I want to shout out a special thanks to Elaine Eckhardt who so faithfully and professionally edits and distributes this newsletter. Her work is so valuable to the JESUS Film Partnership in telling the story so that the faithful know how to pray and give.
Upon receiving this edition of the NetCaster, Director John Croft and Dr John Connor will be in Zambia and Malawi visiting many of the new churches that have been established over the past year. One of the Zambian teams has been working in western Malawi over the past couple of years, resulting in numerous new churches. We rejoice with all the new church plants that are happening around the world (101 just in 2013), but our work there has only begun. We need to pray that God will help the national church be able to train sufficient pastors for these new churches. Our goal is to have healthy disciples in these new places.
In Mozambique, the Nampula District Superintendent Abel Nove reported:
On July 12, 2014, the Holy Spirit worked a miracle in Napala. Napala is a village where most people are unbelievers and where they practice all sorts of vices, especially vices of alcohol, smoking, and witchcraft. With God's help, we showed the JESUS film on the evening of the July 12. Much to our surprise, the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of those present, and many began to weep as they felt the love of God demonstrated in Christ's death. At the end of the showing, 28 people came forward to be disciples of Jesus Christ. The community leader offered us a place to start a new Wesleyan church in the village. Now a cell group grows every Sunday with the help of the Lord. We are discipling these people and preparing them for their baptism. We ask prayers for their spiritual growth.
Rev. Nove has taken the district of Nampula from no churches to more than 50 churches in less than 10 years. Northern Mozambique has seen exponential growth in the past few years that has placed huge demands on leadership to address the need for pastors. This kind of growth requires us to work diligently to make sure that these new converts are in a healthy growing environment where they are receiving the truth for the Word. If the New Testament church could add 3,000 to the church in one day, we can figure out how to assimilate and disciple each new convert that comes into our churches and under our responsibility.
So I ask you to make this your prayer focus this month. Pray the Lord will grant each field and its leaders wisdom as they address the need for trained pastors. Pray that God will call workers into the harvest. Pray for our Bible schools around the world and where there is a need for training centers for pastors that God will provide. Ask God how he might use you to meet that need.
Global Partners has addressed this need by appointing Rev, Bob Gray, former GP missionary to Mexico, to work with our fields to develop solutions to this growing need. We are not going to stop oreven slow down trying to win more followers to Christ, so we must work diligently to train many new pastors for the need that exists now and for the new churches that are yet to be planted (and there will be more!). Rev. Gray is leading a project with Global Partners called the Shepherd Project. For more information on how to pray for and financially support the Shepherd Project, contact Rev. Bob at Graygrays@teamwesley.org or visit their website at www.teamwesley.org.
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Stories from the Field
On the June 2 the JESUS film team went to conduct the show in the village called Vomra. The neighboring country of India influences the Vomra area. Many people watched the film, both individuals and whole families. There are no churches or any Christians living in that village, so people did not have an opportunity to know Christ and to watch the film before. The film was exceptional to them. The viewers watched the full film with full concentration. We give thanks to Him as we were able to conduct the showing in a completely new area where people have not heard about Christ and His love for the world.
On the very next day, we went to visit some families with whom we had talked to during and after the show was over. We had the opportunity to sit with a family who was very open for discussing the film and Christ. Three persons (grandmother and two grandchildren) were present in the home. The grandson is a student and studying in Higher Secondary and the granddaughter is also a student and studying in Bachelor group. It was wonderful to answer all their questions. They were very interested to hear about Christ, and even before we came to their home, they had discussed many things about the film. They were surprised to see that a man would give His life for the people. Even He rose up again. They said, “It is not possible for any people. We understood that He is the Son of God and anyone who believes in Him will be forgiven. We like to believe in Him as He can forgive us.” We discussed more about Christ and prayed with them. It would be nice if we could give them a Bible so they can read at home to know more about Christ.
We encouraged them to pray regularly at home so that the Holy Spirit can grow them closer to a Christ-like life and also guide their life always. We are praying for them and we think that it could be a potential place to bring many souls for Him through a new church. We are praying for this family and for the village of Vomra. Please pray for us so that we could be able to teach them more.
The team reports that there were sixteen new converts this past month. This is a huge response in this overwhelmingly Muslim population. Pray for these new believers who will be faced with many family, societal, and religious challenges. Pray for our team and team leader Theophilus.
There are two teams working in different districts. The first team has had a number of changes due to one member getting married and another drafted into the army. Pray for them as they try to get up to speed again. The second team is going strong. They did have a confrontation with the police who shut them down for the night. However, this has not deterred them but has made them stronger. They have confidence to show the film because they have the proper approval to do so. Pray that those who would like to make it difficult for them will be unable to do so.
