Radicals can’t stop the Jesus Film – Central Asia

Central Asia: Radicals can’t stop the Jesus Film

Jesus Film Project team members had arranged for a film showing outside a Central Asian village. Upon arrival near the community, an area they knew to be dangerous because of religious radicals, they sensed something was not right.

With no moon, all the team members could see were faint silhouettes of buildings and trees. They felt an unsettling and eerie foreboding but began playing music through the speakers to attract people from the nearby community to the film showing.

Nobody came, which almost never happens. Suddenly, they heard the sound of rustling bushes and the cracking of branches breaking under the feet of 12 radicals rushing toward them. Waving machetes, they screamed, “We are going to kill you and every infidel with you!” The three team members fled for their lives, running as fast as they could to their Jeep. With hearts pounding and fumbling to get the Jeep started, they sped away.

A year later, through prayer, they recognised that those people still needed to hear the Gospel, so they asked the Lord what they should do. In agreement, they felt God urging them to go back, although the risk was great. The members loaded the ‘JESUS’ film and equipment back into their Jeep, along with three boxes of Bibles, and headed for the village, several hours away.

‘Can you give me a ride?’ the police officer asked

On the road, they came to a police checkpoint – a potentially dangerous stop in the road considering the load of Bibles. The officer asked where they were going. Trying to be noncommittal, they said, “We are headed south.” To their surprise, he said “Well so am I. Can you give me a ride?” There was no way they could refuse the officer’s request. Insisting on climbing into the back of the Jeep, the officer sat on a box full of Bibles. They feared if the officer looked into the box, they could be arrested or possibly killed.

So they prayed and drove on. Soon, the team approached another police checkpoint. Popping his head out from the back of the Jeep, the first police officer told the other officers, “I’m with them. You don’t need to search the vehicle.” The police waved them through. This happened at three more police checkpoints, and all three times he got them through. At his request, they drove the officer to his home, where he invited them in for tea. Once there, he asked what they were planning. “We’ve come to show a film about the Great Prophet Isa (Jesus).”

In gratitude for their kindness, the officer asked, “What do you need?” This was the same village where radicals chased them out a year earlier, nearly killing them with machetes. “We need permission,” they answered. “Oh, that’s no problem. My brother is the mayor. Where do you want to show this film?” They asked, “Could we use the town square?” (This is where they had tried unsuccessfully before.) The policeman replied: “Sure, but you know we have some radical elements here. So I’m going to have my police guard you as you show the film.”

That night 167 people came to Christ

The team prayed and set up their equipment. Once again, as they had a year earlier, they played music as darkness fell to draw the people. This time a crowd gathered, sat down and watched ‘JESUS’, hearing the Word of God in their heart language. For the first time in their lives, they learned who Jesus really was. The Holy Spirit ministered to their hearts. Jesus was not just a great prophet, but the Son of God who demonstrated power and authority over sickness and death, was raised from the dead, and offered all who believed in Him eternal life. That night 167 people came to Christ!

These new believers need the support of trained church leaders, but training programs are lacking. And due to the threat of extreme violence, any evangelism must be carried out with sensitivity and wisdom. Please pray for the safety, growth and spiritual maturity of those in underground house churches. Ask God for a miraculous explosion of religious freedom and that believers would be bold in sharing their faith with family and friends.

Source: Jesus Film Project

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The Jesus Film

The history of the Jesus Film Project

1979: “JESUS” premieres in 250 U.S. theaters.

1980: “JESUS” has first international showing in Hindi to 21 million Indian viewers. First “JESUS” film teams launch in the Philippines.

1984: “JESUS” film translations reach 100.

1985: The ministry “The JESUS Film Project” is founded.

1989: First Soviet Union language premier in Georgia, the birthplace of Stalin.

1991: First convocations on Christian morals and ethics, linked with the “JESUS” film, are held for Russian educators. It becomes the International School Project.

1993: “JESUS” reaches an astonishing one-half billion viewings.

1997: “JESUS” reaches one billion viewings and is translated into 400th language. Dramatic audio/radio versions of “JESUS” developed.

1999: “JESUS” reaches 500 translations. “The Story of Jesus for Children” is produced.

2001: “JESUS” is shown in every country around the globe. Audio/radio translations reach 200. The “JESUS” film is distributed in New York after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

2002: Total viewings: 5 billions, Translations reach 700.

2003: “JESUS” film translations 800, audio/radio translations 300, “JESUS: Fact or Fiction?” apologetic DVD produced and packaged with “JESUS” film.

2004: The Global Short Film Network begins.

2007: 1,000th translation of “JESUS”. The film “Magdalena: Released from Shame” premiers at the United Nations, NY—and in 22 countries.

2009: Film translations: 1,071, Audio/radio translations (“The Story of Jesus”): 423, Translations of “The Story of Jesus for Children”: 135, Translations of “Magdalena: Released from Shame”: 48.

2012: Erick Schenkel named executive director of Jesus Film Project. Jesus Film Project app is released.

2013: 10,000th projector shipped.

2015: Enhanced 35th-anniversary Blu-ray edition of “JESUS” released. Version 2.0 of the Jesus Film Project app makes it easier for people to find videos of Jesus in their own language. Jesus Film Project sets goal to reach 5 billion people by 2025.

2017: 1,500th language produced for the Daasanach people.

Today: Jesus Film Project carries more than than 30 short and feature length films, and has partnered with more than 1,500 ministries to see more than 500 million indicate decisions to follow Jesus.

Many missions organizations have called the JESUS film “one of the greatest evangelistic success stories of all time.”

Jesus Film Project’s goal is to help people experience Jesus in their own language using media tools and momentum-building strategies. The fact that “JESUS” has been recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Translated Film” in history reveals how seriously we take the objective to share the gospel with people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

Similarly, the Bible is the most translated book in history.

The Bible has been translated into many languages from the biblical languages of HebrewAramaic and Greek. As of October 2019 the full Bible has been translated into 698 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,548 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,138 other languages. Thus at least some portions of the Bible have been translated into 3,384 languages. (Wikipedia)