Dear Friend in Christ,
Thank you for being a friend of JESUS. It’s a joy to share this marvelous report with you. For God is moving all around the world. I hope your heart will be lifted in praise!
I’d like you to tell you about “Leon.” He heard that a group of Christians was going to the various villages around him. Worse, they were “infidels,” nonbelievers. They had the audacity to show his people a blasphemous film, leading them away from truth to a grand lie. Leon was outraged. (I can’t mention his actual name or the location. This would be dangerous for the JESUS film teams as the area is resistant to Christ.)
Leon decided to hunt down the men and put a stop to their heresy. He searched diligently, followed every report of their location, every sighting. But each time he got close; Leon arrived too late. They had just left for their next destination.
Frustrated, Leon said he felt “as though there was an unseen power preventing me from finding these people.” After weeks of searching, he finally gave up and returned home, only to discover that his mother was gravely ill.
She had COVID-19. To his surprise, Leon’s mother blamed him for her illness! “You did not consider who these people are. Their God came and visited me. Now you must go and find them. Bring them back here and have them pray for me. Only their God can save me.” Leon resumed the search. But this time instead of feeling like something was preventing him, he said “I felt like I was being led.” Within one hour Leon found them.
He told the men that his mother was very sick and that she wanted them to pray for her. He asked, “Will you come with me?” Knowing it could be a trap in this radical territory, the team nevertheless agreed and got into the car with Leon.
As they drove, the men prayed aloud, having no idea that Leon had spent the last weeks hunting them, seeking to destroy their work. His heart softened for … “complete strangers were praying for my mother. I never heard anyone pray like this before. It was like they were asking a friend for a favor.”
Leon pulled the car up to his home. The men went inside and prayed for his mother, asking for God’s mercy, that Jesus would heal her and show them His power. That very day she began to miraculously recover. In the evening, using a small, portable film set you helped provide, the team showed his mother JESUS. She wanted to know this God and became a follower of Him.
Leon’s family and all the neighbors could not deny her healing. They too wanted to know about this God.
So, the team showed them JESUS. Several believed, including Leon! More people heard of his mother’s recovery and came in from the surrounding villages to watch JESUS. Before the team’s work was complete, 1,640 families became followers of Jesus and were baptized, thousands of people! Today Leon is being trained to be the first church leader in his region—a house pastor. Rather than hunting down infidels, he is discipling believers for Christ!
All this happened because of courageous film teams, much prayer, the power of our living God, His Word, and you. You helped provide the equipment they used as well as the training.
And there is more to encourage you, but from a different part of the world: As you know, more than 1,800 ministry partners are using JESUS, containing the Word of God in a person’s heart language. Many of these partner ministries are the legacy of missionary labors from years past. Building upon their obedience, faith and sacrifice, God has raised up a generation of mature local leaders. These partners recruit and send their own film teams to go into unreached areas to proclaim the good news and plant churches. Often, they cannot afford to purchase their own equipment, but they will supply the workers.
For instance, a few years ago your partnership helped train 2,100 leaders from 40 nations in Africa and South America who met in Israel—from the Anglican Church. You helped equip them with many Church-Planting Backpack Kits and trained them.
This partner traces its roots to the Church of England. Staff members were impressed with their zeal and commitment.
Jesus Film Project® staff are excited over this growing partnership with the Anglicans: “Every day we receive messages joyfully reporting hundreds of people putting their faith in Jesus.” Here are a few of their reports: *
“People in our area don’t read much, but they like to hear and to see. The JESUS film is a wonderful way because it is oral. At the altar call people come to faith and give their lives to Jesus. They have since started to attend fellowships. This has really been a good way to ‘catch’ people. Some have been set free from demons. Just hearing the words that Jesus speaks is amazing. The Word of God goes into their lives. It has been amazing.” –a bishop in Uganda
“The JESUS film has helped us a lot. We have more people who are coming to Jesus because of the JESUS film … people want to have a church planted amongst them. We also have people come who have [identified as Christian and attended church] for years. They read the Bible. But now seeing images in the film, their faith is built up. Some people [from resistant cultures] are even coming to Jesus.” –a bishop in Democratic Republic of Congo “One time we had 198 people coming for two days of training and teaching. In the evening, we showed JESUS [and other films]. I can tell you that more than 700 people have already committed their lives to Jesus Christ in these two months. So [the film] is a very, very important tool.” –bishop in Burundi
* I’ve significantly edited the following translated reports for better understanding.
