Focus on New Fields
A number of Mission Societies have for years made it a point to seek out and enter new areas where people were unevangelized. The focus on this concern is made even sharper when a society appoints a Director or establishes a department devoted particularly to the development of new fields.
Here are some examples:
November last year Sudan Interior Mission appointed Gerald Swank as Coordinator for Outreach Ministries. In recent months new work has begun in southern Sudan, Upper Volta, and in northern Ghana. Negotiations are in process for opening new ministry in Ivory Coast and among two previously unreached tribes in Togo. Church planting has also been begun among two tribes in Liberia. For several years Dr. Richard Anderson was Associate Secretary for Outreach for the Africa Inland.
Mission AIM is now on the lookout for a replacement since Dr. Ancerson has recently been made International Secretary. It's exciting to note that in recent years new outreach has been begun in the Comoro Islands, Seychelles, Reunion, southeastern Sudan, among the Somalis in Kenya and tribes in the S. Nyanza area of Kenya. The latest prospect is entrance into Madagascar and also into Northern Mozambique where there are perhaps six million Unevangelized people. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has appointed Alan Buckman director of a new Department of Outreach which is to explore new field development stressing the Hidden Peoples. Overseas Crusades has appointed Jim Montgomery Director of Research and Strategy, a new job with emphasis on opening new Hidden People fields. TEAM reports that they have opened eight Hidden People fields in the last 25 years. We'll try to report other developments along this line as word comes to us.
Most other evangelical missions while they may not have on officer for new fields, do regularly consider outreach on an area basis. RBMU has entered a number of new tribes in Iryan Jaya. Overseas Missionary Fellowship within the last year or two has begun church planting ministry in the Bicol area of Luzon and among both Muslim and tribal peoples in Mindanao in the Philippines.