Dear friend in Christ,
A key staff member in the Middle East told about his very close friend … a former terrorist.
“Ahmad[*] was rather blunt when he said to me: ‘You should thank God we did not meet when I was a religious soldier … I would have killed you and your people.’ From childhood, Ahmad was raised for religious war, fervently committed to killing in the name of his ‘god.’ When the Syrian civil war began, he joined a radical resistance group but became disillusioned, saying they didn’t do enough ‘holy war’ … not enough killing!
“So Ahmad joined a well-known terrorist group, and in his words ‘… found them to be asleep. They had given up on holy war. Next, I joined another terrorist group. I trained many fighters to kill. I got to know several of the world’s most notorious terrorists. Even people who believed like me were my enemies if they were not involved with holy war. It was my total life and why I would have killed you.’
“But the Lord had other plans for Ahmad! He well remembers the moment: ‘I was walking past a store. I saw a book in the window with the title, “God is Love.” The words shined before me AS THOUGH THEY WERE MADE OF LIGHT! I went into the bookstore and asked what it meant.’
“‘The bookstore manager explained that God loved me and all people. I argued back, “How is that related to me? You don’t know who I am! God would never love me!” But the store manager continued to tell me about the gospel, and then he gave me a DVD of the film JESUS and said I should watch.’ (A DVD your partnership provided. Thank you!)
“Ahmad described how he did watch and was profoundly moved, shaken to his core. He gave his life to Christ and was utterly transformed! He even shaved his beard, renouncing radicalism. And you should see him now! He is my friend and has the face of an angel. He beams with joy and love … he’s forgiven! Please ask the friends of Jesus Film Project® to pray for Ahmad and his family. They are experiencing a lot of persecution from radicals who now hate him. We are providing DVDs of JESUS to help Ahmad win radicals to Jesus, so they too can learn that God truly is love.”
This next report comes from Southeast Asia: Two JESUS film team members entered a very dark place, physically and spiritually. They walked into a dimly lit bunkhouse, filled with beds for itinerant, low-wage workers … so dim they had to pause for their eyes to adjust.
Their footsteps echoed through the building as they walked down the narrow hallway, lined on both sides by tightly-spaced bunk beds. They were heading to a room where they would set up the projector set for the film showing.
It was a very difficult place, hostile to the gospel and the followers of Christ. Ancestor and demonic worship were dominant. One of the team members said, “To be honest, if it had not been for the invitation from a church, we would never dare to go to such a place to evangelize. It was so dark we couldn’t see if anyone was there in the bunks.”
The team started JESUS but became discouraged. The workers who came to watch didn’t stay. They were just curious and quickly left, perhaps to go to their jobs. Only two people remained, a man and a woman. The team shared the gospel and challenged them to believe, to give their lives to Jesus. It took some time, but drawn to the light of His love, they both received the Lord.
The couple joined a church and began holding a weekly Bible study in the bunkhouse, demonstrating the love of God to their fellow workers. The film team says this once spiritually dark bunkhouse is now changing. It is filled with laughter. “It’s one of the most encouraging places for us in our ministry. Our desire is to have everyone in the community believing in Christ. Please remember us in your prayers.”
This third report is also from Asia. For security I can’t disclose names or specific locations, but as you will see, the fields are “white for harvest.” There is an added challenge, here; getting JESUS film equipment delivered through customs is very difficult. Further, there can be restrictions on the activities of Christians who await this equipment. A solution was needed. But God provided!
As you no doubt know, Asia is a center for electronics manufacturing. Video equipment is becoming available in stores, for sale to schools and for commercial purposes—including small, digital projectors. So staff members are assembling their own compact JESUS film sets, purchasing the equipment in various stores in major cities, so as to not attract attention, avoiding restrictions and shipping costs.
But then they need to get the equipment into the hands of waiting workers. Here’s where staff have become creative. Using highly secure smartphone apps for communication, they set up networks of people and rendezvous points. After purchasing and assembling the various sets in the cities, they load them into rented vehicles and go on delivery runs, sometimes to distant places.
Like Bible smugglers, they head for the borders, to unmonitored locations, up to 10 hours away. At pre-arranged times (using encrypted phone apps), they rendezvous with the film teams and deliver the equipment, sometimes under the cover of night.
