Sharing the Gospel in Spite of Personal Difficulties (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on March 26, 2016  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Sharing the Gospel in Spite of Personal Difficulties

SharingTheGospelDifficulties

Awhile back, I read an article titled “Telephone Difficulties with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”1 As a person who lives with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, this article helped me understand why I often have trouble with telephone and even one-on-one personal communication.

When you’re on the phone, you don’t get any of the non-verbal cues that come with face-to-face conversation. Communication experts agree that most of communication is non-verbal, and when you remove all those verbal cues, your brain has to work harder to comprehend what’s being said. Our foggy brains may not be able to muster the level of focus.¹

This also holds for me many times during personal conversations with people. I will either completely blank out when trying to pull a specific word out of my brain or I start talking about something completely different than I intended, hoping it will help me remember what I was going to say.

I have learned to lean heavily on my computer, tablet and phone to keep in touch with people. I do much better if I can type out what I want to communicate because it gives me the time to correctly compose what I want to say—oh, do I ever love my delete and backspace keys!

I can quietly sit and wait for the intended word or phrase to come to me, without feeling the stress of frantically trying to drag it out of my memory. Typing also allows me to look up synonyms of the word I’m trying to come up with, which leads me to the word in question or to another, better word.

I love to share the Gospel message with people, but I am often homebound with several chronic illnesses. Another big plus of interacting socially online means I can take better care of myself by doing it only when I’m feeling up to it.

Social interaction takes energy. I didn’t understand that when I was healthy, but now I know it all too well. On low-energy days, I really try to avoid the phone.¹

These difficulties when trying to communicate personally can also be a part of several other chronic illnesses. Dealing with chronic pain severely depletes energy, and that means we need to make the most of the bits of time when we’re not sleeping or resting.

Most of my days are now “low-energy days,” so I heavily rely on my personal electronics to make contact with people all over the world. Using various forms of social media, I am able to reach out to those who so badly need to hear about the saving mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

Even if you do not have the limitations of illness, you can still opt to reach out to the world through your electronic devices. If that works better for you, your lifestyle and preferences, go for it! What matters most is spreading the Gospel message, not how you do it. God uses everything; He wastes nothing.

¹ Telephone Difficulties with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

Hindu Jat people of India #InternetSaathi (CMI Reblog)

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on February 20, 2016  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Hindu Jat people of India #InternetSaathi

InternetSaathi-CellPhone

The Jat people of India live primarily as farmers and mobile pastoralists¹ (nomadic herdsman), raising livestock. Their primary language is Hindi. There are an estimated 33 Million Jats, most of them living in northwestern India.

Overall, the Jats have a very good self image.”Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever,” is a well known Jat proverb. They are brave, hardworking people who possess both the desire and ability to rule. It has been said that no Jat wants to be ruled. Rather, he desires to have power over a group, if not over an area.²

The Jat people living in India are Hindus who follow the traditional practices of worshiping all Hindu gods and goddesses, and as farmers, most of them touch “mother earth” when they get up in the morning. They also pray to the sun god Surya when they are plowing their fields. The Hindu Jats are only 0.03% Christian and 99.92% Hindu. The remaining are listed under, “Other.”

In 2015, the Hindu Jat women were introduced to the Internet through the use of Internet cycle carts which are ridden from town to town in rural India. An article in the July 4, 2015 issue of The Hindu daily newspaper described it this way:

In a significant initiative aimed at bridging the technology gender divide, Tata Trusts have tied up with Google to launch ‘Internet Saathi’. The joint initiative announced today aims at empowering women in rural India with the power of the Internet so they may benefit from it in their daily lives. The initiative will provide basic training on the usage and benefits of Internet for women through specially designed Internet cycle carts that will visit villages to provide easy access to women.³

The photo at this link shows some of the Hindu women clustered around one of the Internet cycle carts.

SEE PHOTO BY CLICKING HERE

Hindu women are the keepers of their homes. They are very busy and do not have the extra time to take formal classes on how to use the Internet, plus cultural and social issues exist that may prohibit it. These Internet cycle carts come right into their villages where the women can take advantage of this mobile learning center without a negative impact on their daily chores and responsibilities.

The internet Cart would be available in the village for a minimum of two days every week for over a period of four to six months. Once the cart has completed the training in a cluster of three villages, it will be moved to the adjoining cluster for completion of a similar cycle.³

Teaching the Hindu Jat women how to use the Internet could be a major step in reaching out to them with the Gospel. Different portions of the Bible have been brought there through the years by missionaries, but if they are Internet enabled, they will soon be capable of reading or listening to the Bible online.

