The List of 70
One night, early in June 2014, I woke up from a dream in which Christ was clearly calling me to the unreached. In the dream I had been wandering in a bustling Middle Eastern market. I stopped and talked to one of the men working in a stall. As you can only in a dream, I sensed that he was Kurdish and asked him about it. He said yes, and we discussed his people. As I was getting ready to leave, he said, “I have a friend who needs to talk to you,” while he wrote a phone number on my hand.
Even then, laying in bed in the dark as I woke up, I could tell this was from the Lord. But, as He often does when He wants to emphasize something, the Spirit repeated Himself. I had the same dream a second time the same night, only this time the man was Turkish. Then I had the dream a third time, only this time the man belonged to an ethnic group I had never heard of.
I went to work the next day heavy under the weight of some kind of revelation. As I fasted breakfast and lunch to wait on the Lord, Jesus began to prompt me to consider the date. He then said, “A new spiritual weapon is being laid in the hands of intercessors to help bring unreached peoples of the world to Christ.” It was June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. That assault was the beginning of the turning of the tide of WWII. The Allies established a beachhead that would serve as a landing place for their armies to push back the Third Reich and liberate Europe.
Then, with the number 70 stuck in my head, I went back to the prayer room and began to pray according to what the Lord had already said. Soon I felt prompted to read Genesis 11. At first glace, the Tower of Babel didn’t seem tied in with what God had already said. But of course, I realized, this is the first time in human history that ethnolinguistic groups existed – this is the first time that there was such a thing as an unreached people group.
Back in my office I researched about the Tower of Babel in Genesis 10-11, and discovered that some scholars call it “The Table of Seventy Nations.” The descendents of Noah (following the flood) created a list of 70 people groups considered symbolically to represent all the ethnic groups of the world.
There was still one more piece of the prophetic puzzle. I had a fuzzy notion that Jesus sent out a group of seventy-ish disciples at some point in the Gospel story (I know, Bible scholar over here). I found what I was looking for in Luke 10. Because I was reading New King James at the time, I read the story of Jesus sending out a group of 70 disciples in pairs to share the Good News of the Kingdom and demonstrate with signs and wonders. (Note: If you look in your Bible it might read 72 – most translations do. The better ancient manuscripts read 72 while the ones the King James were based on mistakenly said 70. The Spirit can even use translation errors to get His message across!!)
A prophetic call to a specific place of ministry through the dream. The message of spiritual warfare and a vision of creating a landing pad for new workers that comes through the 70th anniversary of D-Day. All the unreached nations of the world represented in the Table of Nations. Jesus sending a group of 70 to reach the lost.
To respond fully I set aside the next 70 lunches to pray and fast a specific prayer that I believe the Lord authored in my heart that day:
“Lord of the Harvest, raise up 70 Nazarite-hearted, apostolic workers from our circles. Thrust them into the unreached to form a beachhead for a coming migration to missions.”
Since then I have kept a list of 70 names of people I met along the way who have said they sensed a call to the unreached. Some of them received their call the same night of my dream or during that first week of fasting and prayer. Many have since. I continue to pray that prayer (and for the people on the list) regularly. I am convinced that the power of God rests on prayers offered according to His word and voice!
On June 5th, the evening before the dream, I put down the book I was reading on prayer by E.M. Bounds and didn’t pick it up again until the 70th and final day of my fast. The very next paragraph in the book was about praying for workers to be sent into the harvest field. It was a reminder that no organization, spiritual leader, conference, or denomination can truly send a worker to the harvest. That is reserved for the Lord of the Harvest, our Father. But we do have a part to play. As Jesus said in Matthew 9:38, “Pray, therefore…” It’s our privilege to ask the Lord to send, and His joy to thrust them out.
Quite honestly, we haven’t thought much about this list of people over the last few years, but recently the Holy Spirit reminded me of it. We contacted as many of them as we could to find out where they are at on their journey toward missions. Here’s what we discovered:
- 18 are already living overseas engaging the lost
- 17 are in Bible college or university preparing to go
- 13 are doing full or part-time ministry in Canada
- at least 13 are giving to missionaries to UPGs
Some have planned to go overseas but their plans were thwarted due to sickness or circumstance, and others are no longer interested in missions. But overall we were encouraged to see how many were embracing their calling, praying for UPGs, and preparing to go.
We want to see more of those people move from just being a name on a list of good intentions to actually taking action to share the Gospel with UPGs. Please join us in praying Christ’s simple prayer for them, “Lord of the harvest, thrust out labourers into the harvest field!”
Please Note: For the sake of security the identity of the Global Worker(s) and exact geological locations have been omitted from the article.