Touch the World Through E-mailBeing a missionary is now as easy as answering e-mail. Truthmedia brings the mission field to anyone who wants to share Christ via e-mail with seekers throughout the world.
Wesley Duewel wrote an inspiring book in 1986 called Touch the World Through Prayer. Prayer is always the right place to begin. But what do you do after you pray? God wants His people then to get busy and do things to speed the fulfillment of His “Great Commission” to evangelize and disciple the world.
About one-third of the world’s nations today have “high” or “very high” restrictions on religion.
One creative way to do that today is computer technology.
Power to Change (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ in Canada) has developed an on-line mentoring ministry called Truthmedia. One part of this ministry connects believers in the West with seekers in the East, mainly the Muslim countries of the “10/40 Window.” The website for this Muslim outreach is called Dreams About Jesus.
I first heard about this ministry a few months ago from a friend I had met on one of our Operation Mobilization (OM) Canadian Challenge teams that reaches out each summer to internationals (Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and others) in some of our major cities. The idea of reaching Muslim seekers in other countries through e-mail intrigued and excited me.
I checked it out and decided to become an on-line “missionary” or “mentor.” This is simply a believer who is willing and able to provide spiritual counsel and direction to people who respond to the above website through the Internet which can easily penetrate their closed or semi-closed countries. About one-third of the world’s nations today have “high” or “very high” restrictions on religion.
First, I completed the on-line training modules which instructed me how to respond to inquirers and how to direct them to other helpful on-line Christian resources. I told them that I had time each week for 1-3 e-mails. For the last several weeks, I have received three e-mail inquiries weekly. I have now had the privilege of answering more than 40 e-mails from 14 countries stretching from Morocco to Indonesia. I have set up a world map in my office with a push pin to mark each country. A few inquirers have replied to my e-mail with further questions and our dialogue continues. Most do not.
The incoming e-mail tells me the person’s on-line name (usually an alias), their gender (some foreign names are not obvious), their country, whether they have had a dream about Jesus, and a comment line. Some of the comment lines are empty and some are very short (“Hi”, “I’m a student” or “I just want to chat with a good person”). Others describe a dream they have had about Jesus and ask help to understand it. Some are sincere spiritual questions from seekers and a few have a rude or angry tone. One sounded suicidal. If a mentor feels inadequate to respond to an inquiry, we have the option to have it redirected to another more qualified believer.
Although each response is different, I always try to express understanding of the person’s situation, I share my personal salvation testimony, I provide on-line links to Bible study resources, and I type out a prayer for them. At the end I invite them to chat further if they desire. Each one takes about 10-20 minutes to do depending on how long or complicated the inquiry is. Truthmedia is careful to protect its mentors so that their identity or e-mail address is not revealed. They are advised to give only their first name and country.
A similar U.S.-based ministry which is also a part of Power to Change is Global Media Outreach (GMO). I chatted with their rep at the Toronto Missionfest recently. They estimate that 1.8 billion people now use the Internet worldwide and that every day there are “two million searches for spiritual needs.” Michelle Diedrich of GMO says, “We are the first generation – ever – to hold in our hands the technology to give every person on earth multiple chances to accept Jesus Christ... Last year 10 million Christ decisions were realized... It’s huge and it’s growing.”
GMO now has about 4,400 online missionaries or mentors.
Canadian-based Truthmedia is looking for more mentors to cope with the growing number of inquiries. Maybe the Lord will lead you to be one of them. One mentor described her new on-line ministry experience this way – “I can go on a mission trip every day. I don’t have to leave home. I don’t have to pack my suitcase. It’s a great way to serve. I can go to India in my pajamas, and I love that.”
*Rob’s name has been withheld for security reasons. More information regarding on-line mentoring can be found at Truthmedia (Canada-based) or Global Media Outreach (U.S.-based).
Originally published in Bottomline, Summer, 2010.
Used with permission. Copyright © 2010 Christianity.ca.