Right now there is an audio version of the New Testament available for them, plus audio versions of Bible teachings, Hindi Bible stories, talking Bibles, and the Jesus Film Project.

There is also a video version of the Jesus Film Project, as well as at least a dozen other videos, including Creation to Christ, God’s Story, and The Story of Jesus for Children.

All of the resources I’ve listed above can be accessed in the Resources section of the Jat (Hindu traditions) in India page at the Joshua Project site.


¹ http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Jat.aspx

² http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/12329/IN

³ http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/taking-internet-to-rural-women/article7383842.ece

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The Role of Digital and Social Media in Evangelism

First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on June 16, 2015  

By Anna Popescu

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

The Role of Digital and Social Media in Evangelism

Sow-Reap-Disciple

From November 19-21, 2013, Clyde Tabor was part of the Lausanne Global Consultation on the Gospel and Media. During this time, they were challenged to think about social media and the way the different media outlets could be used as evangelism.

From our time together, it was very clear that digital and social media have an increasingly important role to play in evangelism. That role varies across three continuous stages: SOW, REAP, DISCIPLE. At any given moment, there are hundreds of millions of people globally at each state with respect to their Christian faith—from a lack of interest in Christianity to a mature believer growing deeper in their faith.

  1. SOW– In this stage (that might be also referred to as pre-evangelism), individuals are not actively seeking Jesus. At this stage, digital and social media have a role to play in influencing the perception of Christianity and creating an environment that fosters openness and curiosity to engage.
  2. REAP– For our purposes, the REAP stage extends from when an individual reaches a place where they are beginning to seek answers, through to a decision to follow Christ. Digital and social media provide a unique and safe environment for people to struggle and question, often more in more vulnerable ways because of the perceived anonymity and safety of technology. 
  3. DISCIPLE– After an individual becomes a believer, the lifelong journey truly begins. Digital and social media have a role to play in connecting the individual to a local church, in providing resources and connections to deepen in the faith, and can provide encouragement and tools to share Christ with others, thus completing a circle, looping back to SOW.

Read the rest here to see how you can be a part of global cybermissions.

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Following Jesus – Social Network Style

I love the site One for Israel. I wrote about it earlier this month in my post Reaching Israelis and Arabs for Jesus.” 

I recently came across one of their videos titled Following Jesus – Social Network Style. This great video illustrates what it would be like if Jesus was alive today, and how people would use social media to talk about Him.

I realize many people do not (or do not care to) use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and for many reasons. But if you do use social media or are thinking of doing so, here are a couple of questions for you to ponder:

  • If you do use social media, which do you use and how do you use them to share the Gospel message? 
  • If you do not use social media yet, would you consider doing so to share your faith with people who need to hear it?

Beloved, please pray about this and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your mind and heart in what He wants you to do to help further God’s kingdom here on earth.

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Reaching Israelis and Arabs for Jesus

By Anna Popescu
First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on May 14, 2015  

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Reaching Israelis and Arabs
for Jesus

OneForIsrael-BlueBackground

ONE FOR ISRAEL is an organization utilizing many methods of reaching out to Jews and Arabs with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Today, because of the ongoing and escalating persecution and threats against them, Israelis believe that their lives are more endangered than ever before.

On the streets of Israel, terrorism is a constant.

“Young people generally feel very little hope for the future and are therefore more open to the gospel,” said Tuvya Zaretsky, chairman of the board for the Israel branch of Jews for Jesus.

According to the ONE FOR ISRAEL site, 99% of all Israeli homes are connected to the internet. For every 100 people, there are 122 computers. Israel is the number one country worldwide for time spent online, and social media is abundantly used:

About 97% of all Israelis between the ages of 13-34 have a Facebook account and actively use it.

Here’s another important piece of information. Israel ranks second in the world for how many smart phones are used per person. They spend about 70% of their time surfing the internet on those smart phones.

It is no wonder that ONE FOR ISRAEL is making such a great impact by utilizing the internet to show Israelis that their only hope is to believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as their Savior. Their site tagline reads:

Because the best way to bless Israel is with Yeshua (Jesus)

From the ONE FOR ISRAEL site:

ONE FOR ISRAEL is a ministry-initiative of native-born Israels (Jews & Arabs one in Christ!) on the forefront of high-tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation in Jesus to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform Israel with the gospel of Messiah! ONE FOR ISRAEL is perhaps the only place in the Middle East where true peace can be found – in Jesus!

