The world breathed a sigh of relief when the news came that the 12 Thai soccer team members who had been trapped for 9 days in a cave near the golden triangle had been found. Yet now we realize that finding them is relatively easy compared to rescuing them from their watery grave. There was a similar joy when the 32 Chilean miners were found alive after 17 days of searching back in 2010. However, it took a massive international effort taking 69 days to actually rescue them. Three parables in Luke 15 illustrate a similar joy when a housewife, shepherd and father find what they had been so diligently looking for. Yet with the prodigal son, more work needed to be done before true restoration could be accomplished.
The same is true in missions today. We have found and identified most all of the UPGs (Unreached People Groups) in the world. The harder work is to show them that Jesus is the only one who finds [spiritually] lost people and rescues them. The Thai are one such UPG, numbering 69 million souls. There are hundreds more UPGs throughout East Asia. Who will be willing to leave their comfortable surroundings to make the effort and count the cost of going into the pit to pull them out?