Through our partnerships within Cru Global and other ministries, we are currently officially engaged in 118 countries.
We are working with over 80 partners, actively involved in 125 countries around the world. Some are small, but others like the Jesus Film Project calculate their stats in the millions and billions. We are setup to provide the follow-up for people who watch the Jesus Film in Hindi and want to talk to someone after.
So far the engagement hasn't been overwhelming but we are learning things as we continue to make adjustments.
Over the last few months we have been creating a new feature for TMM.io that will allow our websites and those of our partners to have live chat.
We are testing it live on Issues I Face and The Life now. This story is from the very first chat I (or anyone) had with a person other than one of our tests with a staff member.
James, our Technical Director who wrote the live chat program, was following my conversation with Jen. He wrote this soon after to send to his ministry partners.
My boss Sheldon (the director of our ministry) was the first to give it a try as a mentor. In less than an hour Jen (not her real name) popped up asking “i cant get in control of my life”.
Sheldon introduced himself and invited Jen to share more about the issues she wanted to talk about. As they chatted, Jen was able to open up about some of the struggles she is facing. She shared that she is in Botswana and found our site because she went to the Internet searching for help.
Throughout the hour and twenty minutes they talked, Sheldon was able to turn the conversation towards faith. She shared that she was a Christian but hadn’t been to church in a while. She allowed Sheldon to pray for her and to offer some suggestions for dealing with the issues she was struggling with.
This was such a cool conversation to have as our very first chat interaction. Near the end Jen shared “i really love this website, its the first live chat that was really helpful”
As we continue testing this system, we are evaluating every aspect of it, from the user interface to the latency between our systems. The thing that we really love however is that these conversations are able to help people know Jesus and experience his power to change the world.
Even though my conversation with Jen helped her confidence and encouraged her, the most exciting thing for me was helping her understand the role of Holy Spirit in her life.
Interested in having conversations with people in Botswana? Bolivia? Bangladesh? Many of the same things we struggle with in life are global issues. Being able to offer some guidance into her life helped me realize why I do what I do, and why I think you should all consider becoming a mentor!
One of our mentors recently shared this summary of a recent conversation with someone in Europe:
Annie* wrote in as a new Christian seeking assurance of forgiveness. Several months pregnant, she was finding it difficult to bond with her expected child. Memories of 2 abortions she had nearly forgotten were haunting her. She asked why she was finding it so difficult to receive God’s forgiveness and to forgive herself.
In the course of our conversation, we talked about how guilt (feeling bad for the things we have done) is different from shame (how we feel about ourselves because of things we have done). Guilt finds its solution in Christ’s death for us. Shame finds its solution in God’s view of us as his beloved children.
I invited her to discover more about her identity in Jesus by studying Ephesians with me. Every day, she would send in observant and poignant summaries of how God was freeing her from both shame and guilt. After Ephesians we studied the Gospel of John together.
In the course of a few months, she went from being weighed down by guilt and shame to worshiping God with a heart filled with joy.
In mid-November she gave birth to her first child. The birthing was difficult, but she was able to rest in Jesus and trust that all would be well. She continues to grow in Christ, seeking to show his love to her child and to her husband.
*name changed to protect confidentiality
One of our newest mentors is Brad, who speaks Russian and English. The very first message he received was from John, a neuroscientist and medical researcher working at a large university.
In his first letter, John explained that not long ago, he was despairing of life, facing a metastatic return of cancer. God sent a Christian his way to encourage him to persevere in his treatment and to try praying to God.
John ended his message this way: “I have never been a man of faith, but I believe those short prayers at the cancer centre saved my life. Why did the Lord choose this path for me? Why did He save my life? I don’t know what the Lord wants me to do, but I am intent on figuring it out!”
John’s story deeply touched Brad. God was so clearly at work in this man's life! Over the course of several letters, Brad joyously shared the Gospel, carefully explaining what it meant to be a Christian. Once John confirmed that he had truly committed his life to Christ, Brad encouraged him to walk in the Spirit, deepen his relationship with Christ through Bible study and prayer, become involved in a church, and participate in Christ’s mission.
Just recently, John shared: “I have been looking into different ministries for ways to reach out to more people [...] Instead of putting all my energy into earthly work and letting God have whatever is left over at the end of the day, I am being directed to do the opposite and start with God’s work. What exact shape or form that will take is not clear yet, but I am sure He will show me a path forward.”
Every day, God is at work around the world drawing people to himself in amazing ways, just as he did with John. It is such a privilege to be part of that process!
*names changed to protect privacy
Fatima* and her family immigrated to Germany from a Muslim country when she was just 13. Now 15 years old, she still felt isolated and alone in this strange new land. In a few days, she would be returning to school, the isolation period imposed by Covid-19 now over. She dreaded it.
When she saw a Google ad for our Issues I Face site in her mother tongue, she wrote in to talk with an online mentor, Anna*. In the next two days, more than 80 messages would go back and forth between them.
That mentor, an immigrant herself, manifested compassion by talking about the hurdles this young teen was overcoming: a new country, a new language, and new beliefs and customs. She encouraged Fatima to discover the positive aspects in the situation, mentioning that God had created her with unique gifts, talents, and interests that she could draw on to find topics of conversation. Anna also shared that love is like a light that shines in the darkness and brings people close. When we choose to love others, they often respond in kind.
