God goes with the “JESUS” film teams in such amazing ways …
… and so do you, through your many prayers and gifts. Thank you!
A film team experienced the power of your prayers. They were showing “JESUS” in a former Soviet bloc nation in Eastern Europe.
As is customary here, the team first went to the police station seeking permission to show the film. They also went to the mayor, asking his approval to rent the local 200-seat “cultural center.”
With permissions in hand, the team began publicizing “JESUS.” There would be three showings over three days.
The team arrived at the theater ready to set up … only to be dismayed. Though they had complete permission, two large chains, secured by multiple locks, were barring the doors. Someone really didn’t want them there.
By now, the people were gathering to watch “JESUS.” The team didn’t know what to do. How would they get inside the theater? Then a policeman stepped forward. “Wait a minute,” he said, “I may have a solution.” He went to the police station and returned with a prisoner, a thief who had been jailed for picking locks! Using “tools of the trade,” he opened the locks, took off the chains and opened the doors. The people entered the theater and experienced the Word of God contained in “JESUS,” based on the Gospel of Luke.
Where “JESUS” can be shown publicly, teams will publicize the showing in a variety of ways. Most people know little about Jesus. Often theaters are full and multiple showings are required. Your support for the teams makes their work, publicity and follow up of new believers possible.
The next day, the team returned for the second showing of “JESUS.” This time, there were no chains on the door, but when they went inside, they discovered the building was dark and without power—no lights and no power for the projector. (The team didn’t have a generator with them.)
Once again, the same policeman was there. He left the team and in a few minutes returned, this time with an electrician who owed a fine. “If you find the problem and restore the power,” the policeman said, “I’ll waive the fine.” The electrician discovered that someone had cut the main power lines to the theater. He spliced the wires back together and the team showed “JESUS.”
The third day came. This time two large trucks had backed up to the theater doors and dumped piles of rocks, blocking the entrance. Again, people were gathering to watch this film. How could they get in?
A person in the crowd approached a team member. “Sir,” he asked, “Can you show the film outside? I have a yard that goes up hill, large enough to hold all these people. And I have electricity you can use.”The team agreed and went to the house. They set up the screen, extension cords and projector. Eager to see a film in their heart language, the people followed the team into the open yard. They started “JESUS.”
As the people were being touched by the love of Jesus, His life and miracles, neither they nor the team knew what the town’s religious leader was doing. For he was the one behind the chains, cutting the power, and dumping the rocks.
I will call this man Mikka.* As “JESUS” was playing, Mikka went to the local bar and offered liquor to some men. Once they were drunk, he recruited 10 of them to disrupt the showing. Soon, the intoxicated mob approached the showing site, carrying big sticks and bats.
Once again, the policeman was there! He put out a radio call to other officers. They moved their police cars in front of the yard’s entrance, blocking the small mob’s advance. By now, when they were about 100 feet from the gate, it was raining hard. The team covered the projector, expecting the people to leave. But caught up with the story of the gospel, no one did. They stood watching and listening, transfixed by the words of Jesus.
Because of the rain, Mikka assumed the officers would stay in their cars, allowing his henchmen to enter the showing. He egged them on. It didn't work.
Men and women, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters are caught up with the words of Jesus, His miracles and His love. Most who watch have never heard of Jesus, or have not had a chance to fully understand the gospel. When they do, in their heart language, the Holy Spirit moves in their hearts. It’s good news indeed. Many believe.
The officers stepped out and halted their advance. Everyone watched the rest of “JESUS,” including the disrupters as they stood there holding their sticks and bats, but experiencing the gospel. The “JESUS” film team leader who was there said that about 25 percent of the people came to Christ, including men from the mob! What Satan meant for evil, God used for good. A new church was born!
The ministry leader who recounted the events said with joy, “God kept sending His angels to protect us.”He also reported that some new believers from these and other “JESUS” film showings formed their own churches when they went to England and Italy for temporary jobs. Their lives were transformed. For your support for teams like these, thank you!
So as you pray for the film teams, know that God hears and answers every prayer. He sends his “angels”—sometimes real angels or policemen—so people who have never heard might meet Jesus.
Film teams train, mobilize and present “JESUS.” They follow up new believers and plant growing, reproducing churches. Then as people experience the power of the gospel, the very Word of God, 75 are saying “yes” to Jesus every minute through “JESUS,” and the work of teams and partners!
This brings me to why I am writing. Just a few weeks ago we were reviewing the many requests that come to Jesus Film Project for team support, training and equipment. Most of them are urgent … new teams who are ready to take the gospel to difficult areas. Workers there report that unreached people groups are more than ready to hear and respond to the gospel.
But sadly for lack of funds, we had to turn down up to 70 percent of these requests from places like Zambia, Central Asia, India, and others.
May I invite you to help make it possible to say “yes,” by prayerfully considering a generous gift. Would you help send them into “fields that are white unto harvest”?
January is a great time to join with these teams, supporting their work even every month throughout the year. With each monthly gift you’ll know you are helping lead people to the cross, into His glorious kingdom.
You can support one day of a team’s work with a monthly gift of $42 (making possible a total of 12 days of ministry throughout the year). You may feel His prompting to support half a day of ministry each month with a gift of $21, or two days through a gift of $84. Perhaps you have good financial resources and can pray about supporting a week of ministry with a monthly gift of $294, or $1,250 to fully enable their work every month of the year.
If you don’t feel you can stand with the teams each month, then you can still help transform lives and say “yes” to these teams through a single gift of $42, $84, $168 or more. Many friends of “JESUS,” each giving individually, can make a great impact together, sending ready workers to tell unreached people the good news!
Every gift will make a difference.
As I end my letter, I think of a rather unique film team in Asia. A ministry center in a major city had learned of an elderly man who lived in a very remote, mountain village. Shanyuan was an outspoken Christian and had spent years in jail for his faith. Once, he was nearly executed. As the only person who could read in his village, Shanyuan would share the gospel by reading to his people from the Bible.
Workers in the city heard about his zeal and courage. They and a few others traveled to his mountainous village where they built a chapel. The team also equipped Shanyuan with projection equipment and copies of “JESUS” and “Magdalena.” As he watched the films in the village’s new chapel, he instantly saw the potential to proclaim the gospel to every person in his village. With tears streaming down his wrinkled face, he said, “It’s like a dream.”
I invite you to share in this dream: To mobilize teams worldwide, and potentially hundreds of new teams who are ready and willing to take the gospel to places never before reached, where not a single person has heard the name of Jesus. As you are led, go with them through your prayers and gifts.
For your gracious consideration, thank you.
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Jesus Film Project®
PS. As you feel led to help reach more people by sending a monthly gift for the teams, you can safely and easily set up monthly, or quarterly giving through bank or credit card transfers. You will always be in complete control, able to change at any time. To donate online or to set up monthly giving, you can give on this page or call (800) 387-4040. And if you can, kindly send your single or first monthly gift by February 28, 2018. The teams and the people they will reach will be most grateful.
We believe in this film so much and want to invest in eternity. “JESUS” film teams are going into unreached areas, where people have not had an opportunity to learn of the gospel. That’s special to us. You can see the harvest, that lives are being changed forever. We have been occasional givers and have decided now to make “JESUS” part of our monthly giving, where there is a great harvest. We think this is a great investment to make every month and encourage everyone who feels His leading to join us!
— Donor partners, Dan and Esther Martin
* I’m using a pseudonym for this letter for security purposes.