Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm Now Sharing Jesus Online!

I recently heard of the coolest new (to me) ministry ever!!! Two weeks ago, I was opening up some mail from a Christian organization when a little 4-color flyer fell into my lap. Because I saw a veiled woman in one of the pictures (my heartbeat), I actually read the flyer... and was immediately so excited! Here's what it says:
In case you can't read that: "Millions of people search for God everday--online. Global Media Outreach, an internet ministry ... that has websites where thousands of people everyday learn about the good news of Jesus and connect with volunteers through email. Would you like to help respond to emails from people seeking Jesus? Apply to be a volunteer today!" After reading this, I think I inadvertantly let out a little squeal! Then, I flipped it over to find out more...
It reads: "Here's your passport to the world--without ever leaving your home! Easy-- if you can send an email, you can share the gospel! You control how many emails you receive. You decide how much time you spend online. Safe! No one sees your email address and no one can spam you. We provide the training and resources."

How easy and stinkin' COOL is that?!?! I immediately ran and showed the flyer to Andy. He knows better than anyone how -- although I LOVE the church, and ESPECIALLY Austin Stone -- I love the nations and wish I could be used more "out there." With Andy actually working for the church, I know and believe Austin--and Austin Stone--are where we are called by God in this season. He is always re-confirming that in our hearts (its actually pretty neat). But I also have this strong desire to be a light and presence to this world (especially all the parts that look nothing like me and don't resemble my culture). I can go on several short-term trips a year (and I do), I can have international friends who live here in Austin (and I do), but now I could ALSO be a part of sharing Christ across the globe right from my own living room during all the times I am at home. Pretty amazing, huh!?!

This past spring, I heard a girl from Sudan's testimony of coming to Jesus and having to go into hiding. She was from a prominant family in Khartoum and grew up with a strict Arab-Muslim family culture. When she became a believer, they tried to kill her and she ran away and lived in an apartment with a missionary family in town for several months before she got safe passage out of the country. During that time, she wasn't allowed to leave the house (or even walk past the window) and she told me that she spent her days online... learning about her new faith and going to chat rooms made up of people in the Arab World (and particularly countries closed to missionaries) and shared Christ online. That was about the coolest thing I had ever heard of (can yall tell I think this is "cool"? I keep saying that.) At the time, I wondered-- how does someone get involved in that? Now, I know... (I am in no way implying that my Sudanese friend volunteered for the organization that I am now volunteering with... she just had a similar outreach.)

I went to the website on the flyer (http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/) and did some more research... watched their videos, read all the scoop on how it works, and then decided to pray about this opportunity. After a week of prayer, I applied to be a volunteer in their ministry. I completed the application & references, was approved, and finished the training all within 48 hours. Then last night, I got my first email from a contact! Here's me re-enacting responding to emails last night at midnight:
I was pretty excited! The whole thing was super easy and such a neat way to pray for and encourage believers beyond my reach. Here's me, being REALLY excited about this new ministry AND excited to tell all YOU out there about it... I want to rally some more volunteers from my readers:
If you want to read some stories about volunteers and their experiences serving in this minsitry, click here: http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/responses/volunteer_stories.html. And if you want to read some stories from people across the globe who have found the evangelistic and discipleship websites and written in, click here:
http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/responses/visitor_responses.html

I sincerely hope that some of you who read this SIGN UP!! What a cool (there I go again) way to be used by our God in this new age of technology and global accessibility!

4 comments:

ASuh said...

Did Andy actually agree to take "reenactment" photos of you responding to an email? I would not have thought that he would have indulged this kind of behavior . . .

I just responded to my first email, too! :)

Anna Melvin said...

actually, I self-timer took the pics b/c-- you're right-- he would not have indulged me in that behavior. the fact that I self-timered them makes me even more of a dork, huh? oh well.

Anonymous said...

this is awesome, im signing up!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see that you're just as excited as we are about sharing Christ online. Thanks for your post!

Nick

Director of Outreach
Global Media Outreach
nick.runyon@ccci.org