"At the Global Media Outreach website, you will see a world map that pinpoints in real time the responses of people around the world who are visiting one of the evangelistic websites set up by Global Media Outreach. You may watch as a visitor in Libya comes to one of the sites and begins to read a gospel message. If this visitor prays to receive Christ, the color of the pinpoint changes from blue to yellow. If the person asks for follow up, the color immediately changes to red. (What a tool for intercessors to use for prayer!) Of the average of 150,000 visitors that come to a GMO related website every day, 25,000 pray to receive Christ, and 5,000 ask for follow up.
"A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ called Map Factory. Led by mission strategist Christopher Deckert, the vision of Map Factory is to equip every ministry in the world with the ability to dynamically map the vision God has given them and the progress in seeing it fulfilled. High-end, commercial map servers can cost as much as $50,000 to deploy, plus the ongoing costs of programming and maintenance.
"Map Factory is raising the funds to provide this service to the missions community at a relatively low cost and recruiting computer volunteers to meet this need. (We would encourage our Mission Frontiers readers, who are interested in helping, to contact Campus Crusade’s Map Factory division and inquire how you may be able to contribute to this important new initiative. Chris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Secular startup companies are currently attempting to provide location-based services to local and city governments to track crime, graphitti, road hazards, and weather related issues. Non-Government Organizations are utilizing simple, real-time mapping software to track disaster response, such as in the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. At a moment’s notice, on the ground responders are sharing, through their cell phones, the locations of needs and the type of assistance required. Software then presents a composite of those needs on a map to enable better coordination. Now picture the Church rallying together after the recent tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri using collaborative tools such as this. Or imagine a city that works together to plant churches and initiate outreaches in areas where crime databases tell us there is the greatest need.
"Today we have the opportunity to capture the big picture, as well as zoom in on the details of the unfinished task before us."
(for more, see David Taylor, Mapping the Unfinished Task, Mission Frontiers, November-December 2011)
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