Ministry Update- November 2014

Every evening Pa Sorie and several friends met at a village bar in Sierra Leone to drink palm wine. Many nights ended in drunken-ness. One evening as Pa Sorie walked home, he came upon a “JESUS” film showing in his language of Mende. He stopped to watch. The message moved him so much that he gave his life to Christ. JESUS Film® team members met with him for the next six days taking him through follow-up lessons. At the end of the follow-up, he received a Proclaimer* since he was not able to read the Bible. Daily Pa Sorie listened to the Bible and stopped going to the bar. Some friends noticed his absence and decided to visit him.

When they arrived at his home he was listening to his Proclaimer, and they joined him. A JESUS Film member explained to the men what they were hearing. That day Pa Sorie’s friends made decisions to receive Christ. This  small group of men no longer visits the bar to drink wine, but in the evenings they meet at Pa Sorie’s home for a listening Bible study, much to the delight of his wife and children.

* A solar-powered digital player that presents dramatized audio translations of the entire New Testament in local languages, developed by Faith Comes By Hearing®, a JESUS Film Project ministry partner.

Pa Sorie happened upon a “JESUS” film showing in his village, but what about those who live in urban areas or remote regions where the film isn’t as easily shown. How will those people have access to the gospel in their local dialect?

JESUS Film Media APPTwo years ago the Jesus Film Media App became available, allowing people around the world to download JESUS Film tools in their local language from their smart phone or watch online from the place where they live.

Since taking on his new role almost a year ago, Doug continues to engage with people around the world about JESUS Film tools available through the app and the JESUS Film website. Since launching the JESUS Film social media platforms, Doug’s team has engaged with nearly 500,000 people. Praise God. Through social media we are reaching countries like the Philippians, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Syria.

People who previously had no access to the gospel can now download evangelistic and discipleship tools, available in their local dialect, simply through our digital platforms.

Please pray for all these opportunities, that God will bless the outcome. Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership. We are so grateful for you.

Ministry Update- August 2014

Prayer Letter Image“During my teenage years, I experimented with vices I am too ashamed to talk about,” said Dario in Ecuador. “Then one day, my mother invited me to a church started by The JESUS Film Project®. The night I went, the pastor’s words [influenced] me greatly. That evening, I received Jesus as my Savior. Immediately, I began to bring my friends to church, and in the past two years, eight of them received Christ!”

This story comes from JESUS Film Harvest Partners, a ministry of the Church of the Nazarene and partner of The JESUS Film Project. We are excited by the work of our partners who use “JESUS” and our other ministry tools. This year we have completed the most film language recordings than previous years. There continues to be requests for new translations by our partners all over the world. You can follow the progress at www.mission865.org.

Over the last few months Doug took three separate ministry trips. In June he was in Atlanta to network with other filmmakers who have produced many of the faith-based films that played in theaters the past few years. It was a great opportunity to share with other filmmakers the tools our ministry is producing.

24 Day ChallengeIn July he traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with leaders from various denominations and non-profits that do digital ministry. These were some key meetings to learn how to further the use of our digital tools and strategies around the world through social media and the Internet.

In August Doug was in Chicago at Moody Church. He met with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church, his staff and the team at Moody Publishers. Dr. Lutzer wrote a Bible study around the Book of Luke called the “24 Day Challenge.” Each day takes you through a chapter of Luke and ties into film clips from the restored version of “The JESUS Film.” We hope to publish it as a printed Bible study for release during Easter 2015. You can download the “24 Day Challenge” at www.jesusfilmhd.com/24-day-challenge.

Please pray for all these opportunities, that God will bless the outcome. Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership. We are so grateful for you.

Ministry Update- May 2014

The message of Christ is for every man, woman and child.  That’s why The JESUS Film Project strives to bring the gospel to everyone through film.  To help accomplish this goal we must adapt how we communicate the truth of Jesus to reach everyone, everywhere.

One of the least-reached regions of the world is the Middle East.  It’s also one of the most dangerous places to share the message of Christ due to persecution.  That’s why we need to be creative and strategic in our engagement of people in this area of the world.

God has blessed our ministry with a number of effective films to bring the gospel to the world.  In addition, we continue to develop more tools as the need arises.

IMG_1807Last week Doug worked on a new short film that centers around the theme of shame which is a major issue for people—especially women—from this region of the world.  This new film will be tested by teams traveling to the Middle East for two-week mission trips.  Please pray for those who watch this short film that they will be open to spiritual conversations leading to the gospel.

