The Telemensahe Ministry
Telemensahe is a telephone service that provided a way for people to call a landline number to hear recorded daily devotional messages. The main objective was to share the Gospel of Jesus and offer Christian counseling and Bible studies.
Allen Derksen of Operation Mobilization (OM) is into church planting, evangelism, and media ministries. His first missionary experience was in Spain and in 1990 Allen met Ed, a retiring missionary from Caracas, Venezuela through a seminar. Ed in passing shared a unique way he was able to share the gospel to Allen, using an answering machine.
Ed recorded Daily Bread devotional each day and told everyone they could call his private telephone number for daily encouragement. Eventually, callers wanted more of Ed, and he ended up sharing the gospel with at least one person each day.
This method could be multiplied and improved through the use of new DVA (Digital Voice Announcer) technology. With available funds, Allen returned to the Philippines to start the telephone ministry which was aptly called “Telemensahe” which in Spanish means “Telephone Message.”
Objectives of the telephone ministry
The two main objectives of Telemensahe were (A) Workout a good follow-up strategy; (B) Develop a storehouse of audio messages of about 365 messages each year with repeats for at least 2-3 years. The important part of the strategy was to provide a 9 AM to 5 PM Christian counseling service with an option for crisis-line in the evening.
Moving the lines
With everything in place, the next move was to promote Telemensahe. Allen realized that he could do this by asking the News Paperboys to insert the post-card size brochure in the newspapers they delivered. In a weeks’ time, the line received about a few calls per day and subsequently 300-500 calls for the daily devotion and 50 to 100 calls for the salvation hotline each day. Approximately 300,000 heard the Gospel just by calling the number.
Initially, the messages were recorded by American missionaries. When Allen left for another mission in 1990s, Telemensahe was endorsed to Robert “Bob” Carey, a missionary from EFCM. He asked Christian volunteers from the newly established Crossroads Fellowship to record the daily messages. The equipment and recordings were eventually managed by EFCM secretary Helen Masagnay – Calim.
Telemensahe offered five levels of free service that were devotional messages, salvation hotline, new believers’ hotline, personal follow up the line, and events listings from participating ministries. When EFCM moved to the southern Philippines by 2010, the ministry came to an abrupt end.
In 1995, Albert heard the Gospel through Telemensahe. He also sought counseling and his call landed on Pastor Roderick Rodriguez who invited him to Crossroads Fellowship (CF). Albert discovered the joy of having fellowship with Christians and joined CF as a new believer.
His excitement to share the gospel was supported by church planters Pastors Levi Velasco and Lito Guimary who in turn trained him for evangelism. Lito’s father-in-law, Bob Carey eventually took Albert as the new voice to record the Gospel presentation for Telemensahe.
During Albert’s stay in CF, he had a burden of promoting Christian ministries through a tabloid, he was a graphic designer. He presented the vision to CF, but without the support he needed, the idea was shelved for years. The vision did not leave Albert, and as the years went by, the burden became a revelation.
In 2017, John15.Rocks Center, Inc. was established to promote values formation and to have a network of Christian ministries come together online. Likewise, John15.Rocks hopes to replicate what Telemensahe did, this time using the mobile phone and social media as the medium to share God’s words.