The following reports are from areas where sharing the gospel can be dangerous. For security I can’t disclose the locations, and I’ve changed names. Before I tell you what happened, I want to thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and giving. Your partnership helps make these wonderful reports possible.
➤ An evangelist was working in a resistant nation. He shared the gospel with a man named Vasant whose wife suffered from epilepsy. The evangelist prayed that God would show His power and heal her. And He did. Both Vasant and his wife gave their hearts to Jesus. Vasant was very excited and asked, “What do I do? How do I tell everyone about Jesus? I don’t know anything about Him.” That’s when he attended a showing of “JESUS” and learned more about his Savior.
Touched deeply by the Word of God, he told the team, “I want to be part of this. I want to go with you wherever you show ‘JESUS.’” So, Vasant went from village to village, supporting the film team, sharing his testimony about what Jesus had done for him. But while working with the team, he received a disturbing phone call. He told the workers, “I need to go home. My wife is very sick.”
When Vasant arrived home, he found his wife dead, but not from illness. She had been strangled to death. Vasant knew who the killers were: his family—18 members who had greatly opposed their decision to follow Jesus. He felt they killed her in retaliation for turning against their gods and not going to the temple. Sadly, his family was not done ...
They wanted to kill Vasant, too. They settled for destroying his house. He lost everything except his 1-year-old baby. It was devastating. He was understandably grief-stricken and angry. Then Vasant remembered the words of Jesus he had heard in the film when Jesus was on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Vasant forgave his family! They had expected him to retaliate and could not understand his attitude of love. Guilt set in, and they became curious to learn about “this Jesus.” They began attending showings of “JESUS,” seeing and hearing the gospel in their heart language.
Eventually, each came to faith in Christ, all 18. His brother even became the leader of their house church! The ministry leader who shared this report personally knows Vasant. He was there when that phone call came, working as a “JESUS” film team member.
Today, he leads a large, international ministry, one of our more than 1,800 ministry partners. He shared a message with us, for you and every partner of Jesus Film Project: “The ‘JESUS’ film presents the gospel so clearly that it can’t be missed. We have many workers who have been delivered from spiritual darkness. They, too, have met with opposition, sometimes great. Despite the persecution, they want to go and tell others. All they ask for is tools to show their people ‘JESUS.’ Video tablets are especially effective.
“We give them a tablet with training, and they run with it. We have one woman who is showing ‘JESUS’ 10 times a day. She goes out in the morning and comes back at night. We use the video tablets to share the gospel and to also follow up new believers. Newly planted churches use the tablets to teach people about their new faith. We are most grateful for our partnership with Jesus Film Project. Tell the donors how very grateful we are for getting us the equipment, tools to shine light into the darkness.”
➤ Next, I want to tell you about Amber. Again, I have changed names for security. She is not part of a traditional film team but instead is using digital technologies on the internet to lead people to Christ and to make disciples around the world.
Amber’s team focuses especially on reaching people in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Recently, Amber has been discipling a new believer online. One of her disciples is a young man whom I will call Omar. He was originally from Gaza, but today he is a refugee. Years ago, as a teenager, he witnessed extremists enter his home and execute his entire family. Omar managed to escape and fled from Gaza to a distant land. He then spent eight years searching for hope, for truth. He found no answers or peace.
Then, last spring during Ramadan, Omar saw a social media ad, one placed by Amber’s team. The message raised his curiosity, and he wanted to learn more. He immediately responded, and within the first hour of live messaging with Amber, he wanted to follow Jesus as his personal Savior. That same day, she invited him to begin online follow-up, to teach him the Scriptures, provide new-believer discipleship and show him clips of the “JESUS” film. Omar embraced it all.
But he was immensely afraid to tell anyone about his new faith. Like Vasant, he lived in a culture opposed to Christ. Yet, he persisted in his online study and grew in his faith. The Holy Spirit then replaced his fear with a vision to reach his people. Just days after the recent war erupted in the Holy Land, Omar began to boldly reach out, through the internet, into Gaza. Within two weeks, he saw two people say “yes” to Jesus! One was his cousin Abdul, who initially questioned anything “Christian.” But as Omar shared his life and the hope and peace he had found, as well as some film clips of “JESUS,” Abdul’s heart softened. Within days, he began a new life with Christ. This is just one example of how digital teams are increasingly reaching out to hurting, searching people using social media. And people are responding.
➤ Stories like these are happening every month, many through film teams. More and more people are being reached via the internet and digital evangelism through His Word, His power ... and your partnership. “To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever”*.
As you may know, at least 1,800 ministry partners are using Jesus Film ® media and other digital tools, many as a key method of evangelism and church planting. A number of these ministries rely on Jesus Film Project to help equip and train them, mainly in the developing world.
This is why I invite you to equip these ministry partners with the tools they need to share the gospel with unreached people. Their workers will take the gospel to people who have never heard, make disciples and plant churches. The requests are so numerous and encouraging that we are establishing in-country/regional distribution and training centers to help support these ministry partners.
Your gracious partnership will enable them to go to where the gospel has never been heard, where there are no churches, where people are ready to see, hear and understand the gospel. To reach them, partners are asking for video tablet sets and NewLifeBoxTM Kits (Wi-Fi-like devices that play the film directly to smartphones within 150 feet). You can equip one worker with a NewLifeBox Kit for a gift of $205.
You also might consider a gift of $120 to send 12 microSD cards preloaded with “JESUS,” other Jesus Film media and follow-up materials. Your gift of $240 can send 24 microSD cards. These are perfect for hard-to-reach areas.
Your gift today of $530 will equip a worker with a 10-inch video tablet with a wireless Bluetooth speaker to reach small groups. Each is preloaded with “JESUS,” follow-up films and more. You can supply just a video tablet (without the Bluetooth speaker) for one-on-one or other small showings for a gift of $425, two tablets for a gift of $850. Through a gift of $1,725 you can impact the lives of up to 96,000 people online or via social media.
I am humbled by all that our God is doing, as more and more ministry partners are using “JESUS” and these tools. And there is a reason. Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church, asserts: “It’s the most effective evangelistic tool ever invented, the ‘JESUS’ film.” That’s why we firmly believe that the film belongs to His body, not to any one mission organization.
It’s our privilege to share “JESUS” in more than 2,100 languages, along with follow-up films, to supply equipment and training for many of those 1,800 partners. Your partnership helps make their ministry possible. Give as you feel led. Thank you so much.
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Jesus Film Project ®
PS. You can help shine the light of the gospel into spiritual darkness. The requests for these tools are many and worldwide. These partners have workers like Vasant who are eager to go into the harvest field—many of whom once walked in spiritual darkness until someone showed them “JESUS.” You can send your gift safely and quickly by clicking the give a gift button or by calling (800) 918-9929. 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 or email@example.com. You are greatly appreciated.
*Jude 1:25, NASB.