The teams have been very encouraged by the response of many of the places they have been. You know that it has been well received when they ask you to come and show it again. Our two teams are working on the Northeast work among a mixture of Hindus, Animist, and traditional Christians. There is a strong pluralism that runs deep in the culture. Pray that God will bring about a true transformation in the hearts of the people. Pray that they will understand the words of Christ when He says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This Jesus Is My Jesus: The JESUS Film Team continues to receive stories from converts from around Liberia as the team shows the JESUS film. During our visit in one of the communities in Montserrado County, a lady in her early 70s told the team what the film has done in her life. A widow with six children said she regretted living her youthful life for the devil even into her old age. “If I had seen this film in my 20s, I would have been a great disciple for Jesus,” she told the team leader. Aided by the team leader to fully understand the JESUS film and the plan of salvation, an old lady who is from the Muslim background confessed, “If this Jesus is the one who takes away the sin of the world, then this Jesus is my Jesus. I want Him to be the Lord of my life.” Pray for her as she lives the rest of her life for Jesus.
Pray also for our teams in Liberia as they deal with the threat and fear of the Ebola virus. Liberia has been the hardest hit, and there is a real concern for the safety of our team there. They are committed to the spreading of the gospel even as the deadly virus spreads across their nation.
What If I Become a Christian?: After praying for everyone who had come forward following the film , one guy came to me and asked, “What if I become Christian?” The way he asked me, it was really different but still I managed to answer him. “If you believe in Christ and become Christian, then surely your life will change. He will fill your empty heart. If you are having sufferings in your life, then trust God for He will help you through your problems. If you want anything from Him then ask Him, He will surely provide for you.” I asked him again, what his main reason was for asking that question. He then began to share his story with us.
My father was an alcoholic and a wife beater too. Every night he came home drunk and started arguing with my mother and then beat her almost to death. That's why one day my mom decided to run away from him. So she took me with her and moved away from him. My childhood was lived in fear and insecurity. By the time I started attending high school, I was really psychologically and emotionally damaged. I could not make friends. I was quiet and like a tortured guy. Outside of school, I had developed friendships with the wrong guys. I started wasting my life smoking marijuana, drinking, fighting, and slowly I even started to take harder drugs. One day cops caught me because I was involved in a gang fight. As a result I was imprisoned. There I saw the different life. No freedom, no rights, mental torture, loneliness, fear, dirty food. It was like I was living in hell. I was imprisoned for seven months, and in those seven months, I decided that once I get out out of this hell, I would start a new life, a new career.
But it seems that fate was against me (a Hindu concept). When I came out of jail, I went back to my mother. After a couple of months, I started working as guard at a private school. I was earning good money, and after a month I even got married. I was happy that I could change my life. But bad thing happened to me again when my wife left me and went with another guy. I completely broke into pieces. I became the person who is worthy of nothing. I was hurt, depressed, brokenhearted, miserable, and imprisoned in my own prison. I had everything that a person never dreams of. I did not want to live any longer. There was never anyone beside me when I was really in need of someone. I used to stay in my room by myself crying and shouting like a crazy man. But earlier tonight, when I saw you guys were showing JESUS film, I decided to come and watch it. I felt good. I was really touched when I heard you speaking about moving forward.
At that time, I said to him, “God has touched your heart. He has seen you in your sufferings and in your struggles of life. But do not worry, God is stretching out His hand, all you need to do is to stretch out your hand toward Him and walk with Him. Surely He will not let you fall again.” I read for him again the words that were read when we invited people to come forward. I opened the Bible and read from the book of Philippians 3:13-14. By this time he was weeping. I told him again how God loves him, and now God has given him another chance to live a new life in Him. I said, “Forget the past; do not hold it. It will give you nothing but pain and the opportunity for Satan to draw you away from the God. So, today is your time to accept Him, and you have seen the light so live in the light.”
After I told him these things, I, along my teammates, prayed for him. We prayed strongly against all those struggles and suffering that he had to go through. We prayed that he will change his life in Christ and live the life that glorifies our beloved Father in Heaven.
Thanks to God for the JESUS film for it has done a really great thing for among the people!
Mission Impossible: On our recent outing to Katete, where we have been replanting a church which had almost closed down, we encountered a young lady in her late twenties by the name Mwanida (meaning “you hate me”). She attended all our shows at Soweto Market. When we moved to Chikwanda village about eight kilometres further down the road, she was there. We had now become familiar with her, except we had never seen her respond to any of our invitations to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. We were concluding our show in Chibolya when we felt the urge to confront her. We have had experiences of people coming to the shows and following us to the next station—especially if they converted—but not on our entire tour of an area. That was not the case with this lady. She showed no interest whatsoever in personally benefitting from the program, but she was present at each one of the shows before this encounter.
