Assembling Makes Us a Target—For the Right Reasons
I found out about the appalling Sutherland Springs Church shooting in an unusual way. “Erica”, one of my new contacts from our GodLife site, let me know about it. “Today 20 people died in a shoot out at a Baptist church. How am I supposed to trust a God with my life when it could’ve been me at that church?”
I'd been helping her wrestle with her questions for four days. Her first response had alarmed me: “God is not helping.” A couple of days later, “At this point I don’t care if I go to Hell.” We talked through Jesus’ teachings about hell; and I got the chance to share the gospel clearly with her. I asked her to let me know right away if she’d sincerely asked God to save her. When she did, she said: “I’m still bitter. How do I do this?” Please pray that emotions will catch up to reality for Erica as I continue to work with her: even as new believer, she expects to live an unhappy life. Like a small child getting a shot from the doctor, we often don’t know how pain can turn out for our good.
With someone so emotional, just answering the questions she asks could quickly become a fruitless tennis match. At Global Media Outreach, we're trained to do more. We take initiative in evangelizing people, discipling them, and using creative ways to help them find places to meet in Christian community because we know they need to be built up in a body of believers. Even if (God forbid) attacks like Sutherland Springs someday become commonplace here, as they are in North Africa, Hebrews 10:24-25 still applies. It was written to believers living under a similar threat.
I’m so thankful I serve in a ministry that includes new indigenous partners whose passion for the lost and suffering, people in their restricted nations keeps them where they are, when they could live in the USA. I’m grateful I can invest my best hours in our thousands of English volunteers as they give new hope to seekers like Erica every day.
Here are some other things we've been up to this year:
2017 so far
- New GMO partners: International Students, LifeRocks and Abide.
- January: Strategic planning and new leadership at GMO.
- February: Mike and family hosted Emmy Nyangasi from Tanzania.
- March: Profiled Online Missionaries who excel at discipleship.
- April-June: Internal audit to assess the quality of our discipleship.
- May: Mike created GMO's “Essentials of Discipleship” guidelines.
- July: Mike’s responsibilities expand to cover all GMO Discipleship and English response.
- August: New mass-mailing tool: (3.5M messages verified read). New authors: Pastor Gary Fleetwood, Th.D., and Ruth Bartel, Th.D.
- September-October: 2,205 English Online Missionaries went through refresher training for follow-up.
- November: released latest Next Steps App. (62% indicated decision rate for 61,553 installs this year.)
GMO is anticipating several more partnerships including a large local radio ministry and an evangelistic training organization. We’re also expanding our language strategy to include Turkish, Urdu and Farsi. We're in the planning stages for an overhaul of our core response system and a systematic review of the entire English branch, based on the principles established in our recent training.
“Why do they hate us?”
Remember the many ways this question was asked after the September 11 attacks? When attacks start coming to churches, we understand the ultimate reason. Jesus told us. “You will be hated by all for my name's sake.” (Luke 21:17) So we don’t have to wonder what to do: simply look at what has been done for the last 2,000 years. Because of the great principles America has been founded upon, we’ve been the exception. Persecution has been the rule for the Body of Christ. They did not forsake the local, visible, assembly. (Heb. 10:24-25 again) At this season of Thanksgiving, we are so thankful for this liberty, this heritage and this calling.
We’re also very thankful for you. Your investment makes our work possible!
We know the end of the year brings many opportunities for strategic giving. We’d be honored if you’d include us as you’re making your end-of-year giving plans! Please use https://give.cru.org/0543730 for convenient online giving.
Whatever you decide, please know that our commitment to continue working to reach seekers worldwide, as well as our friendship and thankfulness for you, remains unwavering!
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!