Driving in his car one morning, Chris Jarrell heard a striking radio message about churches in western North Carolina banding together to send the JESUS film, a movie based on the Gospel of Luke, to every home in Burke County.
Chris, a 41-year-old computer technician, thought, Why can't we do that in my county too?
That was three years ago. As of Christmas 2004, JESUS DVDs had been sent to all 88,000 homes in Gaston County, which Chris calls home.
Besides sending JESUS, Chris and other Christians fanned the neighborhoods to knock on people's doors, answering questions about Jesus, inviting them to church and explaining how they could begin a relationship with God. To date, more than 110 churches have been involved.
"When we went out to the homes," says Kristi, Chris' wife, "It wasn't about the DVD anymore. It was just an avenue to reach people."
Thousands have indicated decisions to receive Christ, including an elderly man who died just days later. Thus far, church members have visited more than half the homes in Gaston County, with plans to hit the rest too. All because Chris responded to a radio ad.
"I was completely seized by it," he says. "It was God's will. The thought of reaching thousands of people just by mailing them something – I couldn't let it go."