We confronted Mwanida on our last day at Chibolya. We had just finished setting up and were waiting for more people to come when we saw her in the group that had started gathering. When she saw one of us approaching, she began to back off from the group, and she did not stop despite our appeals to have a talk with her. We finally commanded her to stop in the name of Jesus. She tripped onto something and fell backward and started shouting and screaming. Sensing this was a demonic case, we began to cast them out. When she was delivered, almost an hour later, she told us a strange story.
She was a member of a satanic cult, and her mission was to disrupt the JESUS film showings. She had been further instruction to destabilize our meetings by casting spells and invoking evil spirits on those in attendance and the team, but she confessed that her mission had been difficult because of the prayers that were being offered just before the shows. She further testified how she had been successfully used against previous gatherings, and she couldn’t understand why it was not working for her now. We told her that it was so, not because we were better than the other people who had come earlier, but because God had decided to fulfill His mission for her life by making her mission against His purpose an impossible one. That night Mwanida became a born-again soul and is in the process of unlearning her secret cult and learning to walk with Jesus. She gets attacks sometimes, but she is being healed by His stripes. We are convinced that this encounter has brought a transformation to her life. We thank God for the opportunity to yet again bring a soul into the Kingdom!
The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that of redemption. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but the blood of Jesus was shed for the remission of our sin. By placing our trust in Christ, He is willing and able to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This places us in a right relationship with God and that relationship is what God desires for each of us. This is the message of the Gospel of Luke. This is the message of the JESUS film.
Retired Hindu Priest Comes to Christ
After people returned to their homes after watching the JESUS film, an old man of 85 years came to us and asked, “Is it possible for the people to be cured from their pains and suffering from their life, in reality, as it is in the film?” This gave us an opportunity to share freely with him the nature and the gospel message.
He told that he had been serving in the Hindu temples as a Hindu priest until his retirement 12 years ago. He told about how he would take people’s money at the temple and his dedication to his gods. But then trouble began to enter his life and seemed to consume him and his family. His son and daughter-in-law lost two children, each a week after birth. Unhappiness overtook their home. They visited many temples shelling out large amounts of money for sacrifices but they could not find peace and happiness in the family.
Then when he saw the JESUS film, he was especially captivated by the short man Zacheus. He related to the practices of Zacheus swindling the people out of their money. This knowledge was a great burden of guilt and caused much of the unhappiness in the home. He confessed that the scene of Zacheus coming to the realization of his sin convicted his own heart, and he realized his own sin. We shared the good news with him, and with great emotion and weeping he accepted Christ and placed his trust in Him. We praise the Lord for such an amazing miracle in this man’s life!
This story is repeated over and over each day as our 40 teams of JESUS film evangelist take the gospel message, through the JESUS film, to their villages, towns, and cities.
The JESUS Film Partnership is a ministry of Global Partners. Therefore, it is a mission effort. It is an effort by many to answer the Great Commission. We rely upon the support of our partners and supporters to ensure the ongoing ministry of our 40 teams. We depend upon the prayers of God’s people to lift this ministry before God’s throne. This is a collaborative ministry with prayer partners, generous givers, and national evangelist who go.
Would you like to be a part of this partnership? Here is how you can.
Follow us on Facebook for weekly updates: www.facebook.com/jesusfilmpartnership
Go to http://www.wesleyan.org/gp/jesusfilm. Click on the text “Give to JFP now”
Send a check to “Global Partners” and write “JFP” on the memo line:
PO Box 50434
Indianapolis, IN 46250
One other way you and your church can support the JESUS Film Partnership.
This is what your prayers and giving support . . .
After this particular showing of the JESUS film, there were many who were laughing and heckling those who came to pray. Nevertheless, one young man came to ask us if what he saw in the film about Christ was true. He opened up, telling us about his dysfunctional home life and then a personal life of sin and lack of self-control. He had joined a gang, been arrested, and gone to prison. His life was full of sin and guilt. We told him that we could start with the “sin and guilt” because we had good news about that. He said that when he watched the JESUS film, he felt that there was a new and better way to live his life. He said he wanted to be changed from the inside out. We told him we had good news about that too!
Then we said to him, "Truly, Christ has spoken into your heart. He has found you. Christ has called you to be his child. As the Bible says, ‘Whoever comes in the Christ is new creation. The old has gone and new has come.’ If you really believe that Christ can change you, then surely he will do it." We took out the Bible and read from Luke 9:27-29 where it says, “According to your faith be it done to you". Really! We told him, “If you believe in the power of God and faith in Christ that your life can be changed, then surely it will be. Live your life according to Christ and do His will on this earth.”
He called his family to come, and together we prayed with him and his family as they accepted Christ as Lord of their life and home. May God help him and his family in their new life in Christ!
