic.

The first sign of transformation came when a middle-aged woman hysterically lunged at my feet. I quickly realized that her tears were of complete jubilation. Through her tears, she explained that the 2-year-old daughter she lovingly held in her arms would no longer be sold! Since the child was born, the brick kiln owner had been threatening the mother. He planned to sell the child into trafficking when she turned five, ensuring she would never be seen again.

This mother was the first person the newly-reformed kiln owner saw after receiving Jesus. He promptly told her that the child was safe and that he would never separate the two. Over and over again, the sobbing mother thanked our team. 

Another woman in her mid sixties embraced a member of our team. She was older with health issues and could not make the brick quota. Upon his transformation, the slave owner released her and her family instantly from a bondage they had endured for two generations. She was exuberant!

 

Before we left an hour later word had spread that another four families had been set free. This man was going on a rampage for Jesus! And his first targets of this newfound compassion and love, were those he had oppressed the most. 

When we met with this kiln owner a second time, he told our team how he had seen Jesus. He was committed to becoming a new man transformed in the power of Jesus. Repeatedly he asked us why we hadn’t come earlier and why he hadn’t been informed sooner. He said he would not have done those heinous things if he had only known Jesus! 

This is just the beginning of this incredible testimony. Our team of indigenous missionaries on the ground will continue to walk alongside this man and disciple him. Work must also be done to help the slaves he’s released and those who will become free. We have the ability to assist him in freeing slaves across more than ten kilns under his ownership. 

Would you help us pray for this man and his slaves? Pray that his fire for Jesus continues to grow and govern his actions and that his testimony will spread like wildfire from one kiln owner to the next. 

 

 

This is how the horrific brick kiln culture will be transformed in Pakistan. Owners who control these businesses must come into contact with the gospel and slaves must be set free. That is our mission at Unknown Nations, bringing light into the darkest corners of the Earth - places where Jesus is not yet known. We invite you to join us! 

In the bonds of Calvary, 

Greg Kelley, CEO

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Witch doctor turns to Christ — “I saw them burn up”

Witch doctor turns to Christ — “I saw them burn up”

March 27, 2024 3:49 PM
March 27, 2024 3:49 PM

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Pakistan (MNN) — When Unknown Nations gospel workers entered a slum in Pakistan, a prominent witch doctor thought he was ready for them.

By Katie O'Malley | March 27, 2024

Pakistan (MNN) — When Unknown Nations gospel workers entered a slum in Pakistan, a prominent witch doctor thought he was ready for them.

“These (slums) are places where people are living amongst the trash. These are people groups most of (whom) have never heard the gospel before, and they’re controlled by witch doctors,” says Greg Kelley with Unknown Nations. Human trafficking and human sacrifice are also horrible realities there.

“When the Bible says that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, that is a literal statement in the Bible, and that is real and active in Pakistan.”

The witch doctor summoned two powerful demons to harm the Christians, but things didn’t go as he expected. He later shared with the Christians, “I saw them burn up.”

The man asked them what they had done to make this happen. 

“We said, ‘Sir, we didn’t do anything. But the reason that those demons were burned up is because of Jesus and the power of God.’ So we shared the gospel with him, and this guy gave his life to Christ,” Kelley says.

The man immediately turned away from witchcraft. He has begun to learn God’s Word and be discipled by local Christian leaders Unknown Nations partners with, who take action immediately in situations like this.

This spiritual 180 has angered the people the man was leading.

“He’s absolutely in danger. I mean, these places are very dark. Any place where there’s human sacrificing going on, the disregard for human life is just, it’s unimaginable,” Kelley says.

Please pray for this new brother in Christ, that the trappings of his old life will have no hold on him whatsoever.

“Pray that (he) continues to keep his heart open to the Lord. Pray that he has the courage to be able to step away from those (former, evil relationships) and into his new, healthy relationships,” Kelley says.

 


Header photo is a representative stock image of a man in Pakistan courtesy of Syed Muazzam Ali Taqi/Unsplash.

Original Article Posted Here: https://www.mnnonline.org/news/witch-doctor-turns-to-christ-i-saw-them-burn-up/

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Pakistan’s 2024 general election came in the wake of violence

Pakistan’s 2024 general election came in the wake of violence

February 8, 2024 3:57 PM
February 8, 2024 3:57 PM

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Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan’s general election reaches its climax today as people go to the polls for national as well as provincial leaders amid recent tensions. On Wednesday a pair of explosions near the offices of two election candidates in Baluchistan killed more than two dozen people and wounded dozens more.

