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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Summer/Fall 2000


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Listen First Speak Later Network

Indians launch "listen first" experiment

Five Indians will experiment with the "listen first" method of cultural research during the next six months (for details on this method, see our web site). These five field workers are pioneer evangelists or harvesters (the preferred term in India). Workers will use proverb research as a tool for engaging with a different people group.

The proverbs serve as windows into the soul of the culture, exactly what a harvester needs. To keep the experiment manageable, each worker will try to identify ten traditional proverbs that can be woven together to create an introductory profile of the entire culture.

Each new profile of Indian cultures will be published as a short booklet in the local language, giving the harvester a springboard for discussing life
values with local people. To prepare for the experiment, a four-day training workshop was held at the KING Center near Hyderabad at the end of July.

Each participant drafted a step-by-step plan for implementing the method in his own situation. A tutor from the KING Center follows up on the field workers and encourages them as they proceed. Professor B. E. Vijayam, Director of the KING Center, intends to incorporate "listen first" training into the Center's one-year program for harvesters.

The experiment builds on GMI's relationship with two Indian groups-Joshua Vision India, an organization founded and led by Vijayam (see page 3), and North India Harvest Network, a network of churches and organizations in North India. Joel David is one of the coordinators.

The people groups being researched are the Jhora, Khetauri, Namasudra, Nathjogi, and Punjabi. The research and writing is being underwritten by a grant from a European foundation.

Please pray for these five harvesters as they work in situations which, from a human point of view, are anything but safe for representatives of Christ. They communicate as friends of the culture, not religious imperialists. The good news will be presented in culturally sensitive ways so that local people can see how good God really is.

Additional "listen first" research projects may be sponsored for $1500 per language group. As contributions come in, GMI will extend the pilot phase of this program, coming alongside more Indian evangelists already committed to particular unreached groups. The next language to be done is Urdu. Researchers are ready to start.

-by Stan Nussbaum. If you are engaging in similar work with the unreached, email

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