“Abdul” lives in a remote mountain village in Asia where there has never been a church or known Christ-follower until a team of new Christians from a nearby community trekked to his village to share the Gospel.
Before leaving, the team prayed to meet a person of peace.
As they approached the village, they saw Abdul walking by the road with his cattle. They stopped to talk, eventually telling him about Jesus. Abdul began to weep as he heard the Gospel. He told the team he had been troubled by his sin and didn’t know how to be freed from his burden of guilt.
That day, he became the first believer among the Geejh people. He asked the team to tell his family about Jesus, and his house became the site of the first Geejh church. Now members of his church are reaching other Geejh villages in the mountains.
The story is remarkable. It’s even more remarkable to know similar stories among unengaged people groups around the globe are happening.
Doug Cobb, a longtime elder at Southeast Christian Church, founded and leads The Finishing Fund, a group that invests in making Jesus known in all corners of the globe. The Finishing Fund is focused on the last 500 people groups to be reached. Cobb believes it’s possible that all people groups will hear the Gospel by 2022.
“God is doing amazing things among the nations,” Cobb said. “I believe we’re living in the most exciting times since Jesus walked the earth. Fifteen years ago, about 3,500 people groups representing 70 million people had not heard the name of Jesus. Now a few hundred remain, and we see the finish line.”
New technology and transportation have made a difference. So has the rise of indigenous missionaries who are reaching those in their own countries. They are highly effective as they know the language and understand the culture.
“All these tools have helped,” Cobb said. “But most critical is an amazing movement of the Holy Spirit. Historically, missionaries gave their whole lives breaking hard, rocky soil for two or three converts. That was important. But now we’re seeing new believers on the first day, the first week of contact, because the Holy Spirit has been preparing them to receive Good News.”
It may mean the return of Jesus is near.
“In Matthew 24:3, the disciples ask Jesus for the sign of His return,” Cobb said. “In Matthew 24:14 Jesus says, ‘And the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.’ I believe we’re living in the days of the Lord’s return. Once we cross the finish line, the door will be open for the return of Christ. We want to finish the task to speed His coming.”
To reach the goal, The Finishing Fund has invested more than $11 million to support outreach.
Southeast supports The Finishing Fund as it works to accelerate the effort to make “disciples of all nations.” The Finishing Fund evaluates proposals from trusted ministry partners and funds those that meet high standards. Every project is different, but the fund may support indigenous missionaries staying within a community to provide discipleship. In 29 months, The Finishing Fund funded 41 projects targeting 422 people groups. New believers are reported in 230 of them.
Cobb has a long, successful career as an entrepreneur, but he said his volunteer work with The Finishing Fund is by far the most rewarding.
“Soon after we started giving to reach an unengaged people group in India, my wife and I went to India to meet the first believers in that group for a conference that included believers in the people group. We stood in a large tent filled with 1,000 new believers from that group. Once we saw that with our own eyes, we knew this was what we wanted to do with time and resources.”
For more information on The Finishing Fund, visit www.finishingfund.org.