(Photo: Liberty University)
Liberty University was able to spread the gospel to 2.4 million people from the '10/40 window,' known as the area that lies 10 and 40 degrees north of the world's equator, through their partnership with Global Media Outreach (GMO), an evangelistic outreach ministry.
Michelle Diedrich, chief marketing officer for GMO said the initiative to spread the gospel online also gave students the ability to become online missionaries as they were able to respond to the new believers while following up with them after making the decision to commit their lives to Christ.
"Liberty's sponsorship was originally intended to reach at least a million people in one day with the gospel but because of the growing cost effectiveness of online missions, we were actually able to hit a high of 2.4 million gospel presentations in one day, a one day milestone for both GMO and Liberty," Diedrich said.
The effort to reach individuals in Northern Africa and Asia was part of Global Focus Week which took place in mid-September, an annual tradition that the university holds for students to learn about missions while given the opportunity to discover their part in God's plan to reach the world. During the week, students were able to attend convocations on campus to hear notable speakers such as John Piper, Naghmeh Abedini and Bob Creson deliver messages on similar topics, while over 50 relative events took place on campus.
The partnership outreach effort alone prompted 500,000 individuals to register their decision to receive Christ.
"I have not prayed to receive Christ and I would like to investigate more," wrote a person from India on one of the websites. Another individual from Kuwait wrote, "How can I avoid sins from my life? (sins are repeating in my life). Please tell some activity to do the same (sic)."
GMO's vision is to give everyone on earth multiple opportunities to know God by 2020. The ministry's goal is to reach as many people as they can through the use technology in many languages.
"The 10/40 window is a particular focus for GMO because about 2/3 of the world's population lives there, but it is one of the lowest reached areas with the gospel often due to governmental restrictions, lack of access and economic challenges," Diedrich said. "We now have a unique opportunity to reach people in the 10/40 window, despite the challenges, because of the growth in the use of mobile devices and the low cost to share the gospel through mobile devices," Diedrich said.
Johnnie Moore, vice president of communications for the Lynchburg, Va.- based university, shared the same sentiment while adding that there has never been an easier time than now to spread the gospel due to the internet.
"Liberty's founder coined a methodology he called 'saturation evangelism' in the 1950's, and it was defined as 'using every available means to reach every available person at every available time,'" Moore said. "It made perfect sense that the two organizations known for their online innovation, Liberty University in education and GMO in evangelism, to collaborate on reaching the world online."
"Liberty University and a few friends bought advertising online directing digital seekers in the 10/40 window to Global Media Outreach's websites that presented the gospel in various languages and provided an opportunity for response," Moore explained.