Leading up to Christmas 2019, we worked with a number of local churches and successfully launched 16 Finding the Hope outreaches that touched 42 communities in three provinces. Altogether, 30 local congregations were involved. Eight of these outreaches were portions of cities, with the other eight reaching whole towns and cities.
The evangelistic packets that went to homes contained the Finding the Hope gospel booklet, response opportunities and unique invitations to special seasonal events.
People responded to the seed sown home by home in a variety of ways. Some mailed in requests for follow up and many visits were made to the Finding the Hope website. Pastors report that hundreds of non-church attenders came to events and church services.
It is wonderful to see what happens when much prayer and attentive cultivation accompany a gospel message placed in the homes of people. The reports received so far indicate that, in some churches, visitors caused the Sunday church attendance to spike by as much as 50% to even 100%. The message of hope and invitation truly impacted people.
Testimonies from pastors
A pastor in Beaverton, ON shared: “Our Christmas Eve service had approximately 20% first time visitors. Our members are excited to see new people coming and becoming part of the congregation.”
Another pastor from Beaverton wrote: “When I first began speaking to my leadership at Beacan Presbyterian church, I thought, maybe we can reach out to 100 homes or maybe at best 200. I never imagined over 8000. I never imagined either that so many churches would partner with us in this work. In addition, I didn’t imagine the amount of prayer strength we would receive and help from you folks at EHC. Everyone involved in this effort has encouraged my faith and gives me this quiet assurance that God desires to do something that is way bigger than us. Let me close by saying thank you for coming along side us and helping us to do so much more. In addition, let me also say thank you to every pastor and congregation for working with our churches to reach a community for the LORD! It is His work and He can do it. Thank you and we wait prayerfully in anticipation!”
Another pastor said: “75% of the people who came to our special event were new to the church.”
Pastor Justin in Winnipeg, MB leads a multi-ethnic congregation in a neighbourhood of the city. This is what he shared with us: “Many visitors were grateful to experience not only good food and friendship at Christmas, but also to hear what the Christian message is all about. We had several positive conversations that resulted in repeat visits at worship services. One man from China wants to study the Bible, and we are organizing a class for this. Several church members appreciated the FTH booklet and took extra copies to give to unchurched family members. One church member has been ministering to his cousin who is battling terminal cancer and gave him the booklet. That man and his wife have been attending services ever since and comment on how much they enjoy participating in church for the first time. A participant in our weekday English classes, who is from Iran, attended our Christmas Eve service and prayed the prayer of salvation as outlined in the FTH booklet.”
As I look over these reports and testimonies I can’t help but ask myself, where would those precious people be if no one had cast out a net?