Kay and I were interviewed last Saturday night as part of Global Impact Week (missions conference) at Grace Bible Church.
1. Keith and Kay’s ministry focuses on using current day technology to reach people for Christ. In the past you have shared with us some of the success stories of internet ministry. Is internet ministry continuing to grow?
Yes, in fact it is accelerating. Right now on Campus Crusade websites alone, every 5 seconds someone sees the gospel. Every minute someone indicates a decision for Christ. Every 3 minutes an email conversation begins between a seeker and a trained counselor.
These are statistics, and they are exciting. But every one of these has a name like Exxxxx in Accra Ghana and Exxxxx in Tblisi Georgia. I know these names because these are ones I’ve personally emailed in the past few weeks as we discussed their spiritual journey. This afternoon I received an email from Mxxxxx who prayed to receive Christ yesterday. He lives in Doha, Qatar. I don’t know where the conversation will go, but we will begin tonight.
2. I have heard you have a story about Steve using a new tool your team has developed. Tell us about this.
When Kay and I lived in Nigeria, I frequently faced problems. Sometimes a village chief would not give us permission to show the Jesus film in his village. Sometimes someone recording a portion of the Jesus film would object to the translation and insist we translate it differently.
I knew that somewhere in the world, others had faced these problems before. They had solved them effectively. I felt like I was a lone ranger having to resolve problems all by myself. I felt disconnected from others.
I returned from Africa with a deep desire to make it easy for laborers to connect with one another and with the best resources. That was part of what led us to get involved in the internet 15 years ago, placing ministry tools on the internet for professors to use with their students.
Over the past 3 years, we have been developing a global solution to this disconnectedness. My colleague Doug has been directing this project. We call it Global ConneXion. It’s a major technology solution, something like Yahoo e-groups on steroids.
Earlier this year, we were having some difficulties getting Global ConneXion “to market”. Doug asked Steve, a business consultant and friend, to come in and help us with our final 6 month push to deliver GCX in September.
I remember that first meeting last February. Doug and I were sitting in my living room with our GCX leadership and Steve. As Steve learned more about GCX, he became very excited. He said, “This is exactly what we need for our Izere Project.”
We learned that Steve had been involved in a project to reach the Izere people of Nigeria, very near where Kay and I lived for 15 years. The Izere Project involves multiple organizations like The Seed Company which is part of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Cedar Mill Bible Church in Portland Oregon, and the Great Commission Movement of Nigeria which is the local name for Campus Crusade for Christ. It also involves multiple strategies. There is Bible translation, literacy training, Jesus Film evangelism, and New Life Training Center discipleship.
They have been very systematic. They have surveyed the villages. They are training at least 2 people in every village to read so that when the Bible is delivered, there will be readers in each of the 130 Izere villages.
But Steve was very aware of the communication problems. Most didn’t know where to get the latest copy of the village survey. Most didn’t know where to get the literacy training materials, or the NLTC training curriculum for basic training. Sometimes they were praying for a prayer request that had already been answered.
Steve immediately recognized that the GCX tool would help them. Now they have one place to go to share their prayer requests and learn of God’s answers. Now they have one place to get everyone’s email addresses, and know when they have changed. Now they have one place to get the most recent versions of any documents.
God has allowed Kay and I to be a part of fulfilling a dream that began 25 years ago in Nigeria. Global ConneXion is currently being used by 300 communities both inside and outside Campus Crusade for Christ. Laborers are being connected to each other and to information.
3. You also travel the world. What is the purpose behind these trips?
What attracted us to CCCI as students was the strong emphasis on training and discipleship. For the last 30 years, we’ve been involved in training and discipling others. Currently we are developing next generation leaders, particularly the technology leaders in the 12 regions of the world.
Oumar is one of those we’ve worked with. Oumar lives in Bamako, Mali. It is probably one of the last places you’d associate with internet technologies.
We’ve helped Oumar develop a strategic plan for his area. He has implemented an email solution and is giving email addresses to the 1000 staff in French-speaking Africa so they can email one another to share ministry ideas, and to encourage and pray for one another.
We do this by traveling to their areas, by hosting conferences, and by many conversations. Our goal is to develop the Oumars of the world into leaders for the next generation.