The following story by The Associated Press was published in various newspapers on February 3, 2010. Elaine A. Heath, the McCreless Assistant Professor of Evangelism in SMU's Perkins School of Theology, provided expertise for this story.
February 5, 2010
By LINDA STEWART BALL
Associated Press Writer
DALLAS — The largest state Baptist group in the nation wants Christ's message of hope heard in every home in Texas - about 9 million of them - by Easter.
That's a challenge in a state as big and diverse as Texas, where more than a third of households speak a language other than English. Besides Spanish, Hindi, Tagalog and Chinese are increasingly heard.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas is promoting a multilingual, multimedia CD that allows folks to listen to key biblical passages in their native language.
It's part of a three-pronged campaign dubbed Texas Hope 2010 to convey what "we really believe; that there's hope in Christ," said Randel Everett, the Baptist group's executive director. . .
"CDs are just an upgrade of communication methodology instead of giving them a tract or booklet," said Elaine Heath, assistant professor of Evangelism at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology.
Because the U.S. and many Texas cities are now so global, Heath said local Christians must think and act more like missionaries who are going into a different culture. The CD is a good start, but relationships are still the key.
"When people ask the big questions in life, when they're hurting and in trouble," Heath said, "they need a friend who will put an arm around them and say 'How can I help you when you're struggling?' and an 800 number is not going to do that."
Read the full story.
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