Gas prices are at an all-time low. Schools, sporting events, concerts, graduations, and weddings are all cancelled or postponed. Church services have moved from meeting in-person to virtual live-streaming. Only essential businesses remain open, sending unemployment rates skyrocketing.
Everywhere you look, faces are covered in masks, and hands in gloves. Things have changed so drastically that it is hard to remember what normal felt like. Life as we know it shifted overnight. The world is at home and online.
Anxiety gives rise to addiction
Due to the escalation of the pandemic, there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty, causing a rise in sleeplessness, addiction, and self-medication. People are panicked, afraid and full of anxiety. As the days at home in isolation grow, so does the need for true hope. Vacillating facts and news briefs shroud each day in heaviness.
While we have seen the virus spread throughout the entire world, so has the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Over the past few weeks, Global Media Outreach has experienced huge increases in the number of people visiting our sites—jumping from 350,000 Gospel visits to more than 500,000 per day. On a daily average, more than 500,000 people are hearing Gospel presentations. Of those, more than 60,000 have indicated a decision to trust Christ.
People are searching for answers
We know that in times of crisis, people turn to the Lord. They want hope, answers and encouragement about life after death. Right now, God is using Global Media Outreach to bring people to Him. In addition to the many making decisions for Christ, more than 6,000 new contacts are being made each day. Never before has there been such an opportunity for digital evangelism. As people are stuck at home, many alone, they are searching for how to handle their fears, and they will find something. We want them to find Jesus.
Pivoting to Reach the Hurting
Since our founding in 2004, we have reached several critical milestones. Together we have presented the Gospel over 1.9 billion times and over 200 million have indicated decisions for Christ! Our 2,900+ Online Missionaries have ministered to people around the world with the Good News of the Gospel—connecting them to churches, devotionals and Bibles. We rejoice over each decision for Christ, grateful for all that God is doing.
As we entered the month of February, we had our sights set on celebrating our upcoming two billionth Gospel visit. However, none of us could have anticipated what would happen in the following weeks. While we were preparing to reach even more people with the Gospel, COVID-19 was beginning to make its way across the world.
As the virus began shutting down communities, churches, and workplaces, families were forced to shelter-in-place. This new normal and isolation caused an already tenuous time to become even more stressful. People began searching for help and hope. We knew we needed to pivot to reach those we serve. So, we began focusing on COVID-19 outreach to meet current needs. Fear, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation seemed to be the prominent areas of struggle.
While this virus is unlike anything we have ever experienced, we know that it did not catch God off guard. He had gone before us, paving the way and preparing us for the influx of calls, and needs. His provision, protection, and peace have brought many to the life-saving hope of the Gospel. And though we know it grieves Him to see so many suffering; He is using it for good. He is drawing people to Himself and they are finding the one true source of hope, peace, and eternal freedom.