Colombia (MNN) — Colombia, South America, was the where Book of Hope International celebrated the distribution of their 500 millionth copy of the Book of Hope. While that's an incredible milestone, Book of Hope's Richard Luna says this has given the ministry a reason to look ahead for the future of ministry there.
Book of Hope's Richard Luna says, "I think that's just an amazing thing that God has done. 500 million children is just a stepping stone for what we have yet to do and what is yet before us."
To help plan for that, Book of Hope has established keys to effective ministry. Luna says, "It's got to be personal and relevant, integrated to the local church, dynamic in its presentation and efficient in terms of not duplicating efforts. And even the fact that we can tell you what school or what church that child was reached in."
Luna says that research is just a part of what they're using to evaluate how to move forward and move from a distribution ministry to a transformation ministry.
Luna says they're using research and networking to accomplish that, and the national church is intimately involved. He says a survey recently indicated some interesting data. "80 to 90 percent of the youth have a high view of God and the Bible. They want to know Him more. At the same time, we found out one out of every four kids in Colombia thought of suicide in the last three months."
That research and other indicators is helping the local church reach out to the felt needs of their communities. Luna says it's also mobilized a Colombia youth network to reach out. "Their goal in the next years is to reach five-million youth. And this year they're starting with 500,000 youth and children to reach out with The Godman movie, for instance. Next year, they've committed to reaching 800,000 people in the rural areas."
Luna says Book of Hope is just a part of the overall strategy Colombian Christians are using to reach their country for Christ.
He's asking people to pray that God will transform communities. As people come to Christ, pray that their lives will change and they in turn will begin sharing their faith and multiplying themselves so the Gospel spreads even further.