of The Exchange
An Evaluation of the SMCI e-Campaign 2011
Some have asked if the amazing work of God through the E-Campaign this year is a revival. Over a quarter of a million people heard the Gospel and thousands responded in only six short weeks. Whereas the work that God did in the Philippines was miraculous and glorious, it wasn't revival. It was the normal work of the Gospel done in dependence on the Holy Spirit of God. Our leader, Evangelist Mike Redick, challenged us at the beginning of the campaign with what it takes to capture a city for God. It takes faith, obedience, and courage. We decided to add a 4th point to his message - HARD WORK!
Granted, the Philippines is an unusual place and is uniquely and I believe strategically prepared by God for evangelism. There is a nearly universal belief that sin condemns, that the Bible is the Word of God, and that Jesus is God's Son. In addition, there is an openness in the culture to religious expression and specifically a desire to have a close relationship with God. This makes the Philippines a ripe and fertile ground for a clear, compelling presentation of the Gospel. But there are plenty of fundamental churches in the Philippines that, like their American counterparts, are doing little to reach the lost and are not seeing the rich blessing of the Lord that the SMCI E-Campaign experienced.
The difference is the willingness of the "SMCIans" to step out on faith, obey God and boldly proclaim the Gospel. Several times in Scripture the Gospel is likened to seed. It is powerful and produces life everywhere it is preached. The difference is there was a plan, and an all out effort to carry out that plan by the workers of Student Movement for Christ International. I praise the Lord for every one of the over 140 workers from 5 different countries that assembled there, but I praise the Lord especially for the 70+ full and part time SMCI workers on the ground in the Philippines. They worked tirelessly over the last several months to secure the permissions from individual administrators all over the Visayas. The vision to preach the Gospel to over 1,000,000 people over the next 5 years is not just a dream cast by Mike Redick. It is a burden God has placed on the hearts of the leadership and being carried out by the hard work of the SMCI staff.
Daily in classrooms and gymnasiums we saw the supernatural, normal work of God making a way for His word to penetrate the hearts of needy souls. I can remember many days wondering if my voice and my body would last more than one classroom, let alone the 7-9 I knew were waiting for me that day. But the grace of the Lord is powerful. His strength really is made perfect in our weakness! Many days I felt stronger at the end of the day than I did at the beginning. While the E-Campaign is an extraordinary effort, God will bless our everyday ordinary efforts with the same enabling grace. Frankly, the problem is that many of us are not giving the Gospel a chance.
The prayers recorded by the early church in the New Testament rarely ask God to work in the hearts of the lost they were trying to reach, God's sovereign work of drawing men to Himself seems to have been assumed. Their prayers were for boldness on their part. The need of our day is more confidence in the ever-present power of the Gospel, and more faith inspired obedience to Great Commission Living. Praise the Lord for the faith, obedience, courage, and hard work of Student Movement for Christ. May it inspire us to step out in the same way!