Reaching the unreached

Nicole Malloy is a single mother and Foursquare Missions International missionary in the Philippines along with her daughter. Here she shares how she became a missionary to unreached people groups.

How did God call you to your ministry in the Philippines?

When I was 8 years old, I had a dream that God sent me to a place surrounded by water with people washing their clothes by hand and cooking over open fires. When I was older, I stepped away from the church, and when I returned, I kept thinking: “I’m an unwed, single mom. No church is going to send me to the mission field.” But I really had a heart to pray for unreached people, and I went to every missions meeting at my church, trusting that God would let me know if I was meant to go. One day, I got an email that my work would be closing for building repairs, then my pastor invited me on a Philippines missions trip happening at the same time.

Which tribes are you ministering to, and how did you connect with them?

One of the pastors I met on that missions trip owned land near the Tau’t Batu tribe. I couldn’t believe it when he told me because I’d been praying specifically for that group. There are three tribes in that area: Palaw’an, a low-land group who have just started receiving the gospel; Tau’t Batu, a nomadic mid-mountain people who travel between cave dwellings; and Tau’t Darum, a tree-dwelling, high-mountain people who aren’t even officially recorded. Both mountain tribes are so shy of outsiders that I’m working with local pastors to disciple Palaw’an people to reach them.

What are some of the challenges you face there?

The traditional religion there is very animistic. Everything is a god, so the people live in constant fear of offending some deity. This is part of the reason the Tau’t Batu are always moving. If someone’s too sick to keep up, they’ll actually put that person in a tiny shelter and then leave them to die alone. The idea of a single God who loves them is so alien to everything they believe. This is a big part of why we’re discipling Palaw’an leaders to become evangelists; they can speak the regional language and understand the religious beliefs that are obstacles for the Tau’t Batu and Tau’t Darum.

There are three tribes in our area: Palaw’an, a low-land group; Tau’t Batu, a mid-mountain people who travel between cave dwellings; and Tau’t Darum, a tree-dwelling, high-mountain people.

How would you ask people to pray for the mission field in the Philippines?

Please pray that as we grow in knowledge of these beautiful people, we also grow in wisdom and knowledge of God’s will. The work is really just starting in this area, and there’s a lot ahead of the team. Also, please be praying for the Palaw’an to receive such a powerful outpouring of the Spirit that they will be mighty witnesses to their own people and the mountain tribes. Call for God to awaken a spiritual hunger in these tribes so that when they hear the gospel, their hearts would be open and ready.

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is a freelance writer living in Colorado Springs, Colo.