Doug is excited to continue to work on the production of these short films as well as take on some new responsibilities.  A few months ago he was asked to consider a new role to help serve the ministry globally by increasing awareness and engagement of our films and digital tools.  In order to connect with the greatest number of people means going where they are spending most their time which is online.

Using social media, websites and blogs, Doug is informing and reaching out to many people about the JESUS film and our other tools for evangelism and discipleship.  He has been able to connect with people in some very challenging places like the Philippians, Lebanon, Malaysia, Kuwait, Syria, and more.  Please pray for Doug as he transitions to this new role.

Recently, by email, we shared some health challenges we are facing.  One of the challenges Doug has been dealing with is pinched nerves in his back.  He went to a chiropractor to care for the issue which led to pressure in his chest.  He ended up in the ER and spent the night in the hospital for observation and testing to verify it was not heart related.  Praise God he has a healthy heart.  The chest pains most likely developed from going to the chiropractor.

Please pray that Doug will fully recover from these issues.  Thank you for your continued prayers and partnership.  We are so grateful for you.

Ministry Update- April 2014

Currently we are in one of the most incredible seasons of spiritual opportunities. This is an unprecedented time to share the gospel with everyone you know just by inviting them to the local movie theater to watch one of the many spiritually-themed films playing or soon to be released.

We know not all the spiritual films are spot on biblically, but at least they present an opportunity to springboard into sharing the gospel. It’s a great way to have spiritual conversations surrounding Easter with people close to you.

The JESUS FilmAnother opportunity to share the gospel through film is with the newly released, restored and re-mastered “The JESUS Film” on Blu-ray and DVD. We are finding that many people are seeing “The JESUS Film” for the first time. You can buy “The JESUS Film” on Blu-ray and DVD at Walmart, other retailers or online by clicking here.

Please continue to pray for our efforts in releasing “The JESUS Film” and for the select screening events here in the U.S. Pray many will discover the Savior as a result of watching the film.

We have hundreds of great partners who are using “JESUS” as part of their ministry efforts. One of those partners is the JESUS Film Harvest Partners. As a result of their efforts using the “JESUS” film, they have seen more than 12 million decisions for Christ and more than 42,000 churches planted.

“Drug addicts are liberated by the power of God,” commented a JESUS Film Harvest Partners team member in Ecuador. “Several years ago we planted a new church using the ‘JESUS’ film. The church is growing and has purchased property.

“This is significant since the church is located in a low-income area riddled with drug use, especially among the young people. We have seen God at work—as the Bible says, ‘Where sin abounds grace abounds all the more.’

“Many people are coming to the church and finding Jesus. Andrea started using drugs when she was only 12 years old. When she came to the church, she was totally transformed by the Word of God.

“Now she is a children’s Sunday school teacher and assists in the services. Andrea is a living example of the power of God. We continue to believe in the ‘JESUS’ film and the fruits this ministry produces.”

Please pray for those around the world being reached with our film tools. Pray also for the partner ministries who use these tools to reach others for Christ. We appreciate your partnership with us. Thank you for your faithful prayers.

Ministry Update- January 2014

This year is the 35th anniversary of the “JESUS” film—the most watched film in history.  It has been viewed billions of times, with more than 200 million decisions for Christ.  The JESUS Film Project will reach the 35 year milestone in October.

The JESUS FilmIn celebration of the 35th anniversary, “JESUS” has been re-mastered in high-definition with a complete new musical score in Dolby 5.1 surround sound.  The restored version will be released on April 1st on Blu-ray and DVD in Walmart, Target and Christian bookstores around the U.S.  You can pre-order a copy of it at http://jesusfilmhd.com

In addition to the Blu-ray release, in March the re-mastered film will have select theatrical showings around the nation.  Would you like to host a film showing in a theater near you?  There is no cost for you and it is easy.  If you are interested in hosting a showing please contact us though our website by clicking here.

Hosting a showing of the film will be a great outreach opportunity.  It will also raise money to help fund a language for an unreached people group.

Another way you can help, if you are on Facebook “Like” The JESUS Film Page at www.facebook.com/JESUSFilmHD and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JESUSFilmHD. Please share this with others that you know on Social Media.

We thank God for the opportunity to bring the message of Christ in a new way as we celebrate 35 years of the impact of the “JESUS” film.  Please pray for the release of the Blu-ray and the screenings leading up to Easter, and how you might get involved.

The “JESUS” film continues to be one of the most effective evangelistic and discipleship tools used around the world.  Campus Crusade for Christ and partner ministries worldwide consider every “JESUS” film showing an opportunity to start a church.

