Missionaries often hear Christians say things like “missions is too expensive” or “missions just takes too long”, or “why do you have to go so far away, when there is work to be done here too?”

These are valid questions. But what is the answer?

On a day when we were a bit discouraged, my husband asked another missionary,

Why did God send us to such difficult people?

Without hesitation, he replied,

Because all the easy ones have been taken.

That made so much sense!

It's a bit like the apples on an apple tree.

In the beginning, getting an apple from the tree is easy. You just walk up to the apple tree and pluck one from a low-hanging branch.

After a while though, the apples on the lower branches have all been plucked, and you can’t reach the ones higher up on the tree.

It gets more difficult, because now you have to climb the tree to get your apple. Eventually, only the ones very high up in the tree remain. You don’t want to wait until they have fallen off, because they will go bad. And you can’t climb up all the way to the top, because those branches are too thin to hold your weight. You’ll have to make another plan to get to them. You’ll need a ladder or some other way to get up there.

In the same way, the Unreached People Groups (UPGs), are like the apples high up on the tree. Reaching those groups takes time, skill and resources.

So when people make remarks like “missions is too expensive” or “missions just takes too long” tell them the apple parable. They will hopefully realise that these Unreached People Groups are unreached for a very good reason.

If you want to learn more about why the UPGs are so difficult to reach, why don't you do our Discovering Missions series of short courses?

Have a look at what Discovering Missions is about