Send “JESUS” Teams--Challenge Grant $100,000

#2592287 - "JESUS" Film Teams

Dear Friend in Christ,

 His wonders never end. His power knows no limit. His love is for all people …

… even for those who are hostile to Christ, who are far from the kingdom of heaven.

His name was Langa, a leading member of a ruthless militia organization. (It’s best if I don’t share the location or his real name.) Langa and his followers thought nothing of killing innocent men, women or children. Murder meant nothing to them.

A “JESUS” film team arrived in Juba’s area equipped with a Church-Planting Backpack Kit. When he heard the news, Juba became enraged. He urged his followers, his trainees and fellow militants to act, to root out the evil that had come to them, commanding: “I am giving you permission to kill them.”

During the summer of last year, Langa’s unit commander heard that a group of 16 people, a few families, had abandoned their traditions to follow Jesus, thus becoming “evil.”

This highly ranked commander could not allow such a travesty to go unchallenged. He issued orders to Langa and his unit, “Kill them all.” But for some reason, Langa felt uneasy. Responding to his hesitation, the commander instructed Langa to go home and rest a while (to fortify his zeal) before carrying out the orders.

On arrival to his home village, Langa was told about some visitors. They had come to show his people a film. Langa became upset and confronted them: “Why have you come? We follow the truth, not a western god, not heresy. What is this about?” But the more they explained the film, the more curious Langa became. So, he allowed them to proceed.

The film team set up their portable screen and speakers, placed the tiny projector on the stand, and plugged in the battery. The village gathered. The team pressed play. You know what happened! Langa heard the Word God in his heart language. He marveled at the miracles. He heard Jesus speak unusual words—powerful words—of love and kindness. He met the real Jesus for the first time, not a false version he had been taught. Then Langa witnessed as Jesus was tortured and killed without cause, but three days later rose from dead, triumphant and with power.

Langa said, “After watching the film, I realized that Jesus was God not just a prophet.” He then peppered the team with many questions. Well trained, they answered them all. Langa believed and became a follower of the Son of God!

He immediately called 75 of his militia members to gather from all the surrounding villages. He had the film team show them “JESUS.” Every one of them gave their lives to Christ! And Langa’s reputation as a feared, respected leader enabled the team to show “JESUS” to people of all the surrounding villages. They proclaimed truth in the power of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus truly is the Son of God.

Many of those 75 militia members are now leading their own churches in once-resistant territory! And Langa has become a full-time “JESUS” film team member, reaching as many of his own people as he can! As Langa said, “Our lives have all been reversed. We must now rescue everyone for Jesus. This is the beginning for us!” Thank you for your partnership that helps to make these transformations possible!

Now I’d like to tell you about a man they call “Zealous Zeze.” Like Langa, he was totally committed to his beliefs, faithful to his religion’s requirements, devout towards his “holy book,” committed to daily prayers ... truly zealous.

But something disturbed him. His holy book said that God was vengeful, distant, and unreachable. Yet, it also said He was “most gracious … most merciful.” Zeze was conflicted. What did this mean? So, he went on a quest, fervently praying for an answer, seeking … searching.

The answer came in the form of a “JESUS” film team that came to his village. Zeze watched the film. Afterward he asked the team: “My holy book says that the god I follow is most gracious and merciful. What does this mean?” The team explained to Zeze how Jesus, the Son of God, is the One Who is most gracious and most merciful. Jesus demonstrated it by dying on the cross as a sacrifice for Zeze’s sin.

Combined with the film he had just seen; their answer was all he needed. He professed faith in Jesus. Zeze has since grown so much in the Lord that he is now a Bible study leader, researching and examining the truths of Scripture, inviting seekers like him to join them. At last report, all 40 members of his study group have professed faith in Christ, and many have been baptized! Thank you for your partnership that helps make transformations like these possible.

Another encouraging report! Sam was also a fervent follower of that same dominant religion, a leader in his house of prayer. Driven out by troubles in his nation, Sam came to live in a refugee camp in Germany. There, a ministry partner who uses “JESUS” (one of more than 1,800 partner organizations) goes into the camps, inviting refugees to a meal and a showing of the film.

A worker invited Sam to come. But he refused, saying, “No, I am not coming.

I’m a missionary for my own religion.” But ironically, he did go to the showing and actually brought many more refugees with him to watch. But after the film, no one knew what had happened to Sam. All they heard was that he had been deported back to his home country.