The Anglicans also report that their film teams in Brazil are showing JESUS in schools, villages and town squares. Whole families are watching JESUS in a classroom with children peering through windows and holes in the bricks. This partner is also forming Brazilian film teams for short-term missions’ trips into Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) since Portuguese is the language of both nations.
I share all these reports because I want you see the scope of your own partnership. You are equipping teams from India to West Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, and South and Central America. God is working through you!
And as you know, people don’t experience the Word of God as a group, but as individuals. The Holy Spirit speaks to each person through His Word, in the language of their hearts.
Here are two examples from JESUS Film Harvest Partners, Church of The Nazarene: “We shared the film in the intensive care unit of a hospital using a tablet. Martin and his wife accepted the Lord and asked for prayer for their newborn baby with serious health problems. God answered their request! In gratitude, they opened their home as a Preaching Point (a new faith community).”
Grace is a 15-year-old girl living in Zambia. She said: “Watching the JESUS film was a turning point for me. I never realized Jesus spoke in my language, Kaonde. I surrendered my life to God and want to learn more about His Word. On the second and third nights of the showing, I brought my younger sister with me so she could also discover Christ. I want to help many people go to heaven.”
I know that is also your desire, to help many go to heaven. Thank you! As you know, the task of fulfilling the Great Commission is more possible than ever, especially because of new digital technologies. But there is still much to be done. Hundreds of millions have yet to even know who Jesus is much less understand the gospel. That brings me to why I am writing to you.
Waiting film teams need the tools to show unreached people JESUS. We have equipment requests exceeding $1,297,000, including earnest requests for 53 video tablets mostly for an unnamed country in Central Asia. One partner, Ignite the World Ministries, has asked for nearly 40 tablets; South Asia has requested 1,000. At least 200 NewLifeBoxTM kits are requested by others, largely for teams in the Middle East, and 200 Church-Planting Backpack Kits are also needed. Hundreds of teams are ready to go now, working either carefully in person during the pandemic or through digital technologies and the internet.
There are a variety of tools and sets of equipment that these teams need to share the good news with people who have never heard. Seek His mind and leading. Read these wonderful reports to your family. According to your ability and as you feel led, pray about a particular set of equipment. If you don’t have the resources to fund a full set, you can still join in and help through a gift of $100, $500, $1,250 or even $7,500.
But if you do have the financial ability, would you consider a NewLifeBoxTM Kit (Wi-Fi hotspot) for a gift of $220, a 10-inch video tablet set with Bluetooth speakers ($570), a digital projector set for larger groups ($1,905) or a complete, portable Church-Planting Backpack Kit for a gift of $3,240?
We have received word that a generous Challenge Grant of $250,000 has been issued from a donor couple dedicated to supplying this equipment. They invite you to follow their lead, to equip and send the teams … until everyone, everywhere, has seen JESUS. So, thank you for whatever you can do, for shining the light of His gospel into the lives of thousands. He is our and their only hope. For you, we are all very grateful.
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Josh Newell, Executive Director
Jesus Film Project ®
PS. I encourage you to follow the lead of that generous couple who gave the $250,000 Challenge Grant. They hope to inspire your own gift to equip the teams. The work of the teams is so effective, the Word of God so powerful, that one person is coming to Christ every second through JESUS! It’s why teams and ministry partners are ready to reach millions more as friends like you equip them. 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.