Pioneering Where Christ Is Not Known

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“Libya? What in the world possessed you to go there?” Libya seemed like a strange place to launch a mission effort, especially in 1961. So why did we? My answer always goes back to—and in fact begins with—Paul’s statement, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known” (Romans 15:20).

That has always been my ambition, too. Pioneering. New fields. Pushing forward into areas without communities of faith—and usually without Scripture in the people’s heart language. Libya was that kind of place in 1961. Why not pioneer there? A door was open for us to enter the country. Furthermore, just as God told Paul that He had “many people in this city” (Acts 18:10), we could see that He was at work in Libya preparing the way through social, political, and economic upheaval. Ours was a call to join His efforts to bring to fruition what He has always been about: the salvation of unreached people.

One reason I now serve with Pioneer Bible Translators is their commitment to pioneering. That means new fields, new challenges, and the possibility of new victories with God’s gracious enabling. Pioneer Bible Translators is determined to make a difference among the world’s Bibleless, churchless peoples. To me, nothing is more exciting—or more central to what God would have His servants be about.


Robert Douglas is the Area Director, Middle East for Pioneer Bible Translators.

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