Behind closed doors, the waiting teams may repack the equipment (microSD cards, video tablets, small projectors, solar batteries, speakers) into well-used luggage, wrapping all in personal clothing in case they are stopped by the authorities. From there, using vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles, and on foot, the workers take the equipment in many directions to waiting film teams, eager to give their people the gospel.
These workers are going to these great lengths for a special reason—to take the gospel to where the church has not existed, to places where people are now very open. I even heard one report of 60 percent of audiences in one area are giving their lives to Jesus. But this open door could close at any time. So, teams are asking for as much equipment as can be funded, to place one set of showing equipment in every 10-kilometer-diameter area to witness to all the villages and cities in each target area. In this way they can reach literally millions with the gospel.
In one nation alone, they are asking for 300 sets in the coming year. For this country has seen 5,000 new churches planted in just a few years. Workers believe by God’s gracious work that the 300 sets could result in 20,000 new churches being planted by the end of 2020!
What an opportunity! Would you feel led to come alongside these waiting teams and enable them to show their people JESUS? Funds are also needed to supply film showing equipment for less restrictive areas of the world, not just in Asia. These workers especially need the small projector sets, with solar batteries, speakers and screens. They also need tens of thousands of DVDs, video tablets and microSD cards, as well as duplicators. As you can see, a great harvest awaits as partners like you seize this opportunity to pray and give.
And we have just received wonderful news. A generous donor has offered to match your gift, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total given of $125,000. Like you, he knows the power of the gospel contained in the film JESUS, and how effective these tools and equipment are to shine His light into spiritual darkness, in a person’s heart language. It’s why he has taken this step to inspire you to join with him.
I therefore wish to acknowledge his generosity, and yours. Through this matching gift, whatever you send will be doubled, equipping more teams with needed equipment sets, mass duplicators, and MicroSD cards to reach unreached people in Asia and worldwide. May I encourage you to take full advantage, until all $125,000 has been matched.
So, would you prayerfully review the following chart of needed equipment? Would you consider a gift that will help shine light into the darkness and give people who have never heard the wondrous news that God loves them? And please remember that your gift will have an impact; every gift will help reach people with the gospel. And keep in mind, research has shown that for each dollar you invest, at least one person can be won to Christ! Here’s how you can help:
$130 for 13 microSD cards containing JESUS, other films and the New Testament
$225 to equip workers and volunteers with 50 JESUS DVDs and other Jesus Film Project® media.
$500 to send 50 microSD cards to waiting workers
$750 to give 75 microSD cards containing JESUS, other films and the New Testament
$950 for a DVD mass duplicator set
$3,810 for an SD card mass duplicator set
$3,240 for a Church-Planting Resource Kit[†]
$285 to send a video tablet
$570 to send two video tablets
Now I’d like to pass along one more brief report. A man raised as a Hindu had become addicted to drugs and alcohol. He had no way out and was desperate for peace and deliverance. A ministry worker told him about Jesus, but he could not fully grasp the concepts. Then this worker showed him JESUS, the visual portrayal of the gospel in his mother tongue. The man said, “Once I saw the movie, I understood what Jesus had done for me. I saw He could deliver me from my addictions.” He gave his heart to the Lord and has become an evangelist! This once-hopeless addict has been showing JESUS at least once per week, reaching hundreds with the gospel!
So thank you for your partnership that helps make all this possible. May we not rest until every person on earth has experienced JESUS, until every community, every village, every city has been reached with the good news that God loves them.
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Jesus Film Project®
PS. Please pray for the worldwide staff of Jesus Film Project as we refine our focus, to reach the least-reached places on earth where there is no church, or where churches are weak and need encouragement. Much prayer and giving is needed. Please note also that for Southeast Asia alone, $654,000 is required for the next 12 months to meet their equipment requests. When fully funded, the harvest can be great. If possible, please give today by clicking the “give a gift” button. And may I encourage you to take full advantage of the match offer, up to $125,000. You can also send your gift safely and quickly by calling 800-387-4040.
To make a tax-wise stock or IRA Rollover gift, call Anna Pratt or Debbie Williams at 888-278-7233, or simply email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[*] For security, I always change names and don’t disclose locations. Lives could be at risk. I know you understand.
[†] Funds given for Church-Planting Resource Kits may also be used to purchase equivalent equipment in Asian countries.