The goal through Campus Crusade’s Global Church Movements ministry is to plant  5 million churches by the year 2020.  You can read more about this strategy and what has been accomplished to date at http://globalchurchmovements.org/gcm-framework.pdf.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership with us.  You are a continual source of encouragement to us as you pray and give so faithfully.

Ministry Update- October 2013

Film research can be dirty work, literally, as some of Doug’s team members recently encountered. Trekking more than 60 miles of a dusty trail, Doug’s teammates caught a glimpse of what thousands of people from around the world experience every year—El Camino de Santiago.

A large network of ancient pilgrim routes, El Camino de Santiago or the Way of Saint James, stretches across Europe and meets at the city of Santiago de Compostela in Northwest Spain at the site of the apostle James’ tomb. It is the third most popular pilgrimage annually among world Catholics and others.

Some make the journey in search of adventure, some go to see Spain and experience its culture, while others seek closeness to God or forgiveness for their sins. Along the way many pilgrims stop at hostels, known asalbergues, to eat, shower and sleep.

El Camino     To help minister to weary travelers, Campus Crusade for Christ in Spain (Agape Spain) operates Fuente del Peregrino— Spanish for Pilgrim’s Fountain Inn—where visitors not only rest and share a meal, but also hear the gospel of Christ. Summer 2013 marked the inn’s 15th year as a place of refuge and shelter that points needy people to Jesus.

Last summer, 124 volunteers served coffee, hot tea and water, free of charge, to approximately 500 walkers per day. They also provided breakfast, dinner, and clean and comfortable beds to a total of 590 people. Volunteers enjoyed special times of fellowship with the inn’s visitors, during which they initiated spiritual conversations and distributed evangelistic materials, including nearly 25,000 copies of the JESUS film.

In all, eight people indicated a decision for Christ. In addition several others rededicated their lives to the Lord.

Those walking the El Camino de Santiago experience are very open to spiritual conversations. This has created an opportunity for Doug’s team to produce a film centered around the El Camino de Santiago which can be used all over the world for evangelism and discipleship.

During Doug’s team members’ visit to Spain, they talked with those traveling the route to get an idea of how to develop a spiritual film that will connect with the younger generation. Please pray for the continued research and development of this film.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership with us. It is a joy to serve the Lord in this ministry with you.

Ministry Update-August 2013

This summer was filled with travels and exciting events. We are thankful for the many ministry opportunities these past couple months.

DougAt the end of June, Doug spoke at the 1st annual Making Film’s of Faith Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 50 filmmakers and actors attended the conference.  His talk focused on how to produce short films that start spiritual conversations. He encouraged up-and-coming filmmakers to use their talents to produce creative short films that engage seekers.

As part of Doug’s talk he showed two short films produced by his team (Flow and Brothers) to give those in attendance a visual example of what they could create.  Some of those in attendance gave
great feedback.CSU

Thank you for your giving and prayers for us as we attended our staff conference in July. Our time there was very insightful and equipping.

The staff conference this year focused on a mix of deep biblical teaching and training to help us respond to the ever-changing culture of the world. It was very helpful as we look to better equip the church with strategies and tools to help believers grow in their faith, and as we share the message of Christ around the world.

SchenkelsThe director of The JESUS Film Project, Erick Schenkel, and his wife Elizabeth (pictured left) were able to share from stage about The JESUS Film Project and their personal story of trials when they lived overseas in a very closed part of the world.

Over the next few months Doug’s team will be starting several new projects that can use prayer. His team will work on two new films for the Middle East.  Pray they develop the right stories that will create the best outcomes for the media-sophisticated generation in this part of the world.  Doug’s team continues the process to find a script writer for The Paul Project. We talked about this new feature film and episodic series in our June prayer letter. Pray they find the best writer for the project.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership with us. It is a joy to serve the Lord in this ministry with you.

Ministry Update- June 2013

In March we told you about “Coffee Shop”—the gospel presentation short film that Doug’s team produced.  Since its release the film has received more than 4,600 views from around the world using the Jesus Film Media App.

International ViewingsReleased last October, the app allows the sharing of JESUS Film™ tools like never before.  The blue dots below represent the places where “Coffee Shop” has been viewed around the world through the app.

You can view the film online and download it at http://jesusfilmmedia.org/video/2_529-0-Coffee-Shop.

Please continue to pray for the use of “Coffee Shop” and for those who will hear the gospel through it.  Pray for the development of more evangelistic short films.  Doug’s team is planning to produce two more similar films this year.

