FOR the past eight years we have operated a service in this city known as Dial-a- Prayer. During these years 2,750,000 calls have been made. This service offers to the caller a short prayer that seeks to draw him closer to the heart of Christ. Occasionally at the end of the message we extend the thought that if the caller would like to have a Bible or a book that would help him get better acquainted with the Master, we will be happy to respond to the request and help him know the truth through the great medium of God's Word. In viewing the success of this program, we decided to begin a program of telephone evangelism. In this way we could present the basic truths of God's Word through a medium that had already, to some extent, prepared the way. The result: ENTHUSIASM! Telephone evangelism has been widely accepted in Sydney, the largest city in Australia—the land down under. In May, 1969, we began our first week of ministry by telephone to the populace of this great city.
While planning for this program, we considered carefully what we might use for a name and decided upon Good News. Our thinking was that perhaps Good News would identify the message of truth as distinct from the common news of the day. However, the postmaster general's department suggested that we incorporate the word Gospel into the name, thus leaving no doubt as to the real message we wanted to present. This we did, and the result was that our program became known as the Gospel Good News.
What an effective means of communicating the gospel of Christ this has proved to be! By telephone we tell everybody—this is our job. The infant service, telephone evangelism, grew so quickly that the post master general asked us to install more ma chines. We now have three operating morning, noon, and night. The messages are changed daily, and several special offers such as a free gift Bible and Bible guides are made to the public.
Each call is handled in the following manner: A message is spoken for two minutes and twenty seconds, followed by an invitation for the caller to make a request for our Bible guides. To date, 82,299 persons have called our telephone community service, and some 2,500 persons have made request for our Bible guides.
Recently our hearts rejoiced as we witnessed the results and saw actual fruitage for our efforts. Four precious souls were baptized who had accepted the truth through direct contact with telephone evangelism.
Our ministers and evangelists in this city have been delighted to visit those first contacted through this program. Now as we venture further into the second year of Gospel Good News we are thrilled to see good progress. Although financially we have been unable to do expanded advertising through the avenues of newspaper and radio, we do have what we call a "daily clientele." The service has been so popular that if we did advertise we would soon have a blockage in our communication net work; the lines would overload and break.
One interesting fact that has become more and more evident is that when we present the controversial subjects such as the Sabbath, the state of the dead, and other distinctive topics of this nature, we receive an increase in the number of requests for the literature we offer.
Let us rejoice that the third angel's mes- , sage is being heard and understood in these days of turmoil and distress. Surely all should sow the seed of God's marvelous truth by every possible method and pray as did the apostle John, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."