By Katie O'Malley | February 8, 2024

Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan’s general election reaches its climax today as people go to the polls for national as well as provincial leaders amid recent tensions. On Wednesday a pair of explosions near the offices of two election candidates in Baluchistan killed more than two dozen people and wounded dozens more.

Greg Kelley with Unknown Nations says, “Our people on the ground are telling us there’s two main parties that are kind of leading the pack, but neither one of them have the energy or the majority, in and of themselves. So there’s probably going to be some form of a coalition.”

One party is the Pakistan Muslim League. “Under their leadership in the past, churches have been burned to the ground, pastors [and] believers have been killed. They really welcome this kind of mob mentality vigilante justice, that there’s no accountability.”

Meanwhile, the People’s Party tends to represent those considered lower class. It also stands for minority groups, which in Pakistan includes Christians.

“When it comes down to the impact on the Kingdom, from a Christian perspective worldview, we are looking at two of the most isolated countries in the world when it comes to the Gospel,” Kelley says of Pakistan and its neighbor Iran.

“God is doing great things in Pakistan as well [as Iran] right now. Anytime that the Gospel is moving, there’s going to be adversarial attempts to diminish that. I think right now Christians are in the crosshairs of everything going on in Pakistan and Iran.”

Pray for new government leaders in Pakistan who will protect the rights of minority groups.

“We need to be praying that anytime there’s transition in countries like this, it’s [an] opportunit[y] for the gospel,” says Kelley.

Click here to learn more about Unknown Nations’ work to reach the ends of the earth with the hope of Christ.

 


Header photo of Election Commission of Pakistan, 2018 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Original Article Posted Here: https://www.mnnonline.org/news/pakistans-2024-general-election-came-in-the-wake-of-violence/

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Little outcry for Christmas massacre in central Nigeria

Little outcry for Christmas massacre in central Nigeria

January 5, 2024 4:04 PM
January 5, 2024 4:04 PM

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Nigeria (MNN) — As Christians around the world prepared to celebrate Christmas, the day turned into a nightmare for over 32 Christian villages in central Nigeria.

By Lyndsey Koh | January 5, 2024

Nigeria (MNN) — As Christians around the world prepared to celebrate Christmas, the day turned into a nightmare for over 32 Christian villages in central Nigeria.

On Christmas Eve, Muslim extremists went on a killing spree that lasted into the following Christmas Day — largely targeting believers, pastors, and their families.

At least 160 people were killed; mostly women, children, and elderly.  Greg Kelley, CEO of Unknown Nations (formerly World Mission), says the death toll could be closer to 300.

However, from both the Nigerian government and the international community, there has been very little outcry.

Kelley says in Nigeria, “There’s been one administration elected after another who these atrocities are falling on deaf ears, and the frustration that is mounting within the Christian community is almost indescribable because these terrorists are attacking ruthlessly these communities.

“I mean, they’re not just killing people. They’re torturing people. They’re taking children from their parents. They’re killing the elderly. They’re taking people’s homes and possessions and just occupying them. It is living hell for these people.”

In 2021, the Biden Administration in the United States removed Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern, despite the strong recommendation by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and ongoing bipartisan appeals.

The Biden Administration’s failure to reconsider Nigeria as a CPC means less international pressure on these human rights violations and attacks on Nigerian Christians.

“One of the ways you can put pressure is you put them on these terrorist lists and call it out,” says Kelley. “That affects foreign funding, that affects aid that’s coming in, that affects these meetings that Secretary of State levels are having. In the absence of that, it allows the perpetrators to run scot-free.”

Unknown Nations works with over 150 local missionaries in this area of Nigeria. Kelley says, “We’re constantly having to relocate them when the attacks happen. They’re running for their lives as well along with all the other civilians. So we’re constantly having to move missionaries from place to place.

The astounding thing is, “They’re trying to save their lives and that of their families, but they are as bold and courageous as anyone we’ve ever met. So they will go back in there and they’re happy to share the Gospel in these areas, but it’s the constant disruption. It makes it very difficult for Gospel activity.”

These disciples of Christ are passionately sharing God’s Word in North Eastern Nigeria.

Unknown Nations is currently in touch with Nigerian Christians affected by the Christmas massacre, and offering tangible biblical support.

“There is a ton of trauma that we are dealing with right now for the missionaries and the survivors. So we are really mobilizing into having trauma healing training for those survivors to help them navigate this and to go through a journey in a biblical way.”

Pray for justice, comfort, and deep healing from the trauma. Pray also for the attackers to have profound encounters with Jesus Christ, that they would know God’s forgiveness and grace, and take the Gospel to their own communities.

