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Bringing Hope Online

One year on, after the historic Celebration of Hope at the Singapore National Stadium (May 17-19, 2019) we continue to hear stories of people who are actively bringing the hope of Jesus to their friends and family through many digital means.
 
2019 was the ‘Year of Proclamation’ and Celebration of Hope (COH) was meant to be a special weekend to bring together the body of Christ in Singapore to step up in engaging in personal evangelism at a mass scale. 
 
The physical events saw Christians invite their friends and family to hear God’s hope being celebrated and shared through songs, stories and more. Close to 150,000 in total participated in the rallies, in various languages and age groups.
 
A decision to livestream opened the doors even wider – eventually exposing the gospel to almost half a million viewers around the world. Together with the various video testimonies that were beautifully produced by Thir.st, more than one million people encountered true hope in Jesus!
Celebration of Hope Singapore

One of the many ‘COH watch parties’ that we heard about. God was indeed stirring up His people to boldly step out in faith!

Hope beyond the stadium

The COH Livestream prompted many to try creative and intentional ways to proclaim Christ. A friend of mine borrowed his office LCD projector just so he could watch the COH live stream with some guests at his home. The second night, he invited his sister-in-law (whom they have been praying for years) and a few other relatives for dinner, and thereafter to watch the Chinese rally together.
 
People who would not have come to the stadium now had the opportunity to experience hope in a way that was accessible (or comfortable) to them. This word of encouragement (from a brother to his church) summed up this unique opportunity so well:
“I would encourage you brothers to consider doing the same, (especially if you can’t get a ticket, or if you sense your friends or family would be ‘comfortable’ or at ease in a home setting). It could be a unique opportunity for them to encounter the true hope-giver, right in your living room!
Responding ‘Live’ during COH Livestream
 
Being part of a team that worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this all happen was such a thrill and honor!  Even with just three weeks left to the event, we ‘cobbled’ together an “Online Responders team” who would be waiting, listening and watching for opportunities to respond to people who watched the COH Livestream. A small team from Indigitous Singapore even programmed a Facebook chatbot they called ‘Hopebot’, to help filter through the hundreds of responses as they come in!
 
Watch this video to get a sense of the excitement of some of these volunteers (from different churches, different ages and backgrounds) 
Here is one of the cool stories that came out from this team. Read it and be encouraged.
 
Flora’s message arrived at midnight, just as the team of 80 volunteer online responders we had mobilized were packing up to leave. 
 
‘Pearl, can you take Flora?’, one of our leaders asked a fellow online responder. ’Sure’, smiled Pearl as she replied Flora and then quickly headed to take the last train home, continuing her chat with Flora on her mobile device. 
 
The next morning, we were thrilled to hear that Pearl continued chatting with Flora till 2:30am, and that she had helped Flora commit her life to Christ! Flora had somehow stumbled on the COH live stream, watched it, felt moved to chat and ask more questions. 
 
This is digital missions at work! In all, about half a million people watched COH livestream on FaceBook and YouTube, with thousands commenting, and hundreds engaging in chats. Let’s keep trusting that God will continue to bring many to Himself.
Digital Missionaries Stepping out in Faith
 
The month of May is #Go2020 and over the past few weeks, thousands of Christians around the world have been stepping up in faith, to pray, care and share – seeking for opportunities to connect with people online. You too can be part of it
 
Take a look at the social networks God has blessed you with, ask the Lord to help you see as He sees, and to have a burden for your family and friends. Then prayerfully reach out to them and share a story of hope, (a recently launched strategy by Thir.st) or a gospel video, and then trust God to lead you into a meaningful conversation or to chat about a spiritual topic with them. Step out in faith, and follow the Spirit’s leading. He’s going to a mighty work through you!
 


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