Stories from the Field
The following short stories are real accounts from the various JESUS film teams of what God has done. Feel free to share these stories with your friends, small groups, or your church family.
Matriarch Leads the Way to Christ: On the evening we showed the JESUS film in a villager’s yard, more than 42 persons, mostly Hindus and a few Muslims, watched the show from the beginning to the end. An older lady (approximately 62), who watched the whole film, invited us to visit them in their home after the showing. There were six members in their family. She is living along with her daughter-in-law, grandson, and granddaughter. We thank God that we had an opportunity to share the gospel with this family the very next day after she saw the film.
After a few days we went to visit and shared the gospel with them again. We asked her, “Why did you invite us to discuss this with you?” Then she started to share her experiences that Jesus is the only person who came to the world to save the sinners. “He was hung on the cross for my sin. So we decided that we would like to accept Jesus in our life. After we watched the film and discussed it, we understood that we all are sinners and would like to accept Christ as our Savior.”
The team members spent more time with them in their home and prayed for the family and discussed more. They accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and decided to get baptized. We are thanking our Lord for this woman and her family.
Where Few Believe: The JESUS film was organized in a village where the majority of people are nonbelievers. We have a church there, and the showing was conducted for our church members. However, of the 53 persons who watched the film, 21 were nonbelievers. A widow who was present had no knowledge of Christ, and the film touched her. She understood that Christ is the truth, and she felt that He came to this world and gave His life for our sin. She requested us to visit her so she could learn more about Christ. We had follow-up and met with her several times for discussion. She gave her life to Christ to have His forgiveness. She is now a believer and attends church regularly. We need to share the gospel with people and spend time with them, so they can know Christ. We hope that she will be a disciple for Christ with care from the church.
Bold Faith: We showed the JESUS film at a place where this testimony comes from:
“I was a Muslim. I had a call to move from my Islamic faith to Christianity. The desire to become a Christian coupled with what I experienced during the JESUS film show informed my decision to join The Wesleyan Church. This is about two years ago. Before my conversion to Christianity, my husband insulted me whenever I told him of my intention to become a Christian. But I took a bold decision one day and made this happen. I nearly lost my marriage because of this new change. I can see I am really a changed person, and my husband has even testified to that. One day, I heard that the JESUS film team would visit again, so I passed on this information to my husband. I was shocked when my husband called me that night and said that the team had arrived and we should go together to watch the film. My husband confessed openly after the show, ‘Jesus is more powerful than Mohammed. He is the one who can raise the dead.”
The wife of this man said she wants us to hold her up in prayer for the husband to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal Savior.
Heart Trouble: During a showing of the film, a 38-year-old lady, who sells bread, joined viewers to watch the film. All of a sudden this lady started to complain bitterly about pains in her heart. She said, “God save me, else I will die of this heart attack.” The team members rushed to where this woman was and began to pray. God saved this woman and now she is healed. Formerly she was attending a Roman Catholic church but because of what happened she has decided to join our church in Burkina. Thanks be to Jesus!
Faith for a Wizard: During the showing of the JESUS film in a village park, a 14-year-old boy joined viewers to watch. After the showing, we had an altar call and four viewers, including this boy, came forward. The team was praying for these four people when the boy fell on the ground and made the following confession, “I am a wizard, and I am possessed by evil spirits that direct me to kill my fellow human being. I have killed four children in my school: three girls and one boy.” The team leaders laid their hands on this boy and prayed for him. Though we experienced intense spiritual warfare, our God upheld our hands, and this boy was totally delivered from this evil spirit. He is now among those members in the cells group.
A Daughter Healed: A thirty five year old lady who was suffering from high fever was brought to the place where the JESUS film showing was being held. Her sickness was so severe that she was shouting indiscernible words and attacking the viewers. The team members had to step in and protect the viewers from the lady. After a while the team leader ordered that her parents, who came with her, should bring her forward for prayers. The team laid their hands on the lady and prayed for half an hour. She became even wilder as the team prayed. All of a sudden she stopped shouting and became calm. There was an instant healing that led her mother to testify that we really do serve a living God.
The girl’s mother said that she had been suffering from this high fever for four weeks and that during this time she was not able sleep nor eat. She could only take in water. They had sent her to the hospital on several occasions and that had worsened her situation. On such a visit, a nurse at the hospital advised them that they should send her to a powerful man of God for prayers. She told her that the JESUS film team would be coming that night and they pray for the sick, so she should try her best to send her there for prayers. Based on that, she decided to send her purposely to be prayed for so she could get healed. Truly, God has healed her daughter. Glory be to God! She also thanked the JESUS film team members for their prayer support. This woman and her daughter are now fully committed Christians and attending cells meetings regularly. Hallelujah!
