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Mission Network News sets sights on future

By February 2, 2012

USA (MNN) — For more than 20 years, Mission Network News has been doing something no other organization is doing. The ministry is producing news and information — but in a way that is unique. The news and information they're producing is about evangelism around the world. Because of a matching grant, MNN is poised to share this information to even more people worldwide, but they need you to help them.

When MNN was founded in 1991, it was primarily a radio program about missionaries. Broadcasting on about 250 stations in the United States, MNN began airing mission news featuring news about dozens of missions agencies. In 1995, MNN started focusing on news around the world and how current events were impacting missions work. MNN quickly grew to more than 1,000 radio outlets. Then, in 1996, MNN started its first Web site. That opened the door for inspiring Christians to join God's service literally around the world.

Today, their Web site is the distribution point for radio stations in more than 30 countries. The Web site is translated into Spanish so Christians who speak that language can also understand how they can pray more effectively, give more intelligently, or go more confidently. MNNonline.org is also helping link the next generation of Christians to needs around the world through social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter.

However, their current Web site is nearly six years old. "It's hard to believe it's been that long," says Greg Yoder, the anchor and executive director of Mission Network News. "That Web, which was state-of-the-art then, has served us well. But now it's limiting what we can do for the cause of Christ," Yoder adds.

That's why they're raising $15,000 to help build a new Web site. A generous donor is providing a $7,500 matching grant to encourage people to help with this project. "If people give their best gift, this friend will match it dollar-for-dollar. Isn't that great?" Yoder asks with a laugh.

MNN's Web site is visited by Christians in more than 160 countries. It's designed to distribute radio feeds to radio stations internationally, deliver daily/weekly e-mail updates to almost 10,000 people world-wide in English and Spanish, recruit Christians to go on short-term mission trips, and call Christians to pray. Each day the ministry is reaching more than 2.5 million people. However, MNN is currently being limited by what they can do, especially on their Web site.

According to Yoder, "Our current Web site is designed to release four or five stories a day. That's it. To force it to do any more requires a redesign, and more importantly — reprogramming. We'd like to be able to release news as it happens, but our current site isn't designed that way. It's designed to imitate our radio broadcast." While Yoder says that was good in 2006, it's not good for 2012 where people want compelling information about God's work now — when it happens.

According to Yoder, $15,000 is a lot of money, but "we're not just talking about changing the 'pretty pictures' on the home page," says Yoder. "We're talking about reprogramming the entire backbone of the Web site which will allow nearly automatic Web site publishing, create iPhone, Android and other smart phone apps, allow easy creation of custom Web site pages, allow for more interaction with our Fan/Friend pages on Facebook and much, much, more."

For Mission Network News, the goal isn't to grow just to grow. "The goal is to encourage as many Christians as possible to understand that God has called them to do something for Him– especially young people," says Yoder. "We know Christians want to do something for Christ, but they may not know where to begin. That's the role of MNN."

If you'd like to help fund this new Web site redesign, go to MissionNetworkNews.org/donate/special. When you give, you'll receive a Mission Network News mouse pad, specially designed for people who are on the go.

Watch a video from MNN's Greg Yoder by clicking here.

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