Pray for the Church and the world to wake up to what is happening to our Nigerian Christian brothers and sisters.

 

 


Header photo courtesy of Tope A Asokere/Unsplash.

Original Article Posted Here: https://www.mnnonline.org/news/little-outcry-for-christmas-massacre-in-central-nigeria/

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How do anti-conversion laws and blasphemy laws differ, and why does it matter?

How do anti-conversion laws and blasphemy laws differ, and why does it matter?

January 3, 2024 10:29 AM
January 3, 2024 10:29 AM

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International (MNN) — Do you know the difference between anti-conversion and blasphemy laws?

Greg Kelley of Unknown Nations, formerly World Mission, explains, “Anti-conversion laws boil down to proselytizing. Blasphemy is where people are thrown in jail over what somebody said they heard.”

By Katey Hearth | January 3, 2024

International (MNN) — Do you know the difference between anti-conversion and blasphemy laws?

Greg Kelley of Unknown Nations, formerly World Mission, explains, “Anti-conversion laws boil down to proselytizing. Blasphemy is where people are thrown in jail over what somebody said they heard.”

For example, in the case of blasphemy laws, “There will be third-party accusations that have no merit, yet [they become] actionable,” Kelley says.

“[Believers are] thrown in jail, or beaten, or mobs show up and burn your house down.”

Authorities often use these laws as tools to persecute Christ-followers around the world. Vigilante mobs accuse Christians of breaking these laws and then use the supposed violation as an excuse to attack believers.

“The biggest issue is that there’s no accountability; the government doesn’t do anything to hold these people accountable,” Kelley says.

In one location where Unknown Nations trains Christian leaders, “They (assailants) were attacking a group of Christians in their home,” Kelley says.

“The mob is outside chanting, ‘Death to Christians’ and dragging people out of this home, beating them.”

A recent United States Commission on International Religious Freedom report found that nearly one in four countries has a national anti-conversion law on the books. Often, these countries are home to unreached people groups, or communities without access to the Gospel.

Partner with Unknown Nations to help change this reality.

Unknown Nations is “distributing Bibles, training leaders, doing strategic humanitarian projects” in strategic locations, Kelley says.

“99 percent of our resources, our dollars, are going into places where the Gospel is already established. We need to begin prioritizing places that have never heard of Jesus.”

 


Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Christine Roy/Unsplash.

Original Article Posted Here: https://www.mnnonline.org/news/how-do-anti-conversion-laws-and-blasphemy-laws-differ-and-why-does-it-matter/

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Extremists massacre Nigerian Christians

Extremists massacre Nigerian Christians

December 27, 2023 10:25 AM
December 27, 2023 10:25 AM

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Nigeria (MNN) — Massacres have become legitimate daily threats for Christians in Nigeria.

That’s a horrifying reality, but it is reality. Again and again, religious extremists such as the Fulani herdsmen slaughter civilians. They frequently target Christians for their faith. The cost of following Christ for Nigerians is often death.

By Alex Anhalt | December 27, 2023

Nigeria (MNN) — Massacres have become legitimate daily threats for Christians in Nigeria.

That’s a horrifying reality, but it is reality. Again and again, religious extremists such as the Fulani herdsmen slaughter civilians. They frequently target Christians for their faith. The cost of following Christ for Nigerians is often death.

But according to Greg Kelley of Unknown Nations, the vicious and bloodthirsty dogma driving these attacks is leaving locals with questions. “In a lot of places like Nigeria, Afghanistan, Somalia, when the radicalization of Islam is front and center, I think even moderate Muslims start looking at that,” Kelley says. “Their worldview is challenged to the core.”

For example, the way these extremists treat women is often horrific. “People with daughters. when they see how atrocious women and females are treated, they don’t want their daughters to live in that,” Kelley says.

This leads to open minds which are ripe for sowing the Gospel. “The gospel is presented to them. [They] become very open to the message of love and peace and reconciliation. It doesn’t matter who you are, you would have an appetite for that and desire that of your family.”

When Christians are being actively hunted for their faith, there are drastic consequences for curiosity into Christianity, let alone conversion. “They realize if they’re exposed, if the proselytization of individuals sharing the gospel is exposed, there will be great consequences and they will be targeted,” Kelley says. “[And yet] they’re willing to pay that price and accept it for what they believe is a much brighter future.”

There are other obstacles to sharing Christ’s message, including illiteracy. One solution to several of those issues is audio bibles. Unknown Nations distributes thousands of solar-powered audio Bibles in localized languages. If you want to support Unknown Nations’ projects, you can do so right here.

