Jason and Rachel and their two children live overseas and work with a cross-cultural OM team, many of whom are believers from a Muslim background. The team specialises in making the Bible and Bible teaching resources available via the internet, television, phone and radio to people in a part of the world where there is strong opposition to the Gospel and where getting hold of a Bible has been difficult at best. Jason is the team’s IT co-ordinator.
Jason has made the Bible available for download onto mobile phones in the main languages of the region, where we can praise God that many thousands of people have now downloaded the Bible onto their phone. This last month they published two Windows phone apps, and a Proverbs app for Android.
They recently published a new website which it is hoped will eventually support a planned Bible Association (a Bible “Society” requires a nominated church presence in-country). They continue to add newly translated scripture in different dialects.
They are working on Apps that will make it possible for the partially-literate to read along while listening to the Word of God, and have the gospel of Matthew now online in this way for two languages.
TV and Radio
The TV and Radio programmes are presented and led by believers from their own culture, avoiding unnecessary western influence but clearly and sensitively presenting the truth of the Gospel. Last year saw the birth of live television, as well as a new “With You” series on the radio, answering caller’s questions. A new couple are willing to put their face on the TV for 2016 but there are logistical requirements to get them up and running as they are not located near to the existing studio.
The team publishes websites and accompanying social and video media for the TV and radio programmes. Callers respond to the online activity as well as directly to the TV and Radio programmes, and so each media-stream has a method to contact the team to follow-up.
Jason has developed a follow-up system that sends daily scriptures by SMS to groups of seekers and believers, and messages to individuals wanting discipleship. Half a million of these messages were sent out last year.
The follow-up system also handles the follow-up for TV, Radio, on-line activity, Apps and personal introductions. Each month, hundreds of people have a conversation with a discipleship worker in one of two key languages. A few of these conversations have been held live on the television, but most are private conversations by phone. Because of the culture, it is particularly difficult to talk with female callers and connect them with one of our female team-members, but this year has seen the team conduct bible-studies over Skype as couples, in areas where physical meetings would be too dangerous. This week one lady from a Skype Bible study shared with her sister and she finally gave her life to Christ.
This year they hope to produce a discipleship course as an off-line phone-app, as well as continue to work carefully with social media where connections can be made but sensitive conversations must then be conducted by telephone.
The team publishes and sends-out physical material (DVDs, scripture, discipleship books), much of which is sent at no-charge to believers. Requests for scripture come from all over the world, and in particular have increased in Europe this year due to the influx of migrants. Rachel now co-ordinates this area of ministry, which sent out 10,000 items in the last 12 months, half of which were in the last two months!
Their team meet for organised prayer every Wednesday afternoon. They bring in a different co-worker each week from abroad (over Skype) for part of the meeting. They pray for one another, the people God has led into contact with them, and the wider situation within the target area and abroad.
Their requests for prayer at this time would be:
- Follow-up online and by telephone. More workers to the harvest, God’s grace and safety upon those who are labouring, and His Spirit to work in the lives of the people God is using them to reach.
- Progress with the discipleship course – to get this going they need to spend a lot of time working together (time is short), and have meetings next week to firm up workflow and storyboards.
- God’s sovereignty over books– that as different people around the world decide to get materials, they will reach the specific individuals that God has in mind and play their part in leading people to Christ and discipling those who have already accepted Him.