ONE FOR ISRAEL in Netanya, Israel has a media center which enables them to broadcast the Good News worldwide. Their facilities also include the only Hebrew-speaking Bible College in Israel (and in the world). They know that there are many ways to share Yeshua with the Israelis and they strive to do this online by:

  • Reaching Israelis with the Gospel message.
  • Training up the next generation of leaders.

They have also launched several organizations, including I Met Messiah, We Love Israel – Because of Jesus, iGod, and Messiah Project (the English version of the Messiah Project is www.oneforisrael.org/messiah). You can also find a link there to a virtual community for Israelis.

ONE FOR ISRAEL has a newsletter to which you can subscribe, as well as a blog. They broadcast through Radio Agape – Messianic Radio from Israel (Agape.fm) and have a Q & A forum which is accessible through each of their sites.

One of the other great ways they share the Gospel message is through YouTube videos. Israel leads the world in the amount of time spent watching videos on YouTube, so ONE FOR ISRAEL has taken some of the most frequently asked questions from the Q&A forum and turned them into short video clips.

There are so many ways to partner with ONE FOR ISRAEL in using social media to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Israelis and Arabs that you’ll have no problem finding your best fit. Read more here.

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Being Sick or Disabled Does Not Mean You Cannot Share the Gospel with the World

By Anna Popescu
First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on  April 15, 2015  

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Being Sick or Disabled Does Not Mean
You Cannot Share the Gospel
with the World

internet-vector-148635_1280

Are you one of many Christians with a disability?

Do you live with daily chronic pain and/or illness?

Do your circumstances or health issues make you feel as if you have no way to share your faith with others?

I have been living with several chronic pain illnesses for the past 15 years. In the first few years I was still able to get around fairly well. I still worked a part-time job, attended church and Bible studies, and socialized with friends every so often.

Fast forward to now.

My view to the world has shrunk so much! In my mind, I started out with a large picture window that to me feels about the size of a telescope lens. I am thankful to be able to make it to church most Sundays, go to a grocery store once a week that is less than 5 miles from my home, enjoy a manicure every three weeks and have a coffee get-together with some close friends every 2 or 3 weeks. Every few months I go visit my grown children who live a couple of hours away from me.

My days now are mostly taken up with sleeping or resting, which leaves little time for anything else. My husband and I are members of a biker church and biker ministry, and rarely go on ministry rides with him. How is it possible to share my faith with others when I am so house-bound?

Does this sound anything like your life?

It is very possible to share the Gospel with other people while still “stuck” at home. Those others could be living on the other side of the world from you. How exciting is that?

a5ba1b8f6b7f49d808f8bdff85b9d752Take me for example. I may not be able to get out and do things to share the Gospel message with others, but I have a window to the world with my laptop, tablet and phone! I share my faith through social media.

I have a blog, a Facebook page, and I am also one of the administrators on our biker church’s and biker ministry’s Facebook pages. I also use Twitter and Pinterest to share my faith. I am currently learning how to use other methods of social media to increase my outreach. Twitter alone has over 150,000,000 active accounts per day. That’s 150 Million!

I recently shared this on Twitter (it’s called tweeting):

Never think your circumstances keep you from being able to share the Gospel with others. If you have internet access,
you’re equipped.

There are other social media outlets, but these three—Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest—will be enough to get you started for now. All three of these are fairly easy to learn and there are all kinds of videos showing you what to do. Here are a few to get you started:

Never, ever believe that you can’t be used by God to share His message because you cannot be out and about. By definition, being disabled is described as:

  • Incapacitated
  • Handicapped
  • Weakened
  • Wounded
  • Confined

However, you are still able—as long as you have internet access and are willing to be used by God—to share your faith with the world.

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NOW is the Future of Social Media!

By Anna Popescu

Published first on February 1, 2015 at Cataclysm Missions International

If you don’t know what Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are or what they have in common, you must either be living a very isolated existence or you live in a place that does not have any kind of technology. I’m talking about social media here, and it is being used by just about everyone these days. And if that is true, the Church needs to hop on board and hang on tight!

Read the rest here.

Anna-Coffee2The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.