Dear Friend of Jesus Film Project,
“No Christian has ever set foot here and never will.”
“BUILD A CHURCH AND YOU WILL DIE.”
It’s a very remote part of West Africa with no witness for the gospel, none whatsoever, not a single church. All the people were Muslims. A student film team in the capital city felt led to reach them. The students packed up their “JESUS” showing equipment. They made the long trip, approached the village leaders, and asked for permission.
The elders resisted strongly, “This is a Muslim area!” But since the film was in their language, eventually they agreed. Yet they sternly warned the team: “Only one showing, one night. No more! We are telling you now, we are Muslims. There won’t be any church put in our village!”
The team showed the film as agreed, just once and to a small group. A Muslim woman, who I will call Obi, and a few friends believed. Obi asked her husband if the new believers could meet in their home for a weekly study. He reluctantly agreed.
They began to grow in Christ. Obi and the others shared their new faith as they received follow-up. Others joined the Bible study. Soon there were 12 believers, too many to meet in Obi’s home.
This small faith community went to the village elders proclaiming, “We need land to build a church”—something the elders said would never happen!
Again, the village leaders resisted. But the women persisted. Seeking to silence them, the elders gave the group a useless, distant plot of land. They felt it would be totally unworkable because the Christians would have to walk through the “haunted cemetery” and the “evil forest.” No one in the village would ever do this. But then the believers surprised the elders: “We will take it, but we still want land that is much closer.”
Again, the believers met with the elders, asking for better land. The elders offered another undesirable plot: “You can build your church at the village dump.” To their dismay the fledgling faith community again accepted. They went to work cleaning up the site and buried all the refuse, transforming the land. They even cleared another area for the community to use as a dump. And they started work on the impossible task…building a church.
The believers contacted the ministry office in the capital city (some 30 miles away) asking for roofing and other building supplies. The materials arrived along with staff members and volunteers who had come to assist. But then two more pickup trucks arrived, filled with angry, Muslim radicals. They were armed with baseball bats, pipes, spears and machetes. They threatened the Christians: “This is a Muslim place. There can be no Christians. Only over our dead bodies will you ever build this church!”
Several village youths stepped in to defend the Christians. Not wanting a confrontation, the elders talked down the thugs, who eventually gave up and left. One of the Muslim elders actually helped the Christians by making sure the building would be structurally sound. And the village chief (the one who had declared there would never be a church here) went into the forest, cut down a tree and installed the main beam for the roof! Something wonderful was happening!
Love was breaking through. God was entering in. The church at the dump began to grow; the site was becoming a beautiful location. And that first distant plot of land?
The church planted crops there to support their church. Muslims took note that these Christians weren’t afraid to walk through the haunted cemetery and evil forest. They were prospering, happy and safe.
Still growing, the church hosted a medical clinic for the village, the first time these people had seen a doctor. They thanked the church by saying: “No one has ever done anything like this for us. Our Muslim neighbors have never shown us love, only you Christians. You must be serving the true God.” And at last report, the church was installing a water well for the village.
Today, that Bible study of five people has grown into a church of 80 members! And they have given birth to three more churches, one being fairly distant from the “mother church.” They are reaching out!
All this started through a single showing of “JESUS,” through obedience, prayer and effective follow-up/discipleship strategies.
You see, someone like you (perhaps a small group or church) sent a gift to supply a film team with that “JESUS” film showing equipment. The Holy Spirit used this gift to plant a church, one of many.
These equipment sets are robust and effective. A single Church-Planting Resource Kit is expected to present the gospel to 30,000 people and plant 30 or more churches in three years! Through follow-up films (shown using the same equipment) and personal teaching, these new churches grow and reproduce—God’s plan to bring the gospel to every nation, people and tongue.
Would you help equip even more partners, film teams and volunteers with equipment to show the world “JESUS” and help plant churches?
You can, by helping to supply a team with a versatile Church-Planting Resource Kit through a gift of $50, $75 or $100. If you are blessed financially, you can be the one to cover all the costs, providing a complete kit for $3,240. You can also help with a smaller gift of $500 or $1,000 according to how God has blessed you.
You can also send workers a set of 10 DVDs of “JESUS” for a gift of $45. MicroSD cards are in great demand, especially for closed, dangerous areas, for use both in rural and urban areas, anywhere people are using smartphones, video tablets and other digital devices. ($60 will supply six cards.)
And there are new innovative tools such as a small digital box, or “hot-spot,” that creates a temporary Wi-Fi network. A worker enters a restaurant or bus station, any place the public gathers, and turns it on. Cellphones all around display a message: “Would you like to watch a film about Jesus?” One staff member turned it on during a flight filled with Muslims. After landing he found that 27 people had watched “JESUS”! You can provide one of these marvelous tools for a gift of $165.
Thank you for letting me share the wonderful report of what happened in that Muslim area. Let God work through you. Your single gift may help plant not just one church, but many. May the Lord bless you for being a friend of the lost, for giving the world “JESUS.”
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Jesus Film Project®
P.S. Partner churches, organizations, film teams and volunteers around the world will use your gifts so that everyone, everywhere will learn what Jesus has done for them. If possible, please send your gift by December 31, 2018, allowing you to claim a tax deduction for the 2018 tax year. You can also give via your credit/debit card at (800) 918-9929. Or you can post your gift directly on this page. As year-end approaches, consider gifts of appreciated property, IRAs, stocks or securities. Very substantial tax savings are possible, as your giving furthers the kingdom. To learn more, please contact Ben Grames or Debbie Williams (stock administrators), toll free at (888) 278-7233 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a donor-advised fund, please consider leveraging those dollars through church-planting resource kits, film teams, team vehicles, and new translations of “JESUS.” Thank you.