Fortunately, one of the ministry workers had taken Sam’s cell phone number and kept in contact. To his surprise, he discovered that Sam changed his WhatsApp® photo to a picture of the cross, an object of offense to his religion. Sam said that he had watched “JESUS,” he was deeply touched and secretly became a believer but kept it to himself out of fear. Finally, he could no longer keep the truth of the gospel to himself. He said the presence of Christ burned deep in his heart. He began telling everyone in his closed nation that he had found the truth.

The authorities were not pleased. They arrested Sam and put him in prison. Upon his release, they commanded him to never again speak of Jesus. Yet Sam keeps on working underground, sharing the good news. He meets regularly with three other isolated, young Christians who pray and read the Bible. They use the internet to grow in their faith, because there are no churches anywhere around them. Workers like Sam find the Jesus Film Project® app a great tool to let others experience the power of the gospel through their smartphones. Again, thank you.

As a ministry leader wrote: “We use the film ‘JESUS’ with great effect. It’s such a wonderful tool. What’s happening here (in the refugee camps) is simply overwhelming! God is building His kingdom in these hostile countries with such young Christians who have only known Jesus for a few weeks.”

These inspiring reports declare the awesome work of the Holy Spirit, the obedience of dedicated film teams, the fruit of prayer and your kind partnership. Today, may I invite your continued support for these committed film teams, especially as we approach Christmas, when we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us?

On average, “JESUS” film teams need $42 per day to enable their ministries of evangelism, church planting, discipleship and follow up. This amount provides for their travel, lodging, food, and many ministry expenses. It also supports their work of church planting and following-up new believers.

Would you feel led to make one day of a team’s ministry possible through a gift of $42 and help reach more people through “JESUS”? You can make two days of ministry possible through a gift of $84. You can also sponsor a week of ministry, proclaiming the gospel, with a gift of $294, or an entire month for $1,250. You may be among the few with substantial financial resources. As He leads and moves in your heart, perhaps you can support a film team’s ministry for a complete year with a very generous year-end gift of $15,000, planting scores of churches.

You can also help provide film teams with the equipment they need. We have hundreds of unfunded requests for the highly portable Church-Planting Backpack Kits. Everything a team needs fits into a backpack, and it’s all solar powered. You can provide one kit for a team with a gift of $3,240. Or you may be able to give a portion. Every team that receives a kit agrees to show “JESUS” at least 50 times during the coming year. And over the useful life of one kit, you can help up to 30,000 people experience “JESUS” and plant as many as 30 churches! More than $683,000 is needed for film teams awaiting these kits. That’s a large number, but the opportunities are numerous!

CHALLENGE GRANT OPPORTUNITY: Supporting and equipping these teams is so important that generous friends of the ministry have given the first $100,000 through a Challenge Grant. They made this provision in hopes of inspiring you to join with them, to help reach people who have never heard, to shine light into spiritual darkness, especially in closed nations. I hope you follow their example, as the Lord may lead and enable you to give.

Then as His Word goes forth, as people meet Jesus, I expect we’ll receive many more wonderful reports, like this one from JESUS Film Harvest Partners (Church of the Nazarene): “Since birth, I have been trained in the customs and traditions of our people. I wanted nothing to do with God—I believed He was only for Westerners. When the ‘JESUS’ film team arrived in my village, I felt hatred toward them for telling me about their faith. I didn’t leave my house when they showed the film for two nights, but I heard their teaching and my heart was stirred. I decided to give my life to Christ, denouncing all altars and gods that I once believed in.”

I can’t think of a greater gift for unreached people than to learn of Jesus our Lord, His gospel, and to be rescued from darkness. As they experience “JESUS” in their heart language, as they believe, the Holy Spirit will miraculously transfer them into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. So, during this Christmas season, please give as He leads and provides. May God bless you for your prayers and your partnership. My wife, Holly, and I wish you a wonderful Christmas.

Until everyone sees Jesus,

Josh Newell
Executive Director
Jesus Film Project®

PS. That generous Challenge Grant of $100,000 is for both team support and showing equipment. Please remember that many of 1,800 ministry partners who use “JESUS” are based in the developing world. They lack the resources to purchase their own Church-Planting Backpack Kits ($3,240 each). To donate today, please click the “give a gift” button. If you would prefer to donate by phone, please call us toll-free at 1-800-918-9929. A gift of any amount will make a difference in reaching people in spiritual darkness. Thank you so much.

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