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Who We Are - History

In the early 1970's, Dr. Ralph Winter began helping churches and mission agencies turn their focus toward unreached peoples. In the early 1980's, mission agencies began to talk in terms of people group adoptions. This led to the birth of Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse. In November of 1989, an "allied force" of 43 mission organizations and denominations met at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, CA to create a "clearinghouse" to help match local churches with unreached people groups for the purpose of "adoption" and church planting. The original vision was for this clearinghouse to act as a comprehensive tracking station to enable the Church to see remaining gaps in its forces as it worked to see the completion of the Great Commission.

By 1990, AAPC was directed by Darrell Dorr, Dr. Winter's son-in-law. An initial database of the world's unreached peoples and the churches who had adopted these groups was compiled. Fifty North American mission agencies were now partnering together, and the Global Prayer Digest, a monthly prayer guide focusing on frontier missions, produced from the U.S. Center, and the 1990 Unreached People's Pie Chart was released in poster form, showing a full-color report of the task remaining.

The first Adopt-A-People consultation was held in October of 1990 at the Wycliffe Centre in northwest London, attended by 42 mission leaders from 15 countries and 32 agencies. The consultation was co-sponsored by the International Society for Frontier Missiology, the Global Network of Centers for World Mission, Global Mapping International, and Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse. An important initiative begun at the consultation was that of creating people profiles for unreached peoples.

AAPC began to circulate a bi-monthly "priority profile needs" request list to highlight the urgent need of information for certain peoples. Also created was a profile guideline for Perspectives students and other researchers wanting to participate in the collecting of information. Adopt-A-People liaison offices were begun in Argentina, the Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Philippines.

On March 11, 1991, Frank Kaleb Jansen took the helm as the new Executive Director of Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse, while Stan Yoder of World Partners had begun to serve as the Clearinghouse's Administrative Director. Reports were already pouring in from churches all over the world who had adopted a people group and were getting personally involved. In 1993, the first documented list of unreached peoples, "A Church for Every People," was released.

By 1994, the Clearinghouse had moved its offices to Colorado Springs, CO and on April 26, 150 delegates gathered at the third Adopt-A-People Consultation. Here, a second document was released - this one being 600 pages and providing the most detailed and up-to-date assessment of how far the Body of Christ had come in taking the gospel to every one of the then known 12,000 people groups on earth. This massive research project was undertaken to help better equip the Church as a harvest force.

This book, titled "An Inquiry into the Progress of World Evangelization toward AD 2000," echoed the booklet written by William Carey in 1792 called "An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen." In it, each people group was identified by language or dialect and population, where known. They were then graded in terms of response and exposure to the Gospel. A second category listed the resources available for ministry such as literature, profiles, radio/television programming, the Jesus Film, etc. The report was the result of a worldwide survey by the Clearinghouse, conducted through the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, MARC, the Summer Institute of Linguistics, the Peoples Information Network, and the Southern Baptist Convention's Foreign Mission Board. AD2000 director, Luis Bush, a member of the editorial committee, said that the new report was significant in helping bring "greater clarity and definition" to what still had to be done.

By 1995, 90 mission agencies were partnering and new AAP offices had sprung up in Korea, India, Norway, and South Africa. Besides having a database of the world's unreached peoples, AAPC also had a database of churches adopting unreached peoples, 1500 people group profiles, Adopt-A-People prayer cards, advocate's kits, and a "how-to" manual. When Frank Kaleb Jansen returned to Norway at the end of 1994 to head the Scandinavian Regional Clearinghouse based in Oslo, AAPC Board Member, Marv Bowers, took interim leadership of AAPC.

In 1995, in cooperation with AAPC and several other agencies, Pastor Larry Stockstill of Bethany World Prayer Center of Baker, LA agreed to lead the incredible task of assembling research to produce a collection of over 1000 Unreached People Prayer Profiles about 1632 people groups thus offering the Christian community a new awareness tool to adopt a people group and pray for these peoples with accurate information. There were now over 100 agencies partnering with Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and AAPC had registered over 1300 adoptions.

In the fall of 1996, Keith Butler, former U.S. Director of Frontiers mission agency and the Chief Operations Officer of Paraclete Mission Group, brought new energy and focus to AAPC, assisted administratively by his wife, Dolores, and associate, Carey Childrey.

At the Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE '97) in Pretoria, South Africa, nearly 4000 delegates from 135 countries gathered to pray and discuss ways on how to more effectively evangelize the yet-to-be-reached people groups of the world. The theme was "A Church for Every People, and the Gospel for Every Person." More specifically, the focus was on a new "Joshua Project" list of unreached people groups numbering 10,000 people or more. At the conference alone, 579 people groups were adopted.

In October of 1999, Dick Bashta, former Director of Global Strategy Mission Association (GSMA) in Reserve, LA became AAPC's new director. Dick's focus on mobilizing the church for church planting movements begun in all remaining people groups has taken AAPC past their initial focus on research and information to a new level of implementation and partnerships with mission churches, organizations, and denominations.

From January 2003 January 2005, AAPC housed their ministry within the offices of the Bible League in Crete, IL and then moved to a temporary address in Tinley Park, IL.

In April of 2006, our name changed to Global Adopt-A-People Network
(GAAPnet) and our office moved to Crown Point, IN, where we are located
within the complex of Living Stones Fellowship Church. GAAPnet continues to partner with mission organizations and serve local churches worldwide.

 


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