|A Publication of Global Mapping International
Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World
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Charles Smith (not his real name), an American missionary with the International Mission Board (IMB) in an Asian Muslim country, works specifically in the areas of unreached peoples research. He attended a GMI mapping training seminar in Indonesia three years ago.
His research assistant went through GMI's "visiting trainee" program last year, receiving indepth computer mapping training. Charles and his assistant, James, have been deeply involved in a multi-agency effort to research and map 128 unreached people groups in the Asian country. They use a variety of mapping software and research resources from GMI.
Following a presentation to Baptist pastors and the staff of Kediri Baptist Hospital, Charles wrote, "Research shows that many people who made decisions in the hospital live in villages where there is no church. Maps of the location of churches and people who make professions demonstrate the sovereignty of God and remind us that it is God who gives the growth."
Later, Charles spoke at the National Prayer Network Leaders Conference,
a wide-spread effort to encourage churches to pray in all their Indonesian
provinces. Charles wrote, "The churches have been faithful for the
last three years to pray for the restor-ation of their country. I was asked
to speak so that the churches
would also pray for the 128 unreached people groups of Indonesia. The unreached people groups are unknown to the churches and the church leaders.
"With the help of a computer program, I was able to show the prayer leaders where the 128 unreached people groups live, the population of each people group, the number of believers in each people group, and whether or not anyone was working with the people group."
Charles will tell you from first-hand experience: serious research and mapping make a real difference in mobilizing the church for effective cross-cultural mission.
I work in a Missions Resource Library and do research specializing in a part of Africa which is in the famed "10/40 Window."
Last year I came to Colorado Springs for a week of training in how to use the Global Ministry Mapping System (GMMS). Had I not had the experience of the gracious hospitality at the GMI office there, I am sure I would never have been able to get far. I am not disposed to technical details and would probably have given up very early in the process.
It was great to get an introduction to the program from the folks at GMI and to learn how to use it. The potential is exciting, especially for those of us who can see the value of good maps for communications.
Since we now have the updated maps and new mapping projects, I have been very encouraged. I trust that we will be busy with this program for a number of years!! The potential is endless.
Something that has been a very great blessing has been the ongoing service and follow-up provided by GMI. For me, that is essential to get anywhere with new software until I get used to what I am trying to do.
Several times I have sent messages to GMI. The helpful replies have been a great blessing. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this help, as technical things can be very daunting.
This technical support has been a very wonderful blessing for us in making the job easier. Thanks, GMI. Also, thanks to GMI's generosity, we were able to receive the GMMS program at a discounted rate. Again, this has been a tremendous blessing. We are not yet well-endowed with support for the research work here, so this was a tremendous contribution toward stepping in the right direction, by God's grace.
The newsletter from GMI is also very interesting and helpful. As someone working in the resources area in missions, it is helpful to find out what projects others are working on in the research and resources area. In fact, this newsletter got me interested in the potential of the mapping program in the first place.
Keep up the good work, GMI. May the Lord bless you all there heaps.
—by a friend of GMI. Name and location are withheld for security reasons. Send your letters to GMI at or 7899 Lexington Drive, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920 USA.
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