In the meantime, pray that the radical compassion of the Gospel overcomes rampant violence in Nigeria. In the words of Kelley: “The message of Jesus is very different. It’s one of love, even for your fiercest, most aggressive enemy. Jesus called us to pray for them. And when they see that, quite honestly, it shocks and opens up their heart to the message of the Gospel.

“The key is getting into where the flames are the hottest, rushing in there, and ensuring the salvation message of Jesus.”

 


Header photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Original Article Posted Here: https://www.mnnonline.org/news/extremists-massacre-nigerian-christians/

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How much does the Gospel cost in South Asia?

How much does the Gospel cost in South Asia?

December 12, 2023 9:47 AM
December 12, 2023 9:47 AM

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South Asia (MNN) — Pakistan arrested 19 young people on blasphemy charges in 2023, according to a story circulating on several India-based news outlets. The allegations claim six kids were formally charged with blasphemy.

By Katey Hearth | December 12, 2023

South Asia (MNN) — Pakistan arrested 19 young people on blasphemy charges in 2023, according to a story circulating on several India-based news outlets. The allegations claim six kids were formally charged with blasphemy.

MNN could not verify the story, but blasphemy convictions are common in Pakistan. This summer, blasphemy accusations led to significant mob violence against a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Pakistan’s third-largest city.

Whether the recent claim by Legal Awareness Watch is valid or not, “The shock value when people see 19 children held accountable and punished over this [is compelling]; every family that is non-Muslim [is] going to be terrified,” Unknown Nations’ Greg Kelley says.

“They don’t want their children to be thrown in jail. So, it changes behavior, and that is the ultimate objective of these laws – to change the behavior and terrorize minority religions.”

Blasphemy laws provide legal grounds to persecute Christians in Pakistan. Across the border, India’s anti-conversion laws target believers. More about that here.

“They’re trying to suppress the sharing of the Gospel” in South Asia, Kelley says.

“They don’t want their children to be thrown in jail. So, it changes behavior, and that is the ultimate objective of these laws – to change the behavior and terrorize minority religions.”

Blasphemy laws provide legal grounds to persecute Christians in Pakistan. Across the border, India’s anti-conversion laws target believers. More about that here.

“They’re trying to suppress the sharing of the Gospel” in South Asia, Kelley says.

Church planters and indigenous missionaries press on despite the danger. “They’re driven by something far greater than what their eyes can see,” Kelley says.

“They’re driven by the eternal destiny of these individuals [who do not know] Jesus. When we hear about places like India and Pakistan, we need to be mindful that a lot of work needs to happen from the church’s standpoint. There are twice as many unreached people groups in India than there are in the continent of Africa.”

The Great Commission calls every believer to sacrifice. “Going” and “making disciples” could cost a believer their comfort and financial security. Or, the task could cost a Christ-follower’s life.

“Every month, we hear of one of our leaders who was killed. We don’t understand it here in America, yet it’s the reality in the places where the Gospel has not been,” Kelley says.

What can you give today? “The greatest resource is prayer. It’s not something said by different guests on Mission Network News because it sounds nice and religious,” Kelley says.

“It is a war, and the greatest weapon we have in our possession as followers of Jesus is to call down the powers of heaven, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of Jesus Christ, to infuse these areas with Good News.”

Original Article Posted Here: https://www.mnnonline.org/news/how-much-does-the-gospel-cost-in-south-asia/

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Fall 2023 Update

Fall 2023 Update

September 30, 2023 3:14 PM
September 30, 2023 3:14 PM

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There is a question that every follower of Jesus should be keenly aware of and prepared to answer. That question may seem simple but its answer affects all of us who call upon His mighty name as our Lord and Savior. It provides alignment for our life, purpose for our existence and vision for us to pour our one life into! 

Dear friend, 

There is a question that every follower of Jesus should be keenly aware of and prepared to answer. That question may seem simple but its answer affects all of us who call upon His mighty name as our Lord and Savior. It provides alignment for our life, purpose for our existence and vision for us to pour our one life into! 

Why did Jesus come to the Earth? 

The beautiful thing is that Jesus himself answers this question in the gospel of Luke. 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him. - Luke 4:18-19 

Your opportunity, my friend, is to carry out this assignment to a broken world. The Holy Spirit living in you has the power to break down strongholds and to set the captives free. You’ll notice that Jesus did not just care for the spiritual need but also the physical one. Acts of compassion open hearts to the gospel! Jesus fed the multitudes and then He preached the Good News. Showing compassion for physical needs is part of Christ’s character and vital for carrying out the Great Commission. 

