Dear Friend in Christ,
It is with much gratitude that I pass along this amazing report—a true advance for the kingdom of God.
It’s your partnership, your gifts and your prayers that help make what you are about to read possible. Thank you!
A film team with a close partner ministry arrived at a remote mountain village. They were equipped with one of the highly portable Church-Planting Backpack Kits. These kits enable a film team to carry the gospel anywhere their feet will take them, into the most remote areas.
To protect lives and ministry I won’t disclose the location, but I will call the film team leader Nick.
Walking into the village Nick found himself at a total loss. The conditions and lifestyles were beyond anything he had ever seen. The people were living in squalor and violence, worshipping devils and spirits, dwelling in total darkness. It was overwhelming.
Shocked, Nick went back to the ministry elders who had sent him and his team: “We cannot play the film here. They are so far gone, steeped in great evil. It’s dangerous and they won’t understand.”
The elders urged him: “We know it’s very difficult work, but remember, God loves these people. That is why God sent you to them, to change their lives. Obey what He has said to you.”
In obedience, Nick talked to his team. “It’s going to be difficult, but we are to remain and help these people have Jesus in their life.” Knowing the battle was spiritual, they spent time in prayer, asking for God’s protection for the work ahead, that He would soften hearts and make a way for the people to understand. Then they showed the people “JESUS.”
Their response? They grabbed their hunting tools and attacked the animals they saw on the screen, cutting holes in it until it was destroyed! Fortunately, the team had a second screen and they set it up around 4:00AM. Still engaged by the film—the strange things the people had seen—the team asked them not to attack the screen. Instead, the people declared that the images projected were the work of the devil. So, led by their priest, they prepared to worship the projector and screen!
Nick and the team tried to explain to the priest, but he and the people simply could not understand. For the next 20 days the team stayed in the village, projecting JESUS every night. Finally, the Word of God broke through. The priest was the first to believe. Miraculously, his life began to change—everything about him. He became a new person and stopped beating women. He no longer worshipped the evil spirits or Satan.
He became a living witness to the entire village, helping them to understand the truth of God’s love. Then the people began to change too, watching “JESUS,” slowly understanding. Eventually thousands indicated their decisions to follow Christ! They were set free.
They even began to create civil laws where there had been none, based on the teachings of Jesus. When there was a debate about how a law should be structured, they would ask the team to show them “JESUS” again. It was amazing.
The changes in the village were so dramatic that, feeling the call of God, Nick built a house there and moved permanently to live with the people, to help disciple them, and follow them up in their faith.
One day, these former devil worshippers wanted to again watch “JESUS.” Nick set up and played the film. Instead of throwing hunting tools at the screen they began throwing colorful decorations.
Nick asked them, “What are you doing?” They replied: “We are throwing these colors on Jesus. It’s our way we can show our happiness.”
These testimonies and reports are so encouraging. They demonstrate the power of the gospel, what our magnificent Lord wants to do for every person on Earth who believes and receives. He wants to shine His light of love into their spiritual darkness, to set the captives free. He is changing people’s lives and families, even transforming whole communities.
Next, may I share a few more equally encouraging reports?[*]
A woman named Aicha is also from a very resistant area where an aggressive religion dominates all of her culture: “My entire family follows a radical religion. When I got sick, my parents tried everything to help me get better, but nothing worked. I watched the ‘JESUS’ film and saw the Lord heal many sick and demon-possessed people. I realized Jesus is my true liberator. After the film, the pastor prayed for me. I gave my life to Jesus and found peace and eternal life.”
Another woman, Neneh, said: “I was on my way to the market when I saw a film being shown. I thought it would be a good way to pass the time. When I realized they were talking about Jesus, I wanted to leave because my family follows a different religion. Despite this feeling, I stayed for a few minutes. As I stood there, the message began to make sense, and I watched to the end ... I had been involved in prostitution for several years. I was convicted of my sin and realized Jesus died for me to be set free. I joined the many that gave their lives to Christ that night. This is a major turning point in my life. I am sharing my testimony with other prostitutes and even my family.”
