Dear ACTS Friend,
It’s that time of the year when we remember with thanksgiving, not only the greatest Christmas gift of all time—the birth of the Savior—but also all our many faithful prayer and support partners, as you have made ACTS gospel outreach ministry possible for another year. You are greatly appreciated.
Last month Joy and I had the opportunity to be part of a tour visiting Vietnam and Cambodia. Actually, I didn’t want to go, but it turned out to be a very eye-opening and fascinating experience. We saw areas of great wealth, and religion with Buddhist temples everywhere we went. These temples were extremely elaborate and had outstanding architecture. But they were surrounded by endless miles of dreadful poverty.
Especially disturbing was visiting one of the over 300 “Killing Fields” in Cambodia.*
A God thing. One morning I was feeling overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness regarding how we could ever reach Vietnamese and Cambodian people with the gospel, which was a desperate need for people who are steeped in religion without Christ. Most of the people (at least in Cambodia) are Buddhist, but there were also sections of Hinduism and Islam.
I was praying: “God, what could we possibly do to reach people in these countries with the gospel of Jesus Christ? We don’t know the people. We don’t know the language. And we certainly don’t understand the culture. I don’t have the vaguest idea how to reach any of these people for Christ.”
That very evening Joy and I were having a discussion with our tour director, Mark N., and learned that he was a very committed evangelical Christian with a heart for evangelism. Besides his tour business, he has a personal ministry. I asked Mark if he had a website for the latter. He didn’t, but agreed that to have one would be a great help. When I offered to do a website for him without charge, he was thrilled. I have already started a “Good News for Cambodia” website to help reach many there with the gospel.
Fortunately, many of these people read English, so for a start this website will be in English. We will then do a site, “Good News for Vietnam,” and after this, “Good News for the Philippines,” as Mark also wants to reach these people with the gospel. Where translations are needed, Mark will organize this. He has been working as a tour guide for 18 years so has a reasonable understanding of the culture in these lands.
There is no doubt in my mind that this was a God thing! However, it will take a lot of work, not only to build the websites, but to promote and get them known throughout these countries. Thus, we will highly value your prayer and financial support for this expanded outreach to “peoples” who are desperately in need of the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another “God thing.” One night while staying over in Bangkok on our way home, Joy and I went for a long walk to sightsee the city. We got lost! We were really scared, and were praying like crazy for God to help. We stopped every policeman we saw, but couldn’t make ourselves understood. We talked to fellows who drive those motorcycle driven carriages (took-tooks). They couldn’t help either.
While we were trying to communicate to a couple of these carriage drivers, a younger lady, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, asked us in perfect English if we needed help. We had no idea where she came from, but she told us exactly how to get back to our hotel. If she weren’t an angel in disguise, she certainly was an answer to our prayers. It was a great relief to get back to our hotel.
While it is easy to understand the need for reaching people for Christ in Vietnam and Cambodia, there is also an ever-increasing need to reach people for Christ everywhere—including here in the USA where there is growing opposition to everything that is Christian.
Some years ago Communist Joseph Stalin stated the following: "America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: Its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
Stalin’s statement has proven to be prophetic, as America today is very definitely in decline in patriotism, morality, and in spiritual life. We desperately need a Great Spiritual Awakening—not only here, but also around the world—with an urgent need as ever to reach as many people as possible with the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the ONLY hope for our sin-sick world.
ACTS has been totally committed to this task for the past 45 years, and we continue to do everything we possibly can to reach as many people for Jesus Christ as we possibly can.
While 2013 has been another encouraging year of blessing, we can’t let up. Daily, Weekend, and Prayer Encounters, combined have 384,958+ worldwide subscribers—373,019 of these are Daily Encounter subscribers who receive a daily inspirational message via e-Mail every weekday of the year. By year’s end we will have sent out more than 96 million Daily Encounters this year alone! Who could have ever imagined this possibility happening even a few short years ago?
But as I’ve said before, “If you build it, they will come” may work in Hollywood movies, but not in getting visitors to come to gospel websites. I heard an American evangelist (when I was a teen growing up in Australia) say, “He who whispers down a well about the things he has to sell doesn’t get as many dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers!”
How true that principle is. To reach people worldwide and “have them visit” our gospel websites and subscribe to Daily Encounter takes ceaseless advertising—something we budget for every day of the year. As a result we are communicating the gospel to mega thousands of people worldwide 24-7-365!
According to a reliable source, “every single day more than two million people around the world search the Internet for spiritual hope, meaning and purpose.” What an incredible opportunity for today’s Church to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission!
But how are so many of today’s churches measuring success? According to the highly respected Barna Research Group: “The research shows that when pastors evaluate the success of their church, they measure attendance, dollars raised, number of staff, number of programs and square footage.… The only problem is that Jesus did not die a horrible and unjust death on the cross to fill sanctuaries, generate cash, populate programs, hire religious professionals, or build out campuses.”
In ACTS, it’s not the number of subscribers we are excited about. The major reason for building the subscriber list is because Daily Encounter is our most productive means of gospel outreach. This is why we advertise via the secular media—so we can reach and win many lost to Jesus.
To date this year we have received 1,707 salvation and re-commitment to Jesus Christ responses from 78 countries. They have come from Afghanistan to Argentina … Bahrain to Brazil … Cambodia to Cuba … Germany to Guatemala … Iran and Iraq to Italy … Jamaica to Jordan … Netherlands to New Zealand … United Arab Emirates to U.S.A. … Venezuela to Vietnam … Zambia to Zimbabwe!
Since ACTS went online in 1998, we have received 40,932 decision responses for Christ from 165 countries! Furthermore, on average, every month people from 194 countries and territories visit the ACTS gospel websites.
The words of the late great missionary statesman, Oswald J. Smith of Canada, reminds us that: “The supreme task of the church is the evangelization of the world,” which is in direct harmony with Jesus Christ’s last command/commission to His followers: “You are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone everywhere,” He said. In other words, “The last commandment of Jesus should be every Christian’s first priority!”
The fact is that people without Christ are lost—without hope for all eternity. So let us work together to see as many people won to Jesus Christ as possible. To this task ACTS is totally committed. To continue reaching people for Christ, however, we need your continued prayer and financial support. This is a critical need.
PLEASE HELP US FINISH 2013 WELL! Unfortunately, we have lost a considerable amount of support again this year owing to the state of the U.S. economy. Consequently, we are three months behind in salaries. This, with unpaid bills we need $44,000 to finish this year with all expenses paid, and be able to continue in the New Year out of debt! We also need many new monthly subscribers who will donate just $10, $25, or more, per month to replace our many lost supporters to keep ACTS on the front line of gospel outreach.
In thanksgiving to God for His unspeakable gift to the world at Christmas 2,000 years ago, will you prayerfully consider giving a special sacrificial gift for the publishing of the gospel this month through ACTS International—a gift that will help make a difference for all eternity in the lives of thousands of people? As another has said, “Our greatest legacy will be those who live eternally in heaven because of our efforts.”
A special word of thanks for every donation—be it large or small—as every dollar is critical for keeping ACTS on the front line of worldwide gospel outreach. As you stand with us at this critical time, may God greatly bless and reward you in His own abundant way. May we please hear from you today?
Gratefully in Christ,
Dick and Joy Innes
*A listing of ACTS websites can be seen on line at www.actsweb.org/acts_websites.php.
P.S. Donations can be sent on the ACTS secure donor site at: https://actscom.com/donate.php. Or donations can be sent via the mail/post to ACTS International at the address below.
NOTE: ACTS International is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.
U.S. donations are tax-deductible.
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