At Unknown Nations, we have embraced 3 specific expressions of acts of compassion as a means to open hearts to the gospel. In fact, we never carry out one of these projects in the absence of a gospel witness! Our acts of compassion are clean water projects, emergency relief and medical outreaches. 

This summer we drilled a water well in a remote village in Cambodia. This is one of the least developed countries in all of Southeast Asia. The rural villagers live a difficult life and lack basic infrastructure like clean water. As this people group, the Khmer, suffer physically, they are tragically lacking a gospel witness as only 2% know Christ. 

These primarily Buddhist people appreciate being loved and care for so much that they welcomed our indigenous leader to the dedication. He shared the gospel message and of the 21 people who attended, 13 responded and received Jesus!

To ensure long term discipleship, they were also given solar powered audio Bibles in the Khmer language. Making converts is not enough. Neither is making people more comfortable on their way to eternity. We are called to make disciples and carry out Jesus’ assignment for coming to this Earth! 

We share clean water because that is why Jesus came. We share the salvation story because that is why He died. When we bring the two together, we can obediently walk in His instruction and watch hearts that were previously closed, become open to receive His Good News!

Making Jesus known,

Greg Kelley, CEO

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Isn't The Lord Good!

Isn't The Lord Good!

August 1, 2023 4:47 PM
August 1, 2023 4:47 PM

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The Lord put a calling on our hearts many years ago to be a witness among oral learners in unreached people groups. We believe that this "ends of the Earth" (Acts 1:8) calling was the last thing on Jesus’ mind before he ascended into heaven. His last words are our highest priority!

If our team had to choose a Bible verse to describe our 2023 fiscal year (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023), we would undoubtedly choose Psalm 126:3.

"Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!"

The Lord put a calling on our hearts many years ago to be a witness among oral learners in unreached people groups. We believe that this "ends of the Earth" (Acts 1:8) calling was the last thing on Jesus’ mind before he ascended into heaven. His last words are our highest priority!

Is there any better way for us to be a witness than to share the Word of God? Being a witness is testifying to what Jesus has done. Praise God that the Bible is filled with inspiration, revelation and truth regarding the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Let me share what we have done together. Together, we have sent thousands of our solar powered audio Bibles into the hardest, darkest, most spiritually antagonistic, and destitute places on earth.

In 2010 we sent 5,600 audio Bibles, bringing the Gospel to those without access.

In 2014 we sent 13,600.

In 2019… 33,400 audio Bibles.

And this past year, we sent more than 80,000! Praise the Lord! He truly has done amazing things.

As we prioritize these spiritually dark places, there will be continual opposition and rejection to the truth. That is why our strategic humanitarian projects are so instrumental. Consider the country of Afghanistan that is .02% Christian and controlled by the brutal Taliban who hunt down anyone with a Bible.

Recent flash floods in Afghanistan have cost the lives of dozens of people, destroyed hundreds of homes, and displaced thousands. These Muslim communities are being decimated and are in urgent need of assistance. Our underground church leaders on the ground are prepared to serve these dear ones and bring physical hope as they also deliver the Bread of Life in the form of audio Bibles in the Dari and Pashto languages.

Thank you again for making last year historic in so many ways.

As we celebrate, let’s continue to keep our eyes on opportunities to be his witness to the ends of the earth!

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Refugee Crisis

Refugee Crisis

July 6, 2023 4:53 PM
July 6, 2023 4:53 PM

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Every 3 seconds someone is newly displaced because of war, violence or persecution. Sometimes, this displacement crosses a country line, triggering refugee status. Many times it does not, and they often remain inside their country as internally displaced people (IDP). In either case, many of these precious people, often women and children, have lost everything. They are in the most vulnerable state imaginable, thankful to flee a horrific situation with their lives.

Every 3 seconds someone is newly displaced because of war, violence or persecution. Sometimes, this displacement crosses a country line, triggering refugee status. Many times it does not, and they often remain inside their country as internally displaced people (IDP). In either case, many of these precious people, often women and children, have lost everything. They are in the most vulnerable state imaginable, thankful to flee a horrific situation with their lives. Many of the regions where these displacements occur are also without a gospel witness. They are unreached!

We believe that these humanitarian crises around the world provide a unique and unprecedented opportunity. According to the UN Refugee Agency there are more refugees and displaced people today than anytime in history. What an opportunity for the Body of Christ to mobilize for the Gospel! It will require us to go behind the chaos of barbed wire fences and prison-like conditions into a place with no organization, no political structure, and no defined village or other geographic boundary.

