300 million. That's how many people Every Home for Christ (EHC) presented the gospel to last year, according to the ministry's most recent stats. The Colorado-based ministry has a simple strategy: Missionaries have gone door to door in more than 200 of the world's least-evangelized nations, distributing booklets that present the gospel in the local language or pictures.
But the responses have skyrocketed in the last decade, with the number of homes reached growing from 18 million in 2000 to 66 million in 2009. Last year, 12 million people indicated that they made a decision for Christ or wanted to learn how to do so, and 18,000 "Christ Groups," or house churches, were formed to disciple those believers.
Dick Eastman, president of the 58-year-old ministry, attributes the growth to increased financial support that has allowed EHC to train more indigenous missionaries. But he says prayer has been the foundation, pointing to the Praying Through the Window campaign that targets the 10/40 Window for intercession and evangelism.
Eastman has a goal of reaching 500 million homes in the next decade, seeing 100 million people respond to the gospel and planting 100,000 Christ Groups. He believes the goal is attainable, considering the ministry's recent success, but he expects the mission field to grow tougher.
"As you get farther and farther along, it gets harder and harder," he says. "Generally you reach the easiest-to-reach places first, then you move into the very hard." Still, he's optimistic about the future. He says EHC's progress is proof that the New Testament model of door-to-door evangelism is "back in fashion."
"I'm incredibly encouraged to realize that a strategy can be so simple," he says. "Sure, we have incredible technology today, unbelievable advantages the early church didn't have, but I personally believe the same way the Great Commission began is ultimately the way it's going to end. Because the people in the most remote villages won't have a computer or even a cell phone, and if you're going to reach them you've got to go where they are."
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