Esperanza.Net - Hope for the Hurting
What do you think of when you hear the word
“hope”? Is it something we wish for...something that seems
impossible or just out of reach? Webster’s dictionary
defines it “trust; reliance”. God’s word simply says
this “For in this hope, we were saved.”
Brian Utter, from the South America Region Communications Center, has set up a web site based on that simple scripture. Hope. When it seems like there’s no where left to turn, people can find hope.
Esperanza.net (hope.net) was created to draw an audience that may be intimidated by a web site specifically attached to the Nazarene church. Many who are lost and hurting are not interested in what one church has to say, but are interested in a place that they may find help. In a world of chaos and sinful ways, there is comfort in the search for hope.
Esperanza.net has been receiving an average of 40 contacts per month. But within the first 9 days of February 2004, Brian had already received 21 contacts from the web site. Anyone who logs onto the web site has the option of requesting a Hope Packet. Each Hope Packet contains the Book of Luke, Two Questions Pamphlet with the Plan of Salvation, Articles of Faith for the Church of the Nazarene, and a pencil that says “Jesus Loves You.” Usually 20 packets are requested monthly.
The web site is most often visited after the region’s radio programs have aired. As of February 18, the programs have aired on stations that have the potential to reach 6.1 million listeners and Brian is hopeful that they will be able to reach 10 million by the end of the month. Listeners respond by visiting the web site when they relate to the topic being aired. Radio programming is produced at the South America Regional Communications Center in Argentina. Whether it’s a program such as “Life Revolution” which targets teens, “What’s Next” for single adults or “The Valued Woman” targeting married women with children, the region’s World Mission Broadcast radio programs are heard throughout South America.
To get information on what topics needed to be addressed, questionnaires were handed out at youth events to teens and young adults. The radio production staff met with groups of women to find out what they deal with in everyday life. Many issues deal with controversial subject matters such as abortion, homosexuality and domestic violence. When E-mails come in to Esperanza.net counselors create an on-going dialog via E-mail with that person.
There are now over 300 stations in Latin America airing these programs, and the first requests for programs are just now coming from Spain. These broadcasts are directing many hurting souls to find hope. Because of World Mission Broadcast’s South America radio programming, and the creation of a simple web site, many are realizing the opportunity to find hope and salvation in Christ.
--World Mission Communications
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