I was in northern Nigeria recently among the areas that Boko Haram has unleashed horrific terror on millions of people. There are literally hundreds of IDP camps. The eyes of these precious people told you everything. Most had lost an immediate family member, which made the majority of these dear ones widows and orphans.

The despair was almost palpable as we moved from family to family trying to encourage them and share the Good News. One of the buildings had fresh patches of concrete which I was told were repairs from a week prior when thugs from Boko Haram caused further terror within the camp and a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing several people and damaging the building. It is unimaginable evil. No amount of aid and financial support will heal the wounds of these people, only the incomprehensible love of Jesus!

How will we respond?

Today, a new opportunity presents itself. Another civil war in Africa – this time in Sudan – is causing unspeakable carnage and suffering. Sudan has been the most recent target of the devil. We believe the assault upon these lives is intended for complete destruction and annihilation. That is the playbook of our adversary, his agenda for the ages. 

Refugees from Sudan are fleeing across the border into Chad by the tens of thousands. Our indigenous missionaries on the ground are mobilizing to help. It is simply overwhelming. Children who have not eaten for days are clinging to their mother’s back while others are being dragged as they trek for safety. Most have nothing except the clothing on their backs. They desperately need food, as many have already succumbed to starvation. To complicate matters further, there are seasonal rains in the area so temporary shelters are vital in our response.

As our leaders share life saving supplies, they will also share solar powered audio Bibles in the Arabic language to give urgently needed food for their soul!

What a privilege to be able to stand with them in their time of need and point them to the only answer and source of eternal peace: Jesus!!

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Supernatural Refining Fire

Supernatural Refining Fire

June 6, 2023 4:57 PM
June 6, 2023 4:57 PM

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God is in the refining business! Because of his love for us, he will reveal himself through adversity and trials. The most famous scripture that speaks of this process is found in Hebrews 12. If you've ever wondered what God’s perspective is on refining us through difficulties, consider verse 11. 

God is in the refining business! Because of his love for us, he will reveal himself through adversity and trials. The most famous scripture that speaks of this process is found in Hebrews 12. If you've ever wondered what God’s perspective is on refining us through difficulties, consider verse 11. 

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Hebrews 12:11

Often that process takes time, but ultimately it represents God turning up the heat because he loves us! Other times, that heat manifests itself immediately through his supernatural power. All because of his love!

I witnessed this supernatural power first hand while I was visiting a brick kiln in Pakistan. I looked into the eyes of 100 slaves who were being abused, beaten, chained, and sexually assaulted, all because of one owner and his corrupted perspective of power. He treated these precious people worse than animals and shockingly walked through life with a clear conscience. He had never met God and had never heard the gospel message. When our team arrived at his kiln, the God who described the refining fire in Hebrews 12:11 made his presence known! 

As we shared the gospel, this brutal owner felt his entire body “catch on fire”. When we spoke with him after, he was panicked and confused as he described a physical heat that had come over his body. He ran away from us and sought counsel from local witch doctors, convinced we had placed some kind of curse on him! As you can imagine, the witch doctors provided no relief and he remained in this condition - feeling the refining fire of a loving God. 

He called and asked us to return several days later. We sat in his office and explained the fire he was feeling was not caused by our team, but by a loving God who had let him feel this fire to gain his attention. He listened intently while counting the cost. For this influential Muslim leader to receive Christ, it would mean a life of sacrifice and persecution, including separation from friends and family. The cost was great, too great for him to decide immediately. So, our team followed up with him for several weeks and the Holy Spirit softened his hard heart.

The man on fire, who recently had a cancer diagnosis, was healed and the fire relented………when he said YES to Jesus!

Now this owner is a new creation in Christ. He is on a path of discipleship, listening to the Treasure and meeting with Christian leaders. He now knows Jesus because our team was sent to a place where His name was still unknown. He knows Jesus because people were brave enough to go into a hostile environment and risk physical threats and acts of retaliation. He knows Jesus because of God’s infinite love!

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Summer 2023 Update

Summer 2023 Update

June 1, 2023 5:38 PM
June 1, 2023 5:38 PM

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In March, I returned from a visit working with our teams on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Friend, there is no way to quantify the carnage happening to the church in Afghanistan right now. Virtually every Afghan refugee has a story of an immediate family member being killed by the Taliban. Tales of utter brutality were the norm - not the exception - all for following Jesus!

