The hospital informed June, a young single mother that her nine-year-old daughter, Melissa contracted a rare virus that affects the heart. Usual treatments would not be effective. Without a miracle her precious child could die within the next few days. Later that night, alone and feeling especially vulnerable, June gave in to her fears and began to sob uncontrollably. What would she do? Where would she go? The closest relatives were over 500 miles away and she had few friends.
Kathy, a nurse at the same hospital heard about June’s situation and after returning home, turned on her computer and went online. First she contacted her Facebook friends and asked for prayers. Within minutes a reply appeared suggesting that she take the request to a national prayer web site that would reach thousands. Over the next few hours, nearly a hundred emails offering prayer and support arrived. Kathy printed each one to bring back to the hospital.
John, a pastor in the same community was checking his email. One message was from the same web site asking prayers for Melissa. Noticing the nearby location, he sent a text message to his church prayer leader and asked her to contact other members of the church prayer chain. Then he slipped on his coat and rushed to the hospital to be with the little girl and her mother.
Sharon, a virile disease specialist stationed at a hospital in Venezuela also saw the prayer request for Melissa and had a hunch that she could help the little girl. She found the hospital website and sent the doctor a message: “A new drug released for testing may be helpful.” Within minutes they were both connected by Skype so she could visually demonstrate how to use the new drug.
Within two days, the treatment was beginning to work. Melissa was now in a regular room and was sleeping peacefully. Her mother, June was sitting nearby reading the stack of email notes offering support and prayer. Also in the room were John and several members of the church prayer chain. The atmosphere in her hospital room was electric with the healing spirit of God.
This amazing story demonstrates God’s power at work within a new medium called Cyberspace.
The business world has been mesmerized by the profit potential of the Internet, but few people realize how much the digital world is transforming the nature of the church and how we do ministry. Andrew Careaga, author of E-vangelism: Sharing the Gospel in Cyberspace writes: “On the ‘Net,’ any Christian with a home computer, a modem and access to one of many available online services can be a missionary to thousands of people without ever leaving home.”
Here are some common examples of Christian Cyberspace Ministry:
- A pastor is in regular contact with those in her church and those who have moved away through Facebook.
- One pastor regularly receives feedback and questions in the midst of his sermon through text messages.
- A Bible Study web site gives thousands a chance to understand God’s Word.
- A student beginning to explore her faith finds love and acceptance in a Christian chat room.
- Another website provides You Tube style messages with a Christian theme.
- Biblical devotions now reach thousands instantly and receive feedback, offer counseling and prayer support all over the world.
- A Single Adult started a Christian based Facebook ministry to meet new friends and explore ministry and mission opportunities.
In the early days of the church, the book of Acts reports: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.” (2:42)
Our mission has never changed. We still devote ourselves to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Now we have more tools to help us.
Can a Christian web site or Facebook page ever replace the intimacy of personal contact?
Maybe not but Christian Websites and Facebook pages do offer exciting opportunities for communication, prayer, teaching and fellowship that can ultimately lead to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Even today, we can be filled with awe at the many wonders and miraculous signs being done in the name of Christ.
Just ask a single mother named June about how God healed Melissa.