And we received the following email from staff in a very closed nation of Asia. Rather than requesting Church-Planting Backpack Kits, they decided it would be more effective to use small video tablets since they don’t attract attention and can be used for private showings behind closed doors. Upon delivery (the tablets were sent by your generosity), a team leader replied with this email:[†]
“This Providence from God is a gamechanger—[the tablets] landed in our church planters’ hands in His right timing. When our region’s workers cannot do mass evangelism, the video tablets work wonders. Larger projectors [for public showings] cannot be used here because of our county’s restrictions. So the video tablets are just the right tool, now in our hands. We can bring two families together and [privately] show them ‘JESUS.’ We are training local leaders to use the tablets to plant churches. When our pastors got the video tablets, they all said in one voice, ‘Jesus is in our hands.’ Praise God.”
To Him goes all our praise, and to you and every partner of “JESUS,” our thanks. Seeing how God is using the tools you provide, how His Word goes forth and transforms lives, would you feel led to again equip waiting workers to take the gospel to people who have never heard?
Here are some ways you can help. You can send a solar-powered video tablet with Bluetooth speakers for a gift of $570, for use with smaller groups, up to 30. You can fund all or a portion through a smaller gift of $50, $75 or $100. You can also designate your gift of any size to help equip a waiting film team with a Church-Planting Backpack Kit. The cost is $3,240, but again, a gift of any size will help. Remember too that over a kit’s useful life, workers can present “JESUS” and other Jesus Film® media to up to 30,000 people and plant as many as 30 churches. Several hundred kits are being requested.
Another option is to equip a film team with six microSD cards for a gift of $60. As people watch “JESUS,” they often ask if there is a way to watch again, to show the film to their families. This is how: these memory cards fit in just about any smartphone and can hold “JESUS” in up to 10 languages. These films can be watched again and again, or passed from person to person. You can also send 20 DVDs in a people’s heart language for a gift of $90, or supply a worker with a NewLifeBoxTM Kit for gift of $220. These are amazing pocket-sized, battery-powered devices that create a Wi-Fi-like hotspot that will appear on a person’s smartphone with a label such as “Watch a film about Jesus.” These devices can go anywhere, even into closed areas, and privately broadcast “JESUS.” Workers are often surprised by how many people watch and download “JESUS” from a single NewLifeBox, even in radical-dominated areas.
CHALLENGE GRANT TO INSPIRE YOUR GIVING
Two generous donors so believe in the power of those highly portable, Church-Planting Backpack Kits and the NewLifeBoxes that they have given the first $35,000 as a Challenge Grant. They hope to inspire your own gift for the kits, inviting you to follow their lead so even more people can be reached with the gospel in their heart language. (This grant only applies to the backpack kits and the NewLifeBox Kits.)
Again, thank you for your faithfulness, for sending the good news to reach people around the world—resulting in one person coming to Christ through “JESUS” every second! It’s our honor to serve as stewards of your giving, to reach, follow up and help disciple as many as possible, to translate the film (now in more than 1,920 languages), equip and train workers, and plant churches—to see our Lord transform lives for all eternity.
May God honor and bless you for your continued partnership.
Until everyone sees Jesus,
Jesus Film Project ®
PS. If you would like to fund a complete Church-Planting Backpack Kit, a portion, or a NewLifeBoxTM Kit, please remember the Challenge Grant of $35,000 that leads the way. Those donors hope to inspire your own giving, inviting you to follow their lead enabling even more people to be reached. There are many requests for this equipment. So if possible, please send your gift by December 31, 2021, enabling you to potentially claim a tax deduction for 2021. You can also give via your credit/debit card at (800) 918-9929. Or you can post your gift directly and safely right here by clicking the “give a gift” button. As year-end approaches, consider gifts of appreciated property, IRAs, stocks or securities. Even if the stock market proves volatile, substantial tax savings may still be possible before year’s end. To learn more, please contact Debbie Williams or Jennifer Herr (stock administrators), toll free at (888) 278-7233 or email them at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a donor-advised fund, please consider leveraging those dollars by giving for Church-Planting Backpack Kits, Tablet Sets, MicroSD Cards or NewLifeBox Kits. Thank you.
[*]The first report I shared is from a ministry that, for security and where they work, prefers not to be named. The next reports are from JESUS Film Harvest Partners (Church of the Nazarene) and the last is from Jesus Film Project staff.
[†] I’ve edited the translation of this email for clarity.