Reaching Unreached People Groups

Others, Evangelism , Missions

Contributed by: GAiN


In 2021 GAiN started the AFA project in Benin and Tanzania. AFA stands for Anii, Fulfulde and Assa, the three unreached people groups (UPGs)* – two from Benin and one from Tanzania – that GAiN is  focused on reaching over the next three years as part of our church mobilization and multiplication strategy. Project activities began in March, with teams surveying villages in the surrounding areas to learn more about the UPGs, in hopes of getting a better understanding of the spiritual climate. 

“These questions are important [to ask], first, because it is not always easy to find the people we are trying to reach,” Eric Rose, Mission Integration Director, says. “Sometimes, civil unrest or sickness or famine can cause groups of people to pack up and relocate elsewhere, so making sure we are in the right place is critical.”

Asking the right questions will help our teams learn key information, such as where the majority of the UPG is located, why it is still unreached, the religious or worldviews of the people group, the primary language, and if there are any existing churches among these groups. 

Steve Thompson, WFLI Director,  adds, “Through integral mission, we intend to continue to strengthen existing churches, plant new churches, and equip pastors, lay leaders and other members of the community in the methods of discipleship and evangelismAdditional support will be provided to pastors through focused teaching on servant leadership, and the provision of funds to attend seminary to strengthen their Biblical roots. This project demonstrates the integrated body of Christ through our financial partners, local churches and national GAiN staff.”

Another exciting project is one in partnership with Pioneers Benin, affiliated with Pioneers International (an international Christian missions organization focused on church planting among UPGs). This project is locally funded. 

Thompson shares: “Seventy-five per cent of funds required for this project were raised from local donors in Benin who are partnering with Canadian donors to ensure its success. This shows how the strength of believers across continents and oceans can work together to further God’s Kingdom.” 

This project is significant, Thompson says, because it will reach the predominantly Muslim areas of the country. “Many individual attempts to reach this area with the gospel have been repelled, but through our partnership with Pioneers, we are praying that many would respond to the gospel message.”

As the year rolls on, we continue to work toward building a world where human flourishing is restored and water poverty is eradicated through the power of the gospel. With the addition of these new projects, we are excited to expand our reach so that more people can experience whole life transformation through safe water and the Living Water.   

*Unreached people groups, also known as least reached people groups, are “an identifiable group of people distinguished by a distinct culture, language, or social class who lack a community of Christians able to evangelize the rest of the people group without outside help,” according to Global Frontier Missions.