A Christless Grave
Paul Fleming never forgot the first burial he saw among the Arang-Asli people in what was then British Malaya in the late 1930s.
“This man they were burying never had a chance to accept or reject Jesus Christ,” Paul wrote. “The full realization of it startled me. … Men were born into these jungles. They lived their whole lives through and died without one chance to know Jesus and His saving power. … And far too often this was happening the world over because the message of salvation came too late.”
A Channel for Change
Though he left Malaya with his health in ruins, Paul Fleming never lost his passion for unreached people. He soon met a kindred spirit in Cecil Dye, and in early 1942 the pair agreed that a new channel was needed to send men and women to the world’s unreached people groups.
Along with Lance Latham — who also founded Awana — and Bob Williams, they founded New Tribes Mission in 1942. “New Tribes Mission’s efforts,” they declared, “shall be directed toward those fields where no other missionary effort is being made and where no witness of the gospel has yet reached.”
And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, but as it was written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.”
The Biblical Example
It’s no coincidence that this echoes the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 15:20-21: “And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written: ‘To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.’”
And because it’s biblical, bringing God’s Word to unreached people groups is still a priority for NTM today. Just as in the 1930s, men, women and children are born and live and die without an opportunity to know Christ. Will you please pray urgently that God prompts men and women to reach them? And pray that God raises up a vast team of others to pray and give to their work.