“The spreading…of the gospel comes through the voices, hands, and feet of Thai people.”
Ed: In the CT article, the author talks about the difference between being led by the Spirit or led by the stats. In your observations, have there been any downsides to this data? Anything you would change?
Bob: It is not really a contrast, as someone might think. Jesus encouraged us to "lift up our eyes and look at the fields." Our decisions and strategies should be informed by what we see. Scripture says in Matthew 9 that when Jesus saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion. He always had compassion, of course, but the sheer number of people and their condition "moved" Him to call His disciples into action and send them into the great need with instructions seen in Matthew 10.
We have seen the same response to the data. When people see the vast areas of their own country that are untouched by the gospel, they are moved to do something about it. Dwight's intentions for building the database had the exact same impact. People are moved by the data they see from the database. It inspires vision, informs their direction, and works in tandem with the Holy Spirit to meet the need.
Ed: In the article there is an analogy to shepherds counting their sheep. Your database puts a personal face to all the numbers we read about every day. Why do we need to care more about the faces than the numbers?
Bob: That's one way to look at it; every number does represent a person. Unreached places represent thousands of unreached faces. Villages average about 1,000 – 2,000 people. Every village becomes a place where the gospel is proclaimed, the Bible is studied, people are baptized, and congregations of worshipers are started. This method becomes an opportunity for the entire village to know Jesus.
As the CT article …