The Story of Hope Zoom Meeting Sees Great Results in Bogota
Dan & Jennifer Mee have long been using The Story of Hope as a key part of their church planting efforts in Bogota, Colombia, with great effectiveness and results. When Covid hit, as was the case in much of the world, the country went into lockdown. Churches could no longer meet, and bible studies were interrupted. As the world resorted to virtual communication, Dan also got creative and visionary. He publicized and invited anyone interested in studying the Bible to participate in a weekly Zoom meeting beginning the first Thursday of May. The response was beyond his expectations.
The first few weeks they had over 40 connections, representing close to 70 individuals, many of them unsaved and studying the Bible for the first time. Dan was able to use technology to share the pages of The Story of Hope and lead them through a study of God’s redemptive plan through Scripture. By the end of the study, a little over half of those participating had not followed through, but the smaller number allowed for a more effective study as everyone was able to interact better. Dan said they saw the importance of engaging people early. Those who did not answer questions or talk were much less likely to stay than those who did. The outcome of the study was, again, beyond what they had anticipated.
At the end of the study, they gave a time for testimonies and feedback. A good number shared that they had not really understood Scripture and the gospel clearly before. Several seem to have made faith responses, passing from spiritual death to spiritual life. Some of these, two couples and three singles, began attending the church’s online services during the study and have faithfully continued to do so until the present time. All of this has really excited the church. This online outreach has produced some of the best connections with people and eventual fruit that the church has ever seen and has inspired them to do more. Another Zoom study began on October 1st. The church has set up a prayer chain, in which church members are praying for ten minutes at a time, during the study, that those participating might understand and embrace the message they are hearing.
Another development that has come out of all of this is a potential strategy for starting their next church plant. The goal is to gather all their contacts from their target area and invite them to an online study of The Story of Hope beginning in January. Then they would connect them to their existing churches through their virtual meetings. Once the churches go back to meeting in person, the government has already advised that they will be limiting the number of people who can get together. Dan and the other church leaders would then communicate the need to start another congregation, and since all of these people would be from the same neighborhood, they would encourage them to join together for this purpose.
The Mees are overjoyed by what God is doing in the lives of people in Bogota even through the Covid crisis. Pray that God would continue to draw many more to Himself through this online Bible studies.