SAN FRANCISCO -- Linda Bergquist is a California Southern Baptist Convention church planting catalyst working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with new English-speaking churches, including Anglo and multi-ethnic congregations and second-generation churches, for three associations (Central Coast, CostaMeda and San Francisco-Peninsula). Her new assignment includes Chinese, South Asian and Middle-Eastern work in the greater Bay Area. Some of Linda’s work is with unreached people groups (UPGs). God desires all people to know Him and we believe that some day “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” will worship God together (Rev. 7:9).
One of the United States’ largest populations of Muslims (over 250,000) lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately one-third of these are US born. The others are from Pakistan (14%), Afghanistan (11%), India (10%), Egypt (3%), Yemen (2%), Iran (2%), Jordan (2%), Palestine (2%) and 14% “other.” Two-thirds of these claim to speak at least three languages. Around 74% of adults s have completed at least some college. (See http://www.ispu.org.) Church planting among Muslims is a long work, so please pray!
The Bay Area Chinese population is also quite significant. The San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area of 629,243 people is the second-largest Chinese American population in the US. They come from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. They are Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, and around half say they have no religion. Linda is working now toward at least two new Chinese churches in 2015.
There are more than a quarter-million South Asians living in the Bay Area. They come from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. They practice Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism, but 37% are Muslim. Religious centers of all of these religions are available around the Bay Area. A concerted effort is needed to identify people groups and start churches among South Asians. There are currently no Asian-Indian Baptist churches in the Bay Area. Linda is interested in reaching them through people group strategies that identify, for example, the Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, Marathi, Gujarathi and other unreached Indian peoples.
As we prepare for this Christmas season, please pray for the millions in the San Francisco Bay Area who do not know Jesus.
Here are a few free online resources Linda uses to learn more about the people groups to which she is assigned:
Dr. Linda Bergquist