Challenged by Weed: A mentally challenged man joined viewers to watch the JESUS film showing. When it got to the scene where a lunatic was healed, he jumped from the crowd and shouted, “God save me too!” The team prayed for him. He wept and said, “I wish I could be delivered from smoking of Indian hemp [marijuana], but I am addicted. Lord, help me!” The team devoted additional time with this man, visiting regularly and praying for him so he could be freed from this habit. It is our prayer that God in His own time will intervene to save this man from this wicked bondage.
Bound in Chains of Darkness: A young man aged 32 who was having a mental problem was chained to a tree. This was because he had been attacking people every now and then. The family brought this man for prayers after the film. The team prayed for this man, and they released him from the chains. However, in less than 30 minutes the man became very wild and even tried to get hold of our equipment to destroy it. But God struck him down to the ground, and he was not able to touch it. So they chained him again, and the team once again gathered around him and for one hour prayed before he was able to calm down. Though he was not healed totally, people are now testifying that he is better than before. It is our prayer that God will eventually release this man from the bondage of the enemy.
Stoned: A woman boldly came forward after watching the JESUS film to accept Jesus. However, she was soon almost stoned to death by the angry Muslims who discovered her new faith in Christ. We moved away from that area just to save the equipment and ourselves. Thank God we are alive to continue the good work that God has assigned unto us.
Healed: During our evangelistic effort, we met two girls that came to the hospital; one of them had breast cancer. At night she came to the showing of the JESUS film, and we prayed for her. We put our faith in God because we believe that God is the real doctor. After a few weeks, she came to our church and gave her testimony about her sickness. God healed her! When she went for her exam, she wanted to know if the cancer was growing. After the exam the doctor said, “I don’t find cancer in your breast.” It’s a miracle! Now she worships God. She was worried because the doctor said she would die, but God said she would live. Glory to God! Continue to pray for our JESUS film team.
Walk of Ministry: The JESUS film team, accompanied by district and national church leaders, went to Saw Mail and Boah Town Wesleyan churches that are not accessible by vehicles or motorbikes. The team members walked three hours from our base to show the film. The team left Flomo Town and screened the film in Salala City in Bong County. Salala is one of the oldest cities in Bong County where the Flomo Town Wesleyan Church is located. This site recorded the highest attendance in Bong and Margibi. After the film, the team established a cell group that has been active since the team returned to Montserrado County. Pray for the converts in these communities as Rev. Flomo and Pastor Cooper nurture them into the first Wesleyan church in Salala city.
Old Christian Becomes Saved Christian: One of the first converts through the JESUS film ministry was a great grandfather in his 80s who had claimed to be a Christian since youth. But in his old age, he realized he had never really made a personal commitment. His wife and five children also followed his example.
This Jesus Is My Jesus: The JESUS film team continues to receive stories from converts from around Liberia as the team shows the film. During our visit to one of the communities, a lady in her early 70s told the team what the film had done in her life. She is a widow with six children. She said she regretted living her youthful life for the devil up to her old age. “If I had seen this film in my 20s, I would have been a great disciple for Jesus,” she told the team leader. Aided by the team leader to fully understand the JESUS film and the plan of salvation, this old lady who is from the Muslim background confessed; “If this Jesus is the one who takes away the sin of the world, then this Jesus is my Jesus and the Lord of my life.” Pray for her as she lives the rest of her life for Jesus.
Muslim Woman Set Free: A Muslim woman came to Christ in one of our showings. She came to help us set up the equipment with her husband. After seeing the film, she decided to receive Christ as her Savior. We are praying for her husband. Please pray with us. Now she is attending discipleship with other new believers at a cell group. Praise God!
Chief Confession: A traditional village had been a skeptic all of his life. He was a smoker and a drinker, but while watching the JESUS film, he became convicted and gave his heart to the Lord. He made a public confession and repented in faith. By God’s grace, the chief and his family are saved and serving the Lord at Namacuva Wesleyan church. Let’s pray, so the Lord may fill him with His Spirit to spiritual growth. Praise God!
Another Chief: Another chief saw the JESUS film and heard of Jesus for the first time in his life. He was deeply convicted when he saw the heaven become dark and heard a voice saying, “He is my Son. He who believes in Him will have eternal life.”
In the same meeting, an unmarried 45-year-old man found new life in Christ. And two women, who had been taking drugs and were demon possessed, were delivered. They claimed to be cannibals, and as we worked with them we felt like they were akin to the woman who washed Christ’s feet with her hair. In other meetings, we have seen backsliders come back to Christ and people of all ages and walks of life come to Christ. We have also seen breakthroughs among Muslims. Praise His Name!
