Joanne Nemmers from Atonement in Plano, TX writes about their special Skype connection –

Or better yet:  “Can you see me now?”  Using a free piece of software called Skype and a few inexpensive computer accessories, talking to a world missionary face-to-face and real-time became a reality for Atonement in Plano, Texas recently.

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We support the work in East Asia through prayers and special offerings.  After becoming familiar with Skype and what it can do, we decided it would be a wonderful way to bring our East Asia mission closer to the members of Atonement.

The set-up required high-speed Internet, a microphone, and a web cam on both ends.  With this as well as some advance communication and scheduling, the video conversation became as simple as the click of a mouse.

We presented information about the mission as well as items from East Asia during Bible Class the Sunday prior to the conference.  We also gave members an opportunity to submit questions for the following week.  On the day of the video conference we served East Asian snacks for Bible Class:  Boba “bubble” tea, which is like a fruit slush with large black pearl tapioca balls in the bottom of the glass, and Sun Cakes, a flour and butter pastry with a sweet syrup filling).

We met at 9am Texas time, which is 10 pm East Asia time.  Our moderator wore a headset microphone and asked the questions submitted the previous week, as well as those that came in from the floor as the talk progressed.

We learned how the number of workers in East Asia has dropped from five to one in recent years.  Despite cuts, we learned how mission work there continues – how two East Asian men are currently training in Mequon with hopes that they will return to serve the church in East Asia.  We learned about some of the obstacles to mission work in East Asia.  We learned about Buddhism, Taoism, and especially ancestor worship.  But we also learned that the East Asian people are very kind, open and willing to discuss Christianity.  We learned that even young, blond-haired American children can open doors for witnessing to the East Asian people.  We learned they use the same witnessing tools in East Asia that you can use here – befriending people who need to hear about Jesus and spending time with them to build bridges for evangelism.

When we asked how we could help to further the work in East Asia, we were asked to continue to pray for the members and workers there as well as the huge numbers of people yet to be reached in their mission field.  But most of all, we can get involved in sharing Christ right here in Plano, Texas because a broader mission mindset here in Plano and in each church throughout the states can only lead to increased blessings and prayers for the servants of Christ in East Asia and throughout the world.

We encourage you to get more closely connected to a world missionary because, thanks to Skype, they can hear you and see you now—for free.