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Reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia

Reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia

Reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia

South Carolina Baptists believe in the training, equipping, and sending of believers to the ends of the Earth.

Jacob Simms is just one example in a legacy of missions. A South Carolina native, Simms attended Coastal Carolina, where their Baptist Collegiate Ministry was heavily instrumental in his faith and his call to missions. In addition, Simms is also a Palmetto Collective graduate. He is now a Project 3000 Explorer with the International Mission Board, putting the experience and knowledge he gained in South Carolina to practice in Southeast Asia.

Project 3000 Explorers are tasked with the challenge of doing extensive research on over 3,000 unreached people groups. Once research has been done, IMB teams, along with their national partners on the ground, will continue to move these people groups from unengaged to Gospel engagement and, prayerfully, from unreached to reached.

Faith in Difficulty

For Simms, the journey has been one of perseverance and faith. He recounts the hurdles he faced, from navigating visa renewals to the painstaking learning of the language. “This task can seem daunting and intimidating at times, but I am fully confident in the fact that God is already working in these people now and preparing the harvest as we speak,” Simms said.

Language learning is an important part of Jacob’s preparation. ” I am so thankful for the grace God has shown me in language learning and that he has allowed me to have more ways to communicate with my brothers and sisters here,” Simms said.

Beyond his linguistic endeavors, Jacob has immersed himself in the local community, building relationships through shared interests. “I have been spending most of my free time continuing to build relationships at the gym and through playing basketball,” Simms said. These seemingly ordinary activities serve as avenues for ministry, where friendships can blossom.

Trekking to the Ends of the Earth

A recent excursion into the heart of Southeast Asia’s wilderness provided him with new insights. Hiking through rugged terrain for over four hours each day, he witnessed firsthand the challenges of accessing remote villages. “I realized how difficult not only the treks themselves were, but how challenging it was to reach these people in these tribes,” Simms said.

“Many of these people groups are unreached because they are in unknown or in hard-to-reach places that can only be reached through the narrow, difficult tracks that sometimes have not yet been made,” Simms said.

Though a difficult reality to face, this reminded Simms of the great love God has for his children. “He loves his people enough to scale mountains, cross valleys, and create ways to reach them, regardless of if they are actively seeking Him or not,” Simms said.

Paving the Way

In his daily life, Simms has encounters that reaffirm his purpose. From attending weddings to participating in eye clinics, each experience fuels his determination to spread the message of hope to those living in spiritual darkness.

Soon, he’ll embark on research expeditions to uncover unreached people groups, shining a light on communities hidden from the world’s gaze. His prayers echo the apostle Paul’s plea: that hearts may be opened to the transformative power of Christ’s love.

He credits the Lord for his journey. “Apart from God, I am nothing, but with God, I am a faithful laborer that can go to these unreached areas knowing that He has already blazed a trail and made a way for these things to take place,” Simms said.

In Romans 10:14, Jacob finds a call to action. He invites SCBaptists to join him in prayer by setting alarms for 10:14 as a daily reminder to lift up Southeast Asia in prayer. Simms said, “Pray that they would hear, that they would call on Jesus, and believe in the saving power of his death and resurrection.”

  • Anna Gardner

    Anna Gardner

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