We have another exciting major film project in the works.  It is called “The Paul Project.” It will be JESUS Film’s most ambitious and challenging task since the original film “JESUS”, bringing to life many of the incredible events of the New Testament, from Acts and Paul’s epistles.  Like “JESUS”, “The Paul Project” will be firmly based on the Word of God.  Also, as a follow-up to “JESUS” film showings around the globe, it will help ensure lasting fruit.

Paul ProjectWe need your prayers for this project.  We are inviting you to join us in helping to build a strong foundation of prayer for the project.  You can read The Paul Project prayer requests and sign up to pray at http://jesusfilm.org/paulproject .

On a personal note, please pray for safety for our upcoming travels.  Doug will be speaking at the Making Film’s of Faith Conference in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of this month. His talk will be on producing short films that start spiritual conversations.  Also, we will be traveling to Ft. Collins, Colorado for our staff conference July 14-21.  We still have a need for $1,500 in financial support to cover the cost of this required conference.  Pray our remaining need will come in quickly.  We are so thankful for the money raised so far.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership with us.  It is a joy to serve the Lord in this ministry with you.

Ministry Update- March 2013

The coffeehouse was sweltering as film lighting, cameras, cast and crew filled the tight space.  This location was the setting for the next 12 hours—from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.—as the filming of “Coffee Shop” took place.

After several months of writing and planning, Doug’s team began filming in February the first of several evangelistic short films.  Doug was the producer for “Coffee Shop”.  Some of his responsibilities included setting up the location, arranging casting, finding the crew and making sure the film shoot ran smoothly.

Coffee Shop Filming“Coffee Shop” is intended to give the viewer a clear understanding of how to become a Christian. It will be part of an epilogue—one film immediately following another—which will lead to a spiritual conversation.

The film’s story involves a causal conversation between two friends—Becky and her nonbeliever friend, Anna who meet for coffee.  Becky shares the importance of Christ in her life and urges her friend to accept His unconditional love too.Coffee Shop Filming

“Coffee Shop” is now in the testing phase.  Doug and other Campus Crusade for Christ staff will be showing it and gathering responses to measure the effectiveness of the film in presenting the gospel in a conversational story form.  Click here to watch “Coffee Shop”.

Please pray for the testing of this film, that Campus Crusade staff will receive honest feedback on the effectiveness of it.  Pray also for wisdom as Doug’s team writes and plans for the next evangelistic short film in the series.

Coffee Shop FilmingNext month, Doug will be a part of the audio/visual team at an upcoming JESUS Film Briefing taking place April 11-14.  The event will include Campus Crusade staff members from around the world sharing reports of what God is doing in their countries through The JESUS Film Project.  Please pray for those who attend the event to be ministered to spiritually.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership.  It is a joy to serve Him in this ministry with you.

Ministry Update- November 2012

As Thanksgiving approaches, we thought there is no better time to share some thankful news.  Over the past year we have focused our time in raising needed financial support for our ministry.  We are thrilled to share with you that as of this month the Lord has provided the funds to make up for our financial shortfall!

This incredible provision could not have happened without you.  Many of you not only continued to give, but graciously increased your giving or gave an extra gift to us.  Others introduced us to friends and family, so we could share about our ministry with them.  Many of them joined our financial team for the first time.  We cannot thank you enough for not only standing with us, but going above and beyond to show your love for us!

The Lord taught us many things during this season, but most of all He confirmed our calling to the ministry of reaching the world for Christ through The JESUS Film Project.   Thank you for your continued partnership with us.  We cannot do it without you!

GSFN ShowingWe mentioned in our June newsletter about the development of the Jesus Film Media App.  In October the app became available.  It contains the entire library of JESUS Film Project films.  You can get the app in the App Store by searching “Jesus Film Media” or at app.jesusfilmmedia.org on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  It is also available for the Android phone through Google Play Store.

Recently, Kelsey—a Cru staff member—used the app with students at the University of Texas to share the gospel with fellow students.  This is what she shared about that experience.

“I had the opportunity to train Justin, Josh and Blake how to share their faith through discussions about short films.  I only had one iPad with me and we wanted to split into two groups, so I had Justin quickly download the new Jesus Film Media App where he could easily access the films.  We then went out to share with students.”

“An hour and half later we came back together and Justin and Josh were beaming with joy as they blurted out, He prayed to receive Christ!  They then went on to share how this exciting event took place.”

“They approached Nick who agreed to watch and discuss one of the films.   Justin then opened the Jesus Film Media App and showed one of the films to Nick on his phone.  While discussing the questions about the film, Nick shared that he had never heard the gospel explained so clearly in a way he could understand, and said he wanted to pray to receive Jesus!”

Pray for those who are using the app that many will come to know Christ.  We appreciate your partnership with us.