In March, I returned from a visit working with our teams on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Friend, there is no way to quantify the carnage happening to the church in Afghanistan right now. Virtually every Afghan refugee has a story of an immediate family member being killed by the Taliban. Tales of utter brutality were the norm - not the exception - all for following Jesus! Imagine being grateful that your husband was killed by a bullet and not a “slow death”, as the Taliban is known to do, watching your daughter stoned to death for her faith, or being restrained while your wife and daughters are beheaded because they had identification on them showing they were a Christian when their bus was stopped by the Taliban. 

One day, a woman and her adult son walked more than 20 kilometers to see our team. They had heard we might be near them and wanted to meet. They, like so many others, had lost family members because of their faith. Yet they asked for more Treasures, in Dari, so they could share the Word of God with others in their community and their country. They begged me: 

“Please, our country is lost without Jesus. We don’t know Jesus. Please send us more Treasures so we can share with others about Jesus. Even if we die doing so, it will be worth it because we are all lost without him. They don’t know!” 

In that brief moment I asked myself, would I have that same response? I knew we could not turn our backs on them. See friends, in Afghanistan, there is no such thing as a lukewarm Christian. They are on fire for the Gospel of Jesus, and they have to be because the cost can literally be their lives. In Afghanistan, a country of 40 million people, only 0.02% are Christians. 

69 of 71 different people groups have never had access to Jesus. No Bible. No Missionary. No Pastor. Jesus is not known there. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24-25, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me… and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.” That is a real life and death situation in Afghanistan. We must stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ to make Jesus known there. 

At that moment, when that woman and adult son turned to me, imploring me to send more Treasures so that their countrymen could be saved, they pressed something into my hand. It was the equivalent of $10 of American money that had been collected over the course of a month from the underground church in Afghanistan. That was literally and figuratively the widow’s mite. 

In Afghanistan, the cost to follow Jesus can literally be your life. The next day, through our team, we learned the woman had been captured for sharing her faith. This precious woman was now in the hands of someone who had the ability to rape her, punish her, stone her, kill her. Yet, the story doesn’t end there. Using her words and her Treasure, the woman talked to her captor about Jesus. For more than six hours, as he imprisoned her, she testified about her God. 

After six hours, her captor came to know Jesus and released her. Praise Jesus! To God be the Glory! 

In the Harvest, 

Greg Kelley, CEO

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A Story of Tragedy, Growth & Opportunity

A Story of Tragedy, Growth & Opportunity

May 2, 2023 4:01 PM
May 2, 2023 4:01 PM

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So many countries in Africa have suffered tragic moments over the last 125 years. Despite such difficulties, the gospel has grown exponentially in Africa during that same time. In 1900, there were only 9 million Christians in all of Africa. Fast forward 100 years, now more than 380 million believers fill this beautiful continent that is three times the size of the United States! Praise the Lord for the spiritual growth.

So many countries in Africa have suffered tragic moments over the last 125 years. Despite such difficulties, the gospel has grown exponentially in Africa during that same time. In 1900, there were only 9 million Christians in all of Africa. Fast forward 100 years, now more than 380 million believers fill this beautiful continent that is three times the size of the United States! Praise the Lord for the spiritual growth.

But as tragedy continues, there is still more work to be done.

Our hearts break over the physical carnage that seems to shred this land like one tsunami after another. The most recent example is Sudan. New fighting erupted in April that has plunged the country to the brink of a civil war. In less than one month, more than 500 people have already been killed as two separate military factions battle for control of this North African land.

Sudan’s primarily Arab community is no stranger to civil war. From 1983-2005, more than 1.5 million people lost their lives in another unnecessary bloodbath within this poor African country. We pray this current conflict does not gain further traction, but international funding pouring into both sides of the battle suggests a long, drawn out campaign.

These are the kind of unexpected global humanitarian crises that occur with way too much frequency. Natural disasters can happen anywhere. Yet over the last fifty years, the unfortunate reality of war is that it often occurs in locations that are already difficult to reach with the gospel.

In Sudan, less than 1% of the 46 million residents are followers of Jesus!  

Here’s the good news. Our partners in neighboring Chad and South Sudan are ready to respond now!

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Freed From Chains

Freed From Chains

April 4, 2023 5:06 PM
April 4, 2023 5:06 PM

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I stood at the edge of the bed with his arms clutched around my leg. He begged me not to leave and to protect his family from the living hell they were enduring. He would be beaten again that evening and feared that his daughters would be sold as sex slaves. Tears raced down his cheeks in complete desperation – “Please help me!”

I stood at the edge of the bed with his arms clutched around my leg. He begged me not to leave and to protect his family from the living hell they were enduring. He would be beaten again that evening and feared that his daughters would be sold as sex slaves. Tears raced down his cheeks in complete desperation – “Please help me!”

