Friday, January 30, 2015

What is an UPG

 UPG's are Unreached People Groups.

David just returned from an intensive boot camp, for missionaries in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Their goal was to learn how to target and reach the people that are not being reached with an adequate presentation of the gospel.

The Assemblies of God defines UPG's as follows:  an unreached people group  is an ethnolinguistic population among whom there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate number and resources to evangelize the rest of its members without outside (cross-cultural) assistance.

I wanted to share with you, what that means for our family, and our call here to Costa Rica.

I found an article by Greg Mundis, in the Enrichment Journal, His article is here, and I'll use that to help me communicate the overall picture.

He says. . .
What we believe shapes our priorities and determines how we live.

We believe, as the founders of our Fellowship did, that our Lord commands us to proclaim His gospel and establish His church in all the world.  We also believe, as our early leaders did, the Lord's promise that His Spirit would empower us to accomplish that mission.

More than 4 billion people have not yet had an adequate witness of our Lord's saving message.  The purpose of AGWM is "so all can hear".  We must pay any price to keep fulfilling that purpose.

Greg Mundis


What we believe shapes our priorities and determines how we live.

I think about that and put it in context to my family.  And how we, the Cartwrights live.
Has "so all can hear" shaped us?
Does it determine how we, as a family, live.

I find myself comparing what our lives actually look like, to what my mind creates.  I think for my family, to fulfill the great commission, and reaching unreached people groups. . . we need to be living out in the virgin rain forest of Costa Rica.   Living off the land, teaching my girls on a dirt floor under a thatched roof, roasting food over open flames.  Contracting rare diseases. .  . ugh. . .

When I compare my real life here, living in San Jose, against the life my mind creates,
I fall short.
I feel shame.
I want to go home.
I don't feel worthy of the sacrifice of those who sent us.

It has taken several years, of saying "yes Lord, I'll go", leaping into unknown places, making decisioins  based on blind faith, living in constant transition, sleepless nights waiting to hear a small still voice, falling down and getting back up again, failure, planning an escape route back home, fasting, waiting, crying, renewal, . . .
for me to finally get a glimpse of our "shape". . .
to see how He is putting things in place for our family.

We believed we were called.
We said we would go. . . wherever
We stepped out in faith when asked to come to Costa Rica
We are learning what our role is in the unreached people groups of Costa Rica.
We are determined.

What we believe shapes our priorities and determines how we live.

What has taken shape for our family, is unique for our family.
We didn't know when we said, "yes" what that would look like.
What shape it would take.

So what does it looks like for us. . .
We kind of look like a puzzle at this point, with lots of shapes.

Here in Costa Rica, the Assemblies of God, owns a camp ground, called La Garita.  We were asked to help build classrooms and dorms, so that missionaries BEING SENT from all other Spanish speaking countries here in Latin America and the Caribbean can be trained in sound missiology.  The idea is that they will come here for orientation, like we went to Springfield, Missouri.  These Christ followers, have much more access to countries than us with a passport from America do.  They are answering the call.  They want to LIVE DEAD.  They sometimes lack sound missiology that will help sustain them.  They need to be equipped, and we were asked to help with that.  We did NOT sign up for helping with a building project, but our believe in the great commission, changed the way we lived.  We believe this is a launching pad, for these missionaries, who are a product of missionaries before us, that were sent by you, will be able to have access to millions of unreached people.

While here, we have been targeting a specific community, Salitre.  This is a community of Bri Bri Indians.  This is where about 1500-2500 people live.  You can read about our work there in our newsletters here  But, what is exciting, is that  through Community Health Evangelism, two different Indigenous communities (Cebecar and Boruca) have given us invitations to share in their communities in this area. Within the 8 groups of Indigenous groups here in Costa Rica there are roughly 110,000 people.  

We believe we have been sent to Costa Rica, 
and that shapes us and how we live

We want to fulfill the purpose of reaching the unreached of those we have the privilege of meeting.  We will use whatever tools we have.   We want to Go with the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Loren Triplet, former AGWM Executive Director said, "You don't measure yourself by your success; you measure yourself against the unfinished task.  We've got to keep that task in front of us all the time. We don't move forward by neglecting what we are already doing around the world.  We move forward by following the Spirit, implementing strategy, and expanding what we are doing."

That is what we want to do, move forward, follow the Spirit, implement strategy, and expand what we, the Cartwright family, are doing.  God put these Indigenous groups (these unfinished tasks so to speak) in our hearts, in our prayers, in our lives.  Continue to pray that these groups, will come to believe the life changing power of Christ.  Pray that God continues to raise up people who will finish the task, that are willing to be changed, who are willing to GO where God leads them.

My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ
has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.
I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, 
Those who have never been told about Him will see, 
and those who have never hear of Him will understand.
Romans 15:20-21

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