Sometimes when I sit down to write an update to you, I just don’t know where to start. I’m going to try to be concise in order to share both ministry and personal updates with you this month.
First of all, I want to express our gratitude for the year-end special gifts! We now see your generosity as God’s providence for needs we didn't even know we were about to face! On December 5 I had my second follow-up from my March surgical procedure and a new tumor was found. It was removed January 14, and there were no complications this time. The doctor was encouraging, and we’re just waiting for the biopsy results now. Thanks in advance for your prayers!
Work on PATH continues. Soon, we’ll be hosting 12-15 volunteers for our first “focus group.” It’s not “beta testing” yet; but it should help future testing go more smoothly. Good testing is a big part of creating a useful tool for our thousands of Online Missionaries. We’d appreciate your prayers that the testing-and-revision process could go as smoothly as possible.
PATH should give us a more modern interface to the ways people communicate. Facebook messaging support came to our ARC system in 2013, but adapting an email-based system to support a more chat-like system like Facebook has always had its challenges. Facebook updated their policy (effective in March) to raise standards for responding to messages rapidly. If an OM doesn’t answer a contact quickly enough, we lose that contact. ARC has no way of reporting when a connection has been lost, but we'll have the opportunity to build that into PATH.
Data migration is going to be a big challenge for us. Imagine fifteen years of conversations between millions of contacts and thousands of Online Missionaries. We’ll be asking our Online Missionaries to update their contact information, personal templates and discipleship notes before we start the transfer.
I’m pleased to announce that Cindy is going to be involved in the PATH focus group testing and in helping the Online Missionaries stay informed about the migration status and the things they can do to get ready. She’s accepted the position of English Volunteer Care Coordinator with Global Media Outreach, and will be in the Seeker Journey Team with me.
We believe 2020 is going to be a portentous year! Looking back at our Thanksgiving 2019 recap letter humbles me to think what a significant part of God’s plan to reach the world Global Media Outreach has been for the past 15 years. We’re such a small team and we still have so much to learn! We want to be there when God moves people to look for hope. Would you join us in prayer that Colossians 4:5-6 would be true of us?
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5–6)
Just as Paul closes in the next few verses of Colossians, we’re praying your hearts are encouraged at how the work of worldwide evangelism progresses! We are so grateful for your prayers, your friendship and your investment in us! May God guide us into maturity and full assurance of His will for our direction!
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!