How many visits were made to the West-Ark congregation in December? I do not know the number of visits made to our building. Not all of our visitors fill out a card. In December many of us had family and friends visiting. Visits to our building? Maybe 300 for the month?

Thousands made 96,025 "visits" to West-Ark by visiting our Internet Web site (www.westarkchurchofchrist.org). People in at least 53 countries made "visits." Some "visited" several times. Many "visited" every week.

Sunday evening we shared and illustrated the types of information and study aids available to "visitors" to our Internet Web site. So much is available that (literally) a person cannot read it all in a week. Of those who "visited," fifteen enrolled for a Bible correspondence course by e-mail. A Wisconsin lady studying with one of our teachers completed the course. She visited a congregation near her, had a wonderful experience, is studying further, and plans to be baptized this weekend. Others, here and abroad, studying with our teachers have been baptized.

New material is placed on our Web site every week. Each Sunday's sermons are placed (in full text) on our Web site the following Monday. We want every possible person to know about the opportunities and information found at our Internet address (www.westarkchurchofchrist.org). Help us spread the news! Share the address!

E-mail is used to this congregation's advantage in many ways. When we are informed about a sickness, an emergency, or a need, that information is forwarded to every member with an e-mail address (100 plus households). John Fowler had a major heart attack Friday about 6:30 p.m. By 11 p.m. those with e-mail received the news and a statement about his current condition. They received further updates Saturday. Do you have urgent news the congregation needs to pray about? Contact Myra Flippo (the office) in the day, or Michael Cole in the evening.

When Meg and Jerry Canfield were imprisoned in Laos, e-mail was our information lifeline. As the plight of our Laotian brothers and sisters evolved, e-mail was our lifeline. As worldwide concern developed, e-mail was powerful. Information about the eight still imprisoned is available and updated.

Our Web site does something that no Christian can do: provide information 24 hours a day. Will it replace a teacher? Never. Will it become a powerful, incredible teaching tool that "touches" people around the world? It already has.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 31 January 1999

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