International (MNN) — Electronic communication has changed
a lot in the last quarter century. From radio to television to the Internet,
the world's boundaries grew exponentially.
popularity and rise in usage of instant messaging programs, e-mail, and chat
rooms came the emergence of a concept that fit the immediacy and compactness of
these new communication media.
For most of the free world, these forms of communications
offer identity beyond the borders. But,
in closed access countries, what was once radio's world has shifted and these
same forms of communications may offer a degree of anonymity, and with that,
Short message services (SMS or text) are developing very
rapidly throughout the world. In 2000, just 17 billion SMS messages were sent;
in 2001, the number was up to 250 billion, and that doubled in 2004.
Many ministries utilize the service for mobile access to
devotionals or daily programs. For
others though, it's a way of underscoring the point of radio.
Words of Hope's Lee DeYoung they're now using text messaging
to share the hope of the Gospel. "Text messaging is often much less
expensive than regular voice calls so we think this a wave that's going to
increase in the future. We're trying to set up the facilities so that people
can call a place where there's not going to be suspicion and where the call
can't be easily traced to us or to our partners in various parts of the
DeYoung notes other ministry possibilities. "We have
set up some computer-based things that enable us to do this more efficiently.
We are seeing some instances now where people are also calling in, or writing
in, I should say, questions for a radio programs, things to pose to the
host. We think this has potential for
live call-in programs as well."
Pray for the team as this arm of their ministry grows.