False Versus Truth: One of our greatest joys is to take the JESUS film into the midst of strangers who have never heard about Jesus. We love to share the gospel and distribute tracts to people who have never heard the story of Jesus. This is a wonderful privilege.
After a showing one night, a young lady came to us and asked, "How is it possible to be forgiven from our sin by the death of the Christ?" She seemed to be sincere, so we told her about the blood sacrifices of old times and how Christ came for the new times. After this she said she wanted to accept Christ and wanted to become a Christian. We were glad about this, but still asked her the reason she wanted to become a Christian. She said, "I always wanted to change my life. I am from a Hindu family. My father practices many rituals at the temple, like pouring out milk, rice, or even some cooked food items to those stone gods. I was never happy seeing all those things. I even started hating all those rituals because even though we Hindus are called to be worshipping people in this country; it felt fake. There was never any result. Their attitudes, characters, foul language all attest to evil not good. It finally came to when my father would ask me to go to the temple with him, I would not go. I could see it was useless. But when I watched the JESUS film, I felt good. It was far different from what I had thought. His teachings, His works are really wonderful.” She accepted Jesus Christ at that moment.
Trial, Error, and Blessing: We stayed in one district for more than a week. Although there were many people who had never heard of Jesus, we also found that there were already a few Christians in the area. We showed the JESUS film seven times and passed out many tracts in the area. Some people read those tracks, but some tore them up in front of us, which made us so sad. We tried to witness to them, but instead they made fun of it. This made us feel like crying, but still we never lost hope. We prayed for those people that one day they could get a chance to know about Christ and His love for them and realize their sin and need of Jesus.
Christianity Makes the Difference: A young Muslim youth was deeply touched and moved after watching the JESUS film. The actions, lifestyle, and teachings of Jesus moved him to action. In his entire Muslim experience, he had never seen such love, miracles, and teachings. According to him, Christianity is a practical religion that practices true love and holiness. He decided to follow Jesus Christ and made Him, Lord of his life. He appealed to other Muslims youths to do the same. Christ has made the difference in his life.
Youth Finds the True Way: A man from a Muslim background grew up with no challenge in his life. He tried finding fulfillment in many things. This led him to be involved in all sorts of evil practices as he grew up. He had a heavy conviction in his heart as he watched the JESUS film. That night he surrendered his life to Christ. He has experienced his true identity in Christ. In a public testimony, he challenged and encouraged other youths to surrender their lives to Christ who is the only true way.
Nothing Can Change Me: A young Muslim lady watched the JESUS film just out of curiosity. She clearly saw and understood the film in her native dialect. All her life she had never understood the Quran and its contents, even though she practiced its rituals. Since watching the film, she has surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. She promised that with her newfound faith and peace encountered, nothing could take her back to Islam.
Campaign 300 is a ministry focus for the JESUS Film Partnership to fund 30 teams over a 3-year period with the hope of showing the film to 3 million people and praying for 1 million responses to the gospel message resulting in 300 new churches planted: thus the name “Campaign 300.” To fund such a great vision, we needed to fund a budget of $600,000 a year for three years ($1.8 million). God so favoured this campaign with partnership commitments that we have been able to enlist, to date, 40 teams. Well, since the beginning of 2012, how are we doing with these goals?
From February 19 to March 18, Director John Croft made important visits to Myanmar and Northeast India. Dr John Connor joined John Croft in Myanmar to train two new teams.
Dr Connor recently wrote in his newsletter update to his support team:
I recently returned from Myanmar. I was there 16 years ago before the group which became Wesleyan was in The Wesleyan Church. . . . I have not been able to visit in this region again until this year when I went to help train a new JESUS film team. In these past 16 years, The Wesleyan Church of Myanmar has grown 66% and the church stretches across the border into India. They have a Bible college, orphanage, and medical work—all directly connected to the Church.
One of the JESUS film team members we trained is a converted Buddhist monk who began his apprenticeship when he was five years old. He was saved when he was 22 and is now an ordained Wesleyan pastor and a full-time JESUS film team member with a heart for enlightening Buddhists. Rejected and beaten by his family, he continues to be faithful to his new faith and evangelism task.
Wesleyan Community Church and Pastor Dan Carson from Bird City, Kansas, are partnering with these new teams. If you would like to know how your church can partner with a team, contact Director John Croft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In India, Director John Croft was joined by Wesley Dean of InterMotion Media to capture video footage of testimonies of transformed lives. Together they visited four states, fifteen churches, and four mission outposts. John even preached a funeral and conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new church. In one place it was the first time in several decades that a foreigner has been allowed in. In the 25-year history of this church in Jiribam, it was the first time a foreigner had ever visited. What an amazing honor that was.
