Missions & Mapping

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Over the past year we have been blessed to serve countless missionary movements around the world through our research and by producing detailed maps of the locations of people groups – from as close to home as Oaxaca, Mexico, to as far away as the Amazon Basin and across to the world to Africa and Asia! And though many of these maps have been printed and are in the hands of field missionaries, mapping for missions will be an ongoing process until the day Jesus returns. For that reason, we have integrated a mapping system within Etnopedia (see our Nepal page in English and our Mexico page in Spanish) so that field missionaries themselves can contribute to this projects from anywhere in the world – all they need is an Internet connection! With so many thousands of people groups around the world today with no access to the gospel (not counting new groups discovered in remote places) mapping is key to enabling us as the Body of Christ reach every tribe, tongue and nation in a coordinated, strategic way. If you would like to know more about our work, please contact me at drakesprague@gmail.com. Your financial support is critical to the continued success of this great task. Please consider making a donation or joining our monthly support team. Below is a sampling of some of our maps from this past year.

This is a map of the locations of Mixteco tribes of southern Mexico. Though they live within close relative proximity of each other, neighboring Mixteco tribes tend to be deeply divided and hostile towards each other. Complex languages (well over 60 distinct Mixteco Indian dialects), very rugged topography, land disputes that often erupt into violent intertribal conflicts, high suspicion of outsiders, and an overall resistance towards the gospel make this a very difficult mission field. I produced this map, complete with basic statistics (language, population, accessibility to the gospel) to provide field missionaries with a tool to quickly identify and update information about the particular Mixteco tribe (or tribes) they work among.

The map at right displays the locations of the Me’phaa (Tlapaneco) tribes of Guerrero state. There are numerous Me’phaa languages spoken in this region. And as there is a growing number of Me’phaa Indians preparing for service as church planters and missionaries, I developed this map to help them identify the locations of Me’phaa towns and neighboring tribes without access to the gospel. The above photo shows a group of Me’phaa Indian church planters making updates to this map.

I created this map as a general presentation tool to show the locations of the many tribal groups of Oaxaca, Mexico, and their relative access to the gospel message using the Etnopedia progress indicator color scale: Gray = Unknown; Red = Unreached;  Yellow = Some Progress; Green = Reached

I produced this map in advance of a recent gathering I attended in Brazil of tribal Christian leaders from throughout the Amazon Basin. It roughly illustrates the locations of known tribal groups in the Brazilian Amazon region and their relative access to the gospel message using the Etnopedia progress indicator color scale: Gray = Unknown; Red = Unreached;  Yellow = Some Progress; Green = Reached

Much of our work is focused on helping indigenous and national churches raise up missionaries that will serve around the world. Many people from Latin America are preparing to serve their entire lives as missionaries in such far away places as Pakistan, China, and India, and we provide them with critical information (in Spanish) about the people groups in those countries. I prepared this map as part of a presentation on Buddhism to show the extent of Buddhist people groups relative to the ’10/40 window’ in advance of a Latin America-wide COMIBAM conference attended by many young missionary candidates.

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