“Secret police were sitting on the front row, watching us, four uniformed officers.
“I had to be very careful. They were listening intently, for we had called this meeting without a permit, without permission.”
This courageous sister, whom I will call Hala, stood before 200 fully-covered Muslim women, in a large meeting room of a Middle East nation. I cannot give you Hala’s real name* or the location. Lives could be at risk.
She spoke to these refugee women with love and passion…but carefully, knowing she was being watched: “I know how devoted you are to Islam, how much you respect and love God, how honest you are in your worship. You fast and pray so faithfully. But on the other hand I feel sorry for you. Because you can never be sure of your salvation. You can never know if your destiny is heaven or hell.”
Hala said the women were tracking with her and, beneath their burqas, nodding their heads in agreement. At this point she became very uncomfortable and did something quite bold. She stopped and turned to the four secret police. “Would you please leave the room. I need to speak with these women in private.”
Hala was a little shaken by what she had just done, but relieved. The officers left the room and shut the door behind them. What Hala didn’t know was that, once outside, they became very suspicious and called for four more officers to join them—who together were waiting outside—eight secret police in all.
For the next 30 minutes, Hala explained the gospel, told woman-to-woman…the story of God’s love for them, that Jesus died to give them life. She said: “Now you need to pray to the God you do not know, Who loves you and sent His only Son to die in your place, Who is risen from the dead and wants to forgive you and give you peace. Cry out to Him and ask Him to reveal Himself to you, tell Him that you want to know Him personally.”
Hala recalls that moment: “They were in tears, crying…all 200 women. I asked those who wanted to follow Jesus to stand and pray. They all did, the entire group, every one of them! Many were sobbing. I prayed with them to receive Jesus. They prayed aloud. Because this was the first time they had heard the gospel, I wanted them to fully understand what they had just done and about Jesus. So we gave each woman their own Bible and a DVD of Magdalena, the adaptation of the JESUS film for women. I explained how Magdalena would tell them more of the story of Jesus, His love for women, for each of them. They were so excited…joyful…transformed!
“But I was also worried, because Christian DVDs and Bibles are illegal in this country. We knew the secret police were waiting outside and would surely confiscate everything. Yet, we felt moved by the Holy Spirit to give them the materials. Worse, I had insulted the officers by asking them to leave. I didn’t know what was about to happen. So with the meeting over, the women began filing out of the room, through the single door. The police were outside waiting, four officers standing on either side.
“As the women walked out, they proudly held their Bibles and the DVDs in plain sight. They didn’t bother to conceal them. And believe me, I saw this with my own eyes, like when God parted the Red Sea to protect the people of Israel. With the police watching the women from both sides, with the Bibles and DVDs in plain sight, the police saw nothing! God blinded their eyes! It was so incredible. I took a few photos of the women afterwards. They were celebrating—so happy, anxious to take the DVDs home and play the truth they had found for their families. The police saw and confiscated nothing that day! And we are regularly following up with these believers. We’ve been discipling them to be lights of truth to their families and culture.”
What a wonderful miracle of God! And the 200 DVDs given to the women…you provided them through your generous partnership. God is working through you!
Now, here’s another wonderful report of your partnership! Amina is a woman who lives in Central Asia. She rents out rooms in her home to Muslim women—primarily to share the gospel with them. And she uses those same DVDs. Amina was outside when one of her renters, a woman I will refer to as Umit, burst out the back door, sobbing. She got control of herself and went back in. Again, she emerged out the door still crying, and then went back in.
Amina followed her asking, “What’s wrong?” Still broken up, Umit replied, “Disc… disc… disc!” Amina turned to see that the television and DVD player were paused at the crucifixion. Realizing what was happening, Amina explained the gospel, that Jesus took on the sins of the world, including the sins of Umit, and that He offered her forgiveness and eternal life. Right there, Umit prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior.
Umit asked for DVDs to share with her relatives. She went to them all with the gospel, with the DVDs, saying, “You really have to see this. I watched; it is so wonderful. He has changed my life, and He is able to change yours!” She has since started her own faith group and with Amina is sharing the good news with other Muslim women, using DVDs you provide. Thank you!