That was my experience a couple weeks ago in a brick kiln in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of slaves live in these types of conditions. It’s one of the most desperate situations that I’ve come across in my 25 year tenure at Unknown Nations. Regrettably, all of these precious people are asking us the same question. “Will you help me?”

In the midst of the confusion and chaos of the moment, the Holy Spirit led me to a response. I called upon our leaders to give me a Treasure and I was prompted by the Lord to play the third chapter of John. This slave who had never learned to read was fixated on this device – hearing the powerful words of the gospel.

These words pierce the heart and bring transformation and peace to the inner chambers of our broken lives. This slave and his family are cherished in the eyes of Jesus! There is nothing physical that I could have done in that moment to deliver what was received. No earthly solution! But God can meet both needs.

This family was freed from chains spiritually first and then physically when they were freed by the owner later that evening.

Our goal in these brick kilns is to see that kind of supernatural transformation begin with each of the Muslim owners and their managers. Please pray for these leaders who are increasingly seeing their slaves eagerly come to Christ and live in freedom that can not be denied. Our teams are reaching new kilns every week as the Word of God sets these captives free.

One owner recently has heard the gospel clearly. He has felt “fire” for weeks and is having dreams of Jesus on a white horse calling him to follow him. He is counting the cost and is close to surrendering to the Lord. Our team just gave him a Treasure in the Urdu language which he is listening to now. Let's pray the hard heart continues to soften and ultimately accepts the Lord as he listens to the Word of God.

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Bigger Heart Than Hunger Issue

Bigger Heart Than Hunger Issue

March 7, 2023 5:13 PM
March 7, 2023 5:13 PM

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The two year anniversary of the infamous Myanmar military coup came and went this past month. This unlawful regime continues its crackdown upon millions of innocent lives. Now, the UN is saying that 5 million children are in dire need of humanitarian aid due to the conflict.

The two year anniversary of the infamous Myanmar military coup came and went this past month. This unlawful regime continues its crackdown upon millions of innocent lives. Now, the UN is saying that 5 million children are in dire need of humanitarian aid due to the conflict.

The carnage taking place is unimaginable and is going largely unnoticed by the global community. It is another example of the worst of both worlds being met by silence. 

Since its independence in 1948, this precious land in Myanmar has experienced decades of repressive military rule and civil war among minority ethnic groups. During that time, millions of people have been displaced, sexually assaulted and subjected to mass killings - in short, textbook genocide. All the while, Myanmar’s delicate economy suffers and hangs on by a thread. The most weak and vulnerable people are victimized over and over again.

The church has a tremendous opportunity to be a light!

We certainly should not respond as the world, plowing endless relief into chaos and turmoil in the absence of a long term goal. We have the only - and best - solution! Myanmar, facing a tragic scenario like so many other places, requires the Good News of Jesus Christ!

The atrocities in Myanmar are a perfect example of how the Body of Christ can make a significant impact in a place that seems hopeless. Unfortunately, Myanmar has a far bigger heart issue than a hunger issue. Making people temporarily more comfortable on their way to eternity is beneath the Body of Christ. Our calling is much higher, which is why the gospel message MUST be the forerunner alongside any strategic humanitarian assistance that is required. That makes Myanmar a country facing the worst of both worlds.

Despite much of the country being an active war zone, our leaders on the ground have never stopped going to the most dangerous spots and doing what the church should be doing. Our leaders are committed to telling the broken communities and villages about the love of Jesus!

Sometimes, the primary fact lost on followers of Jesus is that in the midst of this physical carnage is a country that has a chronic spiritual condition. 83% of the people in the country live within people groups without access to the gospel! 

Because of our faithful men and women (same culture missionaries) on the ground, we are seeing hearts transformed by the power of the gospel. Just recently an outreach took place that impacted approximately 3,000 people. Here is the summary of that encounter:

Among those 3,000 people:

  1. 60% of them were completely unreached people and had never heard the name of Jesus. This was their first time hearing the gospel in their whole lives.
  1. 98% of them were unbelievers (75% of Buddhists, 15% of Hindus and 10% of Muslims).
  1. We distributed 212 Burmese and Mandarin Treasures to key people who could not read or write well. (This was an area near the border with China which requires Mandarin).

After the distribution, more than 200 received Jesus and requested water baptism. 30 new leaders from that outreach are being trained at our training center designed to develop disciple makers! Friends, Myanmar is ripe for the gospel despite it being gripped in chaos and uncertainty.

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