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STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Papua New Guinea
Miracle on the River!: This story is from one of our PNG teams and has been told by team leader Job Weli. . . .
The JESUS film team left Mt. Hagen flying by M.A.F to Waposale with the JESUS film equipment. We landed safely, and a heavy rain started. From here our team would need to travel down the river. There were eight of us in the old dugout canoe with about three hours to go before we would reach the next village. After about an hour of heavy rain, our canoe had filled up with rain and with the weight of the people and equipment the canoe began to sink.
The team wanted to save their own lives. Not thinking about the equipment that was in a duffle bag, everyone bailed from the canoe. The equipment went into the river. Someone grabbed the bag but not before it had gone under water. As soon as everyone was safely on shore, they immediately opened the bag to check the equipment. The bag was completely filled with water.
I began weeping and with tears falling down my face I cried out, “Lord, in this place someone will be saved who is possessed by Satan. Lord, we believe that you will help us.” We left the canoe and walked another hour to the village. We decided to set up the equipment, and when we checked it, everything was in good working order and in good condition.
That night eight people gave their lives to Jesus, including the village chief and his family who had never been to a church. We are now planning to build a church in that village.
Bless the Lord who helped my team and me during this period to make a difference. Sometimes it's very difficult to work because of the conditions when it is raining. In the morning, before we were to show the JESUS film that evening, we met a girl who was possessed by demons. We prayed that God would deliver her from this dark, demonic possession. God heard our prayers, and she was delivered. She is now going to church regularly and fellowshipping with the other Christians. Remember to pray for her.
We are never discouraged with our work because God is here with us. Recently, during a show, there were a few people who came to throw rocks at the crowd and insult the team. Every day they come to this place to persecute the new Christians. Please pray for this new preaching point.
For two weeks we were at Petit Bourg au Borgne to do lay leadership training for the leaders of the church and for the new believers. We were able to do some preaching as well, and God blessed the work. There, we walked some kilometers away to show the film. It was raining, but the viewers watched the film in the rain. It was wonderful to see that. We need your prayers so much and your help too. MAY GOD BLESS YOU!
reported by Pastor Dominique Lea
From Darkness to Light: The community where we screened the first night has been known to be a hideout for criminals and deviants. It has even gotten worse in recent history. We actually screened there against the advice of security. Praise God for protecting the equipment and the team during the outreach into this community. We also thank God for snatching most of these “troublemakers” from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. Pray that these converts would not only be nurtured by the follow-up team but that they would also take full membership in the local Wesleyan church or other Bible-believing churches.
I Prefer Jesus as Lord: In an area that is one of the most dominant Muslim communities, the JESUS film team started their tour, which resulted in the saving of many lives for the Lord. At the end of the last night, an elderly man approached the team leader and confessed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He said, “I have been watching the JESUS film from my youth, but tonight is a turning point in my life.” This man who is in his late 70s has been a Muslim from youth. He told the team leader that when Jesus was giving the other thief the assurance of going to heaven with Him, he also asked Jesus, with tears, to add his name too. “When you gave the invitation, I wanted to come, but I was afraid of my Muslim brothers,” he told the team leader. After the team prayed for him to receive Christ, he said that since it was Jesus who died for his sin and not Mohammed, he prefers Jesus as Lord of his life and has vowed never to return to the mosque till death. He also promised the team that he would be a witness for the Lord to his brothers, who are still on the opposite side of the cross, to show them the way. Pray for this older man as he works along with the pastor to bring in the other sheep into the sheepfold.
Children Are Our Future: During our final JESUS film outreach campaign for 2013 in Grand Bassa County, the Lord drew our attention to children in a way we had never realized before. Almost everywhere we screened the film, children made up by far the highest percentage of the respondents. This exposed the general neglect of children ministry all over the country. Indeed the Spirit of God ministered so powerfully during our time. Children are the future of the church and the nation; as such they should not be overlooked.
The JESUS film team and the pastor of the Buchanan church were reminded that we needed to repent of the neglect and abuse of children. During the 14 years of civil war in Liberia, warlords used children as soldiers and many of them were separated from their parents and many died. If these children were reached with the good news of Jesus Christ before the war, many would have been considered unqualified by the warlords because of their relationship with Jesus Christ. What will happen if these children are not nurtured into becoming the future leaders? It is obvious that some of them might become criminals, bad husbands and wives, corrupt, and a threat to the society.
We believe it is against this background that the Lord decided to use the JESUS film team to transform these children and make them useful in our churches and society. The first major step started when the team launched the first children’s ministry in Grand Bassa County during our last visit. Workers are being trained by that local pastor to keep this ministry functional. These children are determined to take over the leadership of the church and should not be overlooked. The intent of launching children’s ministry in all our local churches is to raise up pastors, teachers, missionaries, Christian doctors, leaders, etc. These children will never become good leaders until they are trained in the way they should grow. The team, with the help of God, will press on with this goal as part of our mission goal. Pray for the team as we establish more children ministries in all of our local churches and the training of more workers.