At that point in the conversation, Fatima asked, “How can I have this light, this love, this motivation?” She wanted to change, but really had no idea how.
Anna decided to start talking about spiritual things by sharing that God invites us to change and become a new person, to be born again.
She recognized that she had two feelings fighting for supremacy in her heart: love and hate. Her emotions were not constant or stable. How could she change by tomorrow?
The mentor responded that this change does not occur overnight. After talking with her about God, generally, she decided to tell Fatima she was a Christian, and sent her links to Christian music videos. An hour later, Fatima wrote back to say that she was listening to the worship videos, she was praying, and it was giving her comfort and peace. She asked to learn more about this religion, Christianity.
Anna seized this opportunity to share the story of her own faith and send a link to an explanation of the Gospel in her own language. When Fatima indicated making a commitment, Anna replied, saying she was there for her to help her grow. She prayed for her and talked about how the Holy Spirit would help her and strengthen her. They are continuing to correspond with one another, and Fatima is experiencing the joy of seeing God answer her prayers about school life.
Please pray that Fatima’s parents will not object to her desire to know more about Jesus, and that she and Anna will continue to develop a fruitful mentoring relationship as Fatima discovers more about her new life in Jesus.
*names changed to protect privacy
Originally posted on P2CDigital.com
UPDATED July 2 with new numbers.
With hundreds of new mentors already approved in the last few months and mentor applications still coming in from around the world every day, we have another pressing need. Each mentor needs to have a mentor coach to help them!
The mentor coach is trained to guide people that may not have shared their faith before, disciple them spiritually, and answer any questions their mentors have.
Our goal is to have a mentor coach for every ten mentors so we need many more to join us.
Qualifications are a solid Christian that wants to help others grow spiritually.
If this is you, apply to mentor with us and let us know you'd love to coach mentors as well.
Words like unprecedented, uncertain and chaotic are flooding inboxes as companies try and put their customers at ease. No one saw this coming in this way. Governments reacted, schools sent kids home, people loaded up their carts with toilet paper, and churches closed their doors to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
While most organizations struggle to figure out how to continue operating and pivot their strategies to use technology, Power to Change Digital Strategies is already living in this space. We are receiving messages from people around the world, asking for help getting their ministries adapted for this new world. Although we expect to be let out of our homes to brave the new, a bit more dangerous world in a few months, life just won’t be the same. Churches will continue to live-stream, and the people that they are trying to reach are still going to turn to the internet for hope.
WE NEED MORE MENTORS, WRITERS, EDITORS, DEVELOPERS AND MINISTRY PARTNERS TO JOIN US AS BILLIONS OF PEOPLE SEARCH FOR PURPOSE AND HOPE DURING THIS TIME OF GLOBAL CRISIS.
As the reports around the global pandemic take over the news, it reminded me of the Y2K bug. Hindsight will tell us if the steps we are taking will minimize the problem or just delay the pain.
However, at the end of the day, we need to remember that God is in control, which gives us hope when walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
A man from Russia (we’ll call him Paul) had a real question — Why did God save my life? He turned to the internet to find the answer and found Jesus through Digital Strategies.
Paul wrote in to IssuesIFace.com because he was convinced God had saved his life (physically) while undergoing cancer treatment, in answer to prayer. (He was not a believer, but a Christian had prayed for him, and encouraged him to pray too).
In his reply, the mentor asked, "Has anyone ever shared with you what it means to know God personally? According to your understanding, how does a person become a Christian?" In response, Paul wrote, “Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to have someone share with me what it means to know God personally. I also don’t really know how a person becomes a Christian. I have never attended Church. So this is where the glorious work begins!” After the mentor explained the gospel, over several online messages, Paul responded that he invited Christ to come into his heart!
His mentor shared and discussed truths that will help him grow spiritually and soon realized that this new believer was truly eager to serve Christ with his life. Paul wrote: “I read about the Great Commission in Matthew. You know, I have been looking into different ministries for ways to reach out to more people, and God is very clearly telling me to use my talents to glorify Him….Instead of putting all my energy into earthly work and letting God have whatever is left over at the end of the day, I am being directed to do the opposite and start with God’s work….” He also wrote of reaching out in any way he can to a friend who is currently battling cancer, and of getting established in a local church.
A number of our DS staff live in countries heavily affected by the Corona Virus. Please pray for safety as well as opportunities to share the hope we have in Jesus as people in China and other places in lock-down, look to the internet for community and answers to their fears.
It has always been a dream to work closely with the staff of Cru around the world. We are seeing movements happening where strategies that we had no part in planning, use the tools we have developed to reach their countries.
As we work closer with the Ethiopian ministry, we are excited to see the amazing things that the team is able to accomplish there.
Will you help reach one billion people with the Gospel this May? We're a part of GO 2020.
Over the years, we were known as Women Today Online, GoPoints & Power to Change, TruthMedia, and The Life Project. Power to Change Digital Strategies is a much better fit for what we do.