February 9, 2015
Dear Roger and Maggie,
This map puts 2015 in perspective. We tend to think of the US as the center of the world. But if a map represented nations not by land mass but by population, this is how it would look. Australia and Canada hardly exist while India becomes massive, larger than China. Islands of SE Asia were the biggest “ah-ha.”
Information like this helps us realize where resources (prayers, workers, finances) could to go to reach lost sheep with the gospel. Before the re-occurrence of her cancer, Maggie was able to help Steve Douglass (President, Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ) initiate a study to determine a baseline on our vision that “Everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.”
The results are in and illuminating. Europeans have the highest awareness of who Jesus Christ is (not a surprise), but are least likely to say that they know a true follower of Jesus (sad). Awareness of Jesus is low in Africa, yet it was the highest continent to know of a true follower of Christ. And despite all of our churches, North America’s responses made it the third lowest continent to know a true follower. Generally, when asked how responders know the person who is a true follower, family (32%) or friend (37%) were the highest responses. (If you would like to see the full report, go to click here).
Putting the map and the survey report together, we need to build networks of family and friends in areas of large population. In Africa, those who know Jesus need to make him known. And in our own nation, we need to live lives that cause those around us to know that we are true followers of Christ.
Our church’s small group is studying, “Walk Across the Room.” Amazing conversations have been started just in the first week as individuals reached out and make themselves available. One man, who had cut off a co-worker when she was rambling on an IT issue, went back and apologized which, much to his surprise, opened up a conversation about his church who teaches about putting faith into action.
Thank you for your prayers and support so that we can work on projects like the survey. We appreciate your encouragement to us, as we, in turn, encourage others in their walk with God. Pray about what the survey and map means as far as next steps in our lives as well as yours —
Roger and Maggie