With travel overseas looking less and less likely any time soon, how can we continue to make unreached people groups (UPGs) a priority? It’s easy during this time to prioritize less complicated things–like your sourdough starter, but UPGs continue to be one of the most underserved and needy groups for the church. God has done an extraordinary thing, though. He has brought the nations to us. Some of the most unreached people groups live in North America. And if they don’t live here, there’s a good chance that you can engage with them on social media. We wrote about that just a few weeks ago!
San Francisco is home to eight significantly unreached people groups. The UPGs of San Francisco need cross-cultural missionaries willing to devote time and effort to share
the gospel with them. Maybe God is calling you to move to one of the most expensive and beautiful places in North America to reach people from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and beyond.
Share the Gospel with Afghans
By far, the most significant unreached population in the SF Bay Area is the Afghans in Fremont. Visit Little Kabul and you’ll find incredible food and even more incredible people. The Afghan population ranges from poor refugees to wealthy Afghan businessmen and government officials. Global Gates has one family on staff reaching this population, and we would love to see that team grow!
Share the Gospel with South Asians
Over 200,000 South Asians reside in the SF Bay Area. The bulk of these are Hindi-speaking Indian Hindus residing in San Jose and Fremont. Other than the Hindi-speakers, there are Gujarati-speaking Hindus, Punjabi Sikhs, and Pakistani Muslims. Many of these are highly successful tech entrepreneurs who have formed a tight knit community that is constantly changing. Many who moved to this area years ago have kids and grandkids and are navigating through the changing priorities of second and third generation immigrants.
Share the Gospel with Palestinians, Persians, and Thai
Rounding out the list of priority UPGs in SF are Palestinian Muslims, Thai Buddhists, and Persian Muslims. The Thai reside in the Civic Center area, which is arguably the highest concentration of diversity in the whole city. You can find Thai, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Indian, Egyptian, and Yemeni all residing in this section of the city. It’s like a UPG buffet.
Persian Muslims live mostly in San Mateo and Saratoga. There are even a couple Persian churches in the Bay Area. That’s why they are listed near the bottom of our priority list. An Afghan Muslim or a Punjabi Sikh are way less likely to hear the gospel in the Bay Area. This is such a clear demonstration of God’s work in bringing the nations to North America. So many people from a country like Iran have heard the gospel and become followers of Jesus that they may not need much more cross-cultural mission work.
Even in 2020 Our Calling Remains the Same
In a time like this, the future feels incredibly uncertain. Many trips have been cancelled, and we’re way beyond thinking that these strange times will only last a month or two. Yet our calling to bring the gospel to those who have never heard has not changed. The UPGs of San Francisco need cross-cultural missionaries along with many other cities in North America. Maybe these months of staying in place are God’s way of helping us see and serve these people?