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.

Ministry Update- September 2012

In the past few weeks we have received some incredible reports of people coming to Christ through the use of our JESUS Film Project’s new ministry tools. One of those new tools is a film series for women that Doug’s team produced, called “Rivka.”

“Rivka” is an evangelism and basic follow-up strategy that can be utilized throughout the world. Consisting of video, audio and print tools designed to be used in a variety of combinations, the core of “Rivka” is the story of a small group of Christians living in first century Palestine. As they grow together through life’s struggles and joys, they learn the foundational tenants of the Christian life. Added to this narrative are Bible studies and personal devotionals that aide the audience in learning those same truths for themselves.

Rivka showingIn a central Asian country, Campus Crusade staff members have been using “Rivka” and seeing God move in amazing ways. Here is what one staff member recently shared:

“Lately we have had great success through our presentations of the “Rivka” project. Everywhere we teach our evangelism and discipleship training, we utilize “Rivka” (especially among women) as an excellent tool.

At first, we limited our presentations to believers in local churches, seeing “Rivka” as a way to help new believers grow in their faith. However, we began to notice that many groups which had formed after our initial training began to invite non-believing women and see this as an effective evangelistic tool. We have come to see this material for believers and for evangelism.

We had not expected the effects we’ve seen from “Rivka”…and it has not yet been translated into our local language!

In the past three months more than 1,000 women have come to faith in Jesus Christ and approximately 50 small groups have formed, most of which are completely woman’s groups.

If/when we are able—with God’s help—to translate this series of films into our local language, we believe that this will be the equivalent to a spiritual bomb! Many, upon watching this material, immediately say that they need this themselves…and that so do our people as a whole.”

Please pray for the Lord’s wisdom as Doug’s team continues to develop and release “Rivka” around the world. Pray also for those who have come to Christ after seeing “Rivka” that they will continue to grow in their faith.

Thank you for your continued faithful prayers and support to our ministry.

Ministry Update- July 2012

It is amazing how the power of short film can draw people into the story being portrayed on the screen in only a matter of minutes. Combining this screening with a redemptive message shared by those showing the film creates a great opportunity for spiritual discussion.

In June, staff and students involved with Campus Crusade for Christ in Ethiopia experienced the power of short film from behind the lens. During a weeklong training, a team of Campus Crusade staff who lead the short film ministry strategy that Doug’s team developed taught them how to produce and use short films for ministry outreach.

At the conclusion of the training, the trainees (48 total) put into practice what they just learned as they split into groups to create a short film. The next day they broke into their groups and dispersed throughout Addis Ababa to show short films using iPods and iPhones to start spiritual conversations.

Ethiopia Short Film ShowingsOne of the groups met with an Ethiopian young professional named Daniel (pictured above left).  The group showed him a film called “The Black Hole” and shared with him about character and integrity. When the conversation turned to the need for Christ to die for our sins, they showed him the film “Sebastian’s Voodoo.”  It was a perfect combo to springboard into the gospel. He told the group he has much to think about and will consider the claims of Christ.  Please pray for Daniel as he follows up with staff to learn what it means to trust Christ alone for salvation.

Another group shared the film “Reach” with two shoeshine boys.  They responded, “We are not satisfied with our lives. Tell us what me must do!” After hearing the gospel through the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, they trusted Christ.

As a result of the training, 78 conversations were initiated, 70 short films were screened, and 17 people prayed to receive Christ.  Students and staff are now in the process of following up with those who indicated a decision to trust Christ. Please pray for these new believers as they grow in their newfound faith.

If you would like to watch or download any of the short films for use in your personal ministry, click here for more information.

We want to thank you for your continued faithful prayers and support to our ministry. As a result of your partnership, people around the world can hear about Christ in their own language through film.