Jesus Calls His Disciple: One night after showing the JESUS film, I asked if anyone was in need of prayer for healing of any kind of pain, suffering, or anything as we have witnessed on many occasions that with Christ there is nothing impossible. He can mend the broken heart, heal our pains, and can give us new and eternal life. Like the book of John says, ". . . whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Thanks be to God because some people came forward and made their prayer requests known to us. So we prayed for them. Among those that night was one man who came to us and said, “I am from this village and watched this JESUS film. I heard what you had been sharing awhile ago. I am also like the disciples of Jesus Christ; I always go to the river and catch fish in order to feed my family and to run my household. I am now 55 years old, but ever since my childhood I had learned to fish. Often I will be gone fishing for a week. I stay to catch as much fish as I can. Once I sell my fish, I buy oil, salt, and other things for my house.
“The things that happened in the JESUS film, is somehow related to my life too. I am like Peter, James, and John. Christ called them and they followed Him in His everyday life. I also want to be called by Jesus Christ and follow Him. Every year in our village we celebrate Nwatgi (one of the festivals of the people of this local tribe), and I am always the organizer of it. At last years festival, a man died because of too much liquor. I want to quit everything and get rid of all these noises and unnecessary things. If you can help me in anyway, then please do it."
So after hearing him, I told him, "If you really have it in your heart to follow Jesus Christ, then you must believe Him from the bottom of your heart and accept him. Following Jesus Christ is not easy; you may have to face a lot of sufferings and persecutions in your life. You may even be hated by your own people, but always have faith in God that He will never leave the hand of His children. In the times of suffering or in the times of joy, He will always be with you and guide you. He will love you forever. He will bless you even more than you can know now, but only if you really desire to follow Christ."
After telling everything to him, amazingly he told us that he wants to follow Christ, to live for Him, and to know Him in a deeper way. Praise to God for using this man’s life for his glory. Pray for him and his testimony in his village).
There Is Healing Even in This Present Day: After walking much of the day, we arrived in the early evening at the place where we were to show the JESUS film. We started setting up our equipment and preaching the Word of God. We invited people to come and know the message of our Lord Jesus Christ. We were really excited about our work in that place.
That evening many people came to watch the film. The crowd was really big; we thanked God for this because it was a blessing to us. After watching the JESUS film, many people felt touched by the story, seeing what Christ had been through just for us humans. Many people clapped at the end of the film. Some came and thanked us. Some just walked away. But still we are glad that many people got the opportunity to know about Jesus Christ. But when we were about finished putting all the equipment away, one guy came to us and asked if Christ can really do miracles to people even in the present time? I answered, “Yes, Christ came to the earth to save us from our sin and show the true love of our God. He can do amazing things even in the present time, but we need to believe in Christ for He has said, ‘Nobody can reach to my father without me. For I am the way to the Father in Heaven.’”
Hearing this thing, he introduced us to his brother. “My brother is deaf,” he said. He told us that he had taken his brother for many check ups, but doctors said they couldn’t do anything about it. Some said that possibly a surgery may help, but it was too expensive so they waited for someone to help them. He asked us, “If your Christ can really do amazing things at present time, then can He heal my brother too or not?”
We told him, “If you trust in Christ that He can heal your brother and put your trust in Christ yourself, then yes, He can heal your brother. God does wonderful things to those who invite Him inside their heart and allow Him to use their life.” After saying this, I, along with our teammates, started praying for his brother. We prayed for a long time. We asked God to guide us in our praying. We prayed for almost an hour. After a long prayer, we even scolded Satan to get out of those people’s lives, and from this day they will no longer be living in darkness but will be called the children of God. After we ended our prayer, we talked to the boy to see if he could hear or not. Amazingly he cried, and then he said, “I can hear you now.” Wow! How amazingly our Christ had touched him. Our Christ gave him his hearing power back. Praise to God for using the lives of those two brothers.
Jesus Speaks Mende: The JESUS film in the language of the people carries great attention and much impact at the end. In the village of Nduview, many people watched the film a few months back in their local dialect called Mende. It attracted the entire village, with a great number of Muslims in attendance. The hearts of many were pricked and touched because the teachings, healings, and miracles of Jesus Christ were rightly interpreted in their language. A young Muslim man gave his life to the Lord as a result of the simple interpretation of the film in his language. He confessed that he never realized such astounding teachings in Islam. The words of Jesus Christ on the cross deeply touched him, especially on forgiveness. He totally surrendered his life to the Jesus he can understand.