HIS Services News Update

Dear AD2-Announce Reader,

Unknown to most people, the Lord has been moving over recent times to bring into being a more comprehensive harvest information database than earlier envisioned, for use in the 21st century / 3rd millennium. Several independent streams of resources and vision / needs have come together over the past two (2) years and melded into a process and plan for a new Harvest Information System (HIS) needed by the Body of Christ towards completion of the unfinished task of world evangelization. Select articles and presentations have been made on the HIS vision and plans over this period, while a multi-organization Steering Committee has come together to oversee the process and to pray for its appropriate ongoing organizational setup for continuance when AD2000 closes down early 2001.

A small technical group of three is continuing the development process at the AD2000 International Office in Colorado Springs, now operating under the moniker of the HIServices group. They have been encouraged to produce a periodic newsletter for release to the worldwide community, as a vehicle of communication / information on current status, activities and plans for the ongoing process and (prayerfully) ultimate operational destination, yet to be determined. This is primarily a news release ONLY as the HIServices Team is not currently in a position to handle inquiries. Please see their #1 issue that follows, plus pray for the process and appropriate decisions to follow. Thank you!

That ALL may hear!

Luis Bush
International Director
AD2000 & Beyond Movement

HIS Services News Update


The HIServices Team has been asked to periodically update the HIS Stewards and other central HIS participants on recent developments and activities of the HIServices Team. This is the initial HIServices e-newsletter.


The initial stage of people group data integration is now complete. Data from at least six major sources including Ethnologue / ROPAL (SIL), Joshua Project, India Mission Association, Asia Minorities Outreach, Integrated Strategic Planning Database (IMB-SBC) and Patrick Johnstone (Operation World) have been merged into a single database. Each people has been given a unique code. In the table that combines Peoples and Countries, peoples are listed in each country they live in. The Peoples table contains about 10800+ records and the PeopleCountry table contains about 16700+ records.


New versions of several key data sets have recently been made available to HIServices. Updates of both the India peoples data from Graeham Hackworth and ROPAL are presently being incorporated into the Harvest Field portion of HIS.


Because of the desire to generate a comprehensive peoples list, the merge philosophy was "when in doubt, include it." This philosophy has introduced certain duplication and overlap. HIServices is currently in the process of validating the peoples on the country level. Country validation reports have been generated listing all the peoples in that country and the various populations reported by the above six sources. 65 of these reports are currently being mailed or hand-carried throughout Africa by Ross Campbell. Also over 150 e-mail invitations have been sent to key missions researchers in other parts of the world asking for their involvement in the validation process. Another 170 packages of information were mailed to various people group researchers when an e-mail address was unavailable. The hope is that this will generate greater accuracy in the list as well as national ownership and involvement.


Several new registries are under consideration for the Harvest Force and Harvest Yield segments of HIS. For the Harvest Field, a Registry of Services (ROS), tracking such things as aviation, medicine, community development, et al., is being considered. The former ROS has been renamed to Registry of Scripture-related Products (RSP), which tracks the availability of Scriptures, Jesus Film, Gospel Recordings, Hosanna, et. al. A representative from a consortium of SIL, CCC, Hosanna, GRI, and others is considering becoming the steward. For the Harvest Yield, major changes are being considered. Registry of Ministry Assessment (RMA) would track ministry activity among various peoples similar to the tracking the Joshua Project has done. AD2000 staff / HIS Services are being considered as potential stewards. Registry of Church Adoptions (RCA) possibly stewarded by Dick Bashta of the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse. Registry of Peoples in Action (RPA) with IMB and their current tracking system as the potential stewards. Registry of Access to Churches (RAC) is the MAP-type registry.


Internet domain names for the web are going fast. So we felt that we needed to register the domain names for both HIS (Harvest Information System) and HIServices (Harvest Information Services) before we run out of good options for the web site names. The names should be meaningful and as short as possible. Unfortunately www.HIS.org has already been taken. After dialog with stewards and others the two names chosen were www.HISystem.org and www.HIServices.org. Currently these sites do not have any content, but the names have been reserved for development. Justin Long and Eric Watt agreed to register the name and host the web site. Thanks Justin and Eric! Now the hard work begins to design and build the websites, but at least we now have our foot in the Internet doorway.


The AD2000 and Beyond Movement is currently acting as the parent organization for HIServices, but with AD2000 ending December 31, 2000 a new home is needed. A survey and questionnaire were sent in late March to a number of organizations that have expressed interest in becoming the parent organization for HIServices. We hope to have responses back by mid-April and continue the evaluation process. The AD2000 Board has graciously been giving guidance in this process as well.


Much work has been accomplished since the HIS demo application was previewed at the HIS steward's meeting. There is still a lot of work to do yet, but Tom is hopeful to begin preliminary testing of the application sometime towards the end of April. He is hoping to have a CD ready to distribute by the end of May or beginning of June. So what has been accomplished and what is left to do? a) The Geographic and People registries are 90% complete, b) The Peoples section still needs the People Division section developed, c) The language screens are complete, but the dialect screens and related information still need to be developed, d) The religion section still needs to have the lower level screens developed, e) Nothing has been done on the Habitat section. Very limited work is to be done on this section. It will only be one or two screens needed for this section for the initial release.


Plans are well underway for the internationalization of HIS. Luis Bush and Ross Campbell will be traveling throughout Africa this spring. Three major conferences of mission researchers is planned one each for East, Central and West Africa. Luis will be presenting the overall vision of HIS and Ross will lead the discussion and evaluation of specific country people reports. Feedback from the gatherings will be returned to HIServices for incorporation into the database. It is hoped to distribute copies of HIS on CD where possible.


Here are the general trends / feedback from the survey taken at the March Stewards Meeting:

  1. There was total agreement on the need for a standardized coding system to enable ministries to share information.
  2. Affirmation that the HIServices ministry is really needed and strong encouragement for HIServices to go forward
  3. Stewards would like some decision-making authority over HIServices.
  4. Existing stewards did not feel that it is important that the parent ministry of HIServices be a registry steward. Existing stewards were comfortable if a registry steward did become the parent organization for HIServices, while non-stewards were not as comfortable.
  5. Registry stewards did not care if the parent ministry is a non-denominational ministry outside of the stewards. Non-stewards do feel that the parent should be a non-denominational ministry outside of the stewards.
  6. All but one said they don't care whether "HIServices is a stand-alone ministry or subsidiary ministry.
  7. The stewards gave HIServices staff permission to have full discretion in the choice of organizational structure.

    Comments and/or questions are most welcome.

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