Are these not wonderful, inspiring testimonies? God is using DVDs and other tools like microSD cards, television broadcasts of JESUS and Magdalena and more to bring people to His Son. And He has formed an unprecedented web of ministry partners who use JESUS. More than 1,500 ministries are now using these tools, looking to Jesus Film Project® to help supply them. We are honored and privileged to join with them, to leverage your partnership. Through their ministries using JESUS, more than 1,000 new churches and faith communities are being planted every day.
This is why we believe that through partnership, fulfillment of the Great Commission is in sight, that everyone, everywhere will someday learn of the gospel, seen and heard in their own heart language. To Him alone goes all praise and glory!
May I invite you once again to invest in giving the world JESUS through these effective tools of evangelism and discipleship? Would you feel led to reach hundreds—perhaps thousands—more? Hundreds of millions of people have never even heard the name of Jesus. There are many opportunities before us to reach them.
Many of these unengaged people live in the famed 10/40 Window**. The vast majority are functionally illiterate and are from oral societies (story tellers). A proven, highly effective way to reach them is through film—a visual portrayal of the gospel in their heart language.
You’ve likely already noticed the enclosed “Opportunities” sheet. Please note the microSD memory cards. Digital cards like these can contain the film JESUS, Magdalena, and The Story of Jesus for Children in multiple languages. The cards can play the films multiple times on a person’s phone or on other digital devices. More than 143,000 microSD cards are being requested…and are needed now. So please look over the opportunities sheet. Here you’ll learn other ways by which you can reach and disciple thousands of people in these closed, difficult areas.
Also, remember what research has confirmed: for every dollar you give, you can help bring one person to a saving knowledge of Christ through JESUS. This means that God can use your $100 gift to help lead 100 people to Christ. A gift of $500 can result in 500 people coming to the Lord. Please consider the many ways you can give them the gospel, such as a gift of $108 to equip a worker with 24 DVDs of JESUS.
You can also support live streaming of the films over the internet. If you have the financial ability, please pray about live streaming short films and Jesus Film® media to 20,000 people through a gift of $800. This will enable people to watch the films through the Jesus Film digital platform, even in closed, restricted areas.
You can also equip a waiting film team with a highly portable and compact solar-powered Church-Planting Resource Kit for $3,240. Over time, each one of these kits can go on to show JESUS to 30,000 people, out of whom 30 churches or more can be planted. Please, give joyfully as He leads and according to your ability.
And may I pass on one last report? This was made possible through a television broadcast of JESUS. Sami was a 13-year-old Muslim from Iraq. He was watching television at his home when one of those 1,500 plus partner ministries began broadcasting JESUS. As happens so often, the person and love of Jesus touched his heart deeply. Because Sami’s home area is very hostile to Christians, he had to be careful how he responded. So, he used a secure phone app to contact the ministry.
He told the counselor that he recognized Jesus, saying, “Jesus in the movie is the same person I’ve been seeing all my life in my dreams since I was five years old. I want to follow Jesus Christ and make Him my Lord. Can I become a follower of Jesus even though my parents are Muslim?” The counselor assured him that he could, so Sami prayed to receive Jesus, and Sami continues to be followed up by this ministry partner through the secure phone app. Please pray for Sami and thousands more like him!
As you help provide these tools, you will be enabling unreached people to meet Him, to recognize Him, to hear His story and know Him as their Savior, to meet the One who has even been appearing to them in their dreams.
So picture in your mind how God might use you…how you can go forth with the tools, empowering hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people to meet Jesus Christ. God bless you for your generous partnership!
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Jesus Film Project®
P.S. When we total up the many opportunities that have come to Jesus Film Project, the many tools requested by JESUS film teams and ministry partners, more than $2.8 million is needed. So, as you feel led and as you are enabled to supply them, please send your generous gift by March 31, 2019. You can send your gift safely and quickly by clicking the button below or via credit card by calling (800) 387-4040. To make a tax-wise gift through appreciated stock, an IRA, or a donor advised fund, call (888) 278-7233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are greatly appreciated.
* In my letters, I often will use pseudonyms and not disclose locations for security. I appreciate your understanding.
** This is the broad geographical area between 10 and 40 degrees of latitude, a rectangle encompassing huge populations of North Africa, the Middle East, India and East Asia.