Dear Family and Friends:
Looking back on the first half of 2009:
It's like exposing the entire population of Fullerton, CA or Columbia, SC to the Gospel each day.
In the 188 days we've had so far in 2009, we've recorded about 23 million visitors to our websites, and over 4 million indicated decisions for Christ.
We have about 2900 online volunteers answering questions from those who provide e-mail addresses. Anyone who does this gets a response back from a volunteer. We try to respond within 24 hours. Because the number of responses we receive requires each volunteer to average almost 3 e-mails every two days, we're currently very much in need of new volunteers.
That's why we're really trying to get the word out. Last month, the Orlando Sentinel and ABC News sites featured articles about our ministry. The previous month, some friends and I were interviewed for Steve Douglass' Lighthouse Report radio program about our ministry. We got to tell our stories of evangelizing and discipling people using online technology.
Lately, I've been trying to get more involved in other areas of our ministry that will give me more opportunities to influence disciplemakers. In our last regular letter, I wrote about the automatic 30-day response letter that I helped conceive and create. More recently, I joined what is called the "DTQ" community of response. This is where questions go when our volunteer responders have considered them somewhat more theologically difficult and passed them along the chain.
Since a fair amount of our first-time responses never engage us again, (which is why I suggested the 30-day automatic followup letter to our Director of Discipleship), it's been encouraging to see some responses from people who are really wrestling with issues relating to following Christ. Here are a few I've received:
From California: "Is it possible to live without sin and be rich in this world, or [do] I have to forgo one or the other?"
From Kenya: [what must] "I do to be son of God?"
From Nigeria: "I confronted my fiance.. She told me that she had slept with [another man] and that she needed another chance. I am confused.. PLS, HELP ME OUT. "
From Nigeria: "is there anything like the will of God in marriage-i mean a situation where God will tell you this or that person is your wife or husband?"
From the Philippines: "I am a high school teacher teaching Social Studies... This quarter I will discuss about the Beginning of the earth and man.. I have foreign students who don't believe in creation theory... how can I discuss this lesson to encourage them to believe in the role of God in creating the universe and man...?"
From California: "My 22 yr. old granddaughter had an abortion today, after she got home she called me and I was in the position to minister to her. I need some guidance for scripture and how to witness to her. Can someone please email me some appropriate scriptures and some advice?"
From Egypt: "If god can [bleed] and die and eat and drink, why should i worship him? The jews killed my son, how are they still alive till today after what they did?"
From California: "I've been a strong beliver in jesus 4 a while but im gay now ive prayd with all my heart tht if its wrg then lead me rite but my luv 4 my girlfriend has grown stronger and i fill as if shes my soul mate but bibical speakn its nt wil i go to heaven?"
Looking forward to the next half of 2009:
July 17-29, we will be in Colorado to attend our required National Staff Conference. Please pray for health, energy and vision as we will be working hard to challenge staff in other ministries to join us.
Please also continue to pray for our financial support! And thank you so much for your part in making our ministry possible.
P.S. Please see our latest photos!
Mike and Cindy Skinner
"One day closer!" (Romans 13:11)