Meeting the Strangers Next Door

by Marti Wade

When we consider cross-cultural missions, we typically think of going to a faraway place where people are dramatically different in their traditions and lifestyle. But a small group of Pioneers, like Caleb and Sarah, are doing something slighty different.

“Originally we felt God was calling us to go overseas as any traditional missionary does, and we planned on working in a Muslim context. So we took a vision trip to the area we were considering. When we came home, we were ready to pack our bags and head overseas.”


As Caleb and his wife were preparing, though, their journey took a surprising turn. A leader in their church introduced them to J.D. Payne’s book Strangers Next Door:  Immigrant, Migration, and Mission. Caleb and Sarah learned that a few hundred thousand individuals from the unreached people group they wanted to serve among had come to the US. “We had our minds blown,” Caleb admits. They started to wonder if God might have a place for them in reaching Muslims in “diaspora,” those who had been scattered across the world as refugees and immigrants.


Caleb and Sarah began doing research on who might be doing ministry with their focus population, where they were working, and what kind of work they might be doing. They discovered that the city with the largest unreached population also had many evangelical organizations and Christians in local churches who were engaging their new neighbors.


Another city had a smaller population of this unreached group, but also fewer evangelical resources that could reach them. Caleb realized it might be more strategic to serve in the second city. After all, the chances of a member of this group hearing the Gospel or being befriended by someone who could share it with them was quite small. After further research and prayer, says Caleb, he and Sarah saw the need for committed, intentional laborers in the second city and they felt a huge burden to be part of that.

See the second part of Caleb and Sarah's story. Their ministry grew with cups of tea, language learning and starting a business.

Also, get a free copy of J. D. Payne's recent book, Unreached Peoples, Least Reached Placeshere.



We want to connect you with the unreached—through prayer, financial investment and even exploring how your gifts, talents and passions intersect with the expansion of the Kingdom of God among the nations.