One of the most significant moments in the history of the ministry was the decision to invest in creating a dedicated evangelism response system. We knew conversations were getting more complicated and we needed a tool built specifically for evangelism. We also wanted a platform that volunteers could use easily, safely, and from anywhere in the world. Lastly, we believed this investment would ultimately benefit more ministries beyond Need Him that were dedicated to sharing Jesus.
The very first version of Echo launched in 2012 for online chats and quickly grew to include phone calls and text messages. We were fortunate that several major Christian foundations also caught our vision and offered financial support. Those financial grants allowed us to build out a resources section for volunteers to use in live conversation as well as robust reporting that gave us insights into all aspects of incoming conversations including geographical as well as topical data.
Today the Echo evangelism response platform integrates with twelve different communication applications allowing ministries to engage seekers through Echo in everything from Facebook and YouTube to WeChat, Telegram and WhatsApp. The system also is language neutral meaning we can easily add new languages to the 87 different languages already live in the platform.
It only seemed natural to want to share this response system with other ministries focused on evangelism to get the greatest kingdom impact. We now have over 30 ministries partnering directly with Need Him Global for us to answer conversations they generate and another 36 ministry partners that license this technology in order to respond to their own conversations. A few of these partners include the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Arab Vision, International Mission Board, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Saddleback Church.
As this platform continues to grow, there is ongoing development taking place and regular maintenance required to stay connected to different media applications. We would not be able to do that without our dear technology partners at SociallyU. One of the many blessings of our first 25 years is this partnership and the millions of people that have been introduced to Jesus through Echo.