Every Sunday our team (one of several) held two beach meetings for kids every Sunday afternoon—all year long. With music and flip chart sketches we always had lots of kids sitting in the sand around us. On Sunday nights the various teams met to hold a down-town street meeting for adults. Back then Australia didn’t have TV so there were always crowds in town on Sunday nights looking for something to do, so we always had a “goodly” crowd at our open air meetings. Many of Jesus’s meetings were also open air gatherings.
At the OAC reunion in Sydney it was very interesting to hear reports of how many former “OAC-ers” were involved in ongoing outreach ministries. I also had the opportunity to share the ministry of ACTS. Following is some of the information I had the opportunity to present.
After attending college in the U.S. I returned to Australia in 1968 as the South Australian Director of Youth for Christ. At that time we were involved in special meetings with Oswald J. Smith, the missionary statesman from Canada. The night O. J. Smith preached on the power of the printed page, I felt greatly challenged re getting involved in literature.
Shortly after Smith’s visit Bill Bright and a team from Campus Crusade visited Adelaide and we were able to sponsor an intensive weekend of meetings with Bill Bright. This time I was challenged re direct mail evangelism realizing this would be about the only way to reach every family scattered throughout Australia’s vast Outback with the gospel. As all Australian adults have to register to vote, their names and addresses are listed in electoral rolls, copies of which were available. We purchased copies for all of Outback Australia. We then moved from YFC and founded ACTS so we could reach every one of these families via direct mail evangelism.
At that time Australia’s Outback had a population of 1,733,000. In the next ten years we mailed a direct mail evangelism kit to almost every one of these families. Each kit contained a personalized letter, a copy of our booklet, How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian, a response/decision form, and a reply envelope. As best I can recall, some 18,000 people responded, noting that they had either accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, made a re-commitment of their life to Christ, or requested further help and counseling. All respondents were followed up with literature that encouraged them to become involved in a local evangelistic church (wherever possible), to be baptized, and to develop a consistent devotional life.
When postage costs soared, we changed strategies to use the ACTS Encounter gospel brochures in conjunction with local Christian churches who distributed these brochures to mega thousands of families throughout Australia—in the cities as well as rural areas.
Since those early beginnings 43,000,000 Encounter gospel brochures have been distributed in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. by several thousand churches, some individuals, some prison chaplains, and quite a few U.S. military chaplains. During Operation Desert Storm the U.S. Chaplain’s office ordered 200,000 Encounter outreach brochures in one shipment.
In 1998 as the Internet began to develop ACTS literature sales diminished rapidly, so we changed strategies again to the Internet and e-Mail.
In our U.S. office ACTS has *several websites, 392,059 Daily Encounter (ACTS weekday devotional) subscribers, plus subscribers to Weekend Encounter, Prayer Encounter, and People Power for Jesus Partners, making a total of 407,095 worldwide subscribers. In addition, every month we are receiving an average of 40,000 visitors to ACTS websites from 194 countries and territories.
It took ACTS three decades to see 43 million gospel leaflets distributed. Today, we are sending out almost two million Daily Encounter e-Mails every week, totaling almost 100 million per year!
From the web and e-mail outreach ACTS has received 38,585 decision responses for Jesus Christ—either for salvation or a re-commitment to Jesus Christ from 162 countries that we know about.
We are tremendously grateful to God for the wonderful opportunity and privilege we have been given to be able to reach so many people worldwide—including people in Muslim countries—with the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press using movable type around 1450 revolutionized the publishing of the Bible. The invention of the Internet in our day has revolutionized mass communication worldwide. Thus, today, the gospel is speeding to the ends of the earth as never before! Could this be in fulfillment of the words of Jesus who assured us that when the gospel is preached in all the world, then would the end come; that is, He would come again?
This—with other signs—makes it appear that the setting of the stage for Christ’s return is accelerating. In the meantime, with God’s help and the support of God’s people, we plan to reach as many people as possible worldwide with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ—the only hope for our sin-sick world.
While the gospel is free, it does take a lot of work and funds to finance ACTS ministry so we can keep sending out the message of God’s Word and the gospel worldwide 7-24-365. So again this month, know that your prayer and financial support is greatly needed and appreciated. It is an investment in eternity as it is reaching mega thousands with the gospel and helping to win people to Jesus every day of the year from around the world.
As you stand with